The highways of the United States have seen a disturbing trend in recent years. Despite advances in car safety, more motorists are dying. Deaths linked to speeding are also increasing.
Traffic deaths have been increasing over the last few years, confounding experts.
Reasons put forward for the increase in deaths include:
- More distracted drivers
- An overall increase in driving in the United States:
However, a recent study from the National Transportation Safety Board found excess speed to be a major factor in the uptick.
The study finds speed is one of the most significant killers on the roads.
NTSB acting chairman Robert L. Sumwalt said:
“You can’t tackle our rising epidemic of roadway deaths without tackling speeding. Speed kills. This study examines how it kills and what actions can be taken to save lives and prevent speeding-related crashes.”
The researchers looked at U.S. passenger vehicle crashes from 2005 to 2014. The team found speeding was the leading factor in 112,580 deaths or approximately 31 percent of all traffic fatalities.
The number of people killed by excess speed was similar to the death toll from alcohol. Over the same period, 112,948 people were killed by drunk drivers.
The situation is more serious because the number of road deaths increased in 2015 and 2016, two years not included in the NTSB research.
In its research, the NTSB found excess speed increases the chances of a serious crash in two major ways.
- It increases the likelihood of a driver being involved in a crash.
- It exacerbates the severity of injuries sustained by all people involved in speed-linked crashes.
The relationship between excess speed and crashes is complicated. It is affected by factors like the age of the driver, the type of road, intoxication, and the characteristics of a road like the curvature, grade, and adjacent land use. Drivers and passengers are more likely to lose their lives on highways with dense tree cover beside the road.
Some types of vehicles like motorcycles can reach higher speeds. There is a link between alcohol and speeding motorcyclists in Georgia.
Every year our Newnan accident attorney helps many people who have been injured by speeding drivers. If you are hurt due to the actions of a reckless or a speeding driver, please call (404) 913-1529.