If you ask any driver you know if they’ve broken the speed limit, the odds are overwhelmingly in favor of the fact that they have. It’s hard to find someone who has not broken it at some point, either intentionally or unintentionally.
For instance, when asked if they would break the speed limit, 82% of drivers said that they would do so by anywhere between 1 and 15 miles per hour. Even among the other 18% who did not say they did it regularly, one can assume that they may have broken it on accident at some point in their lives. But it is drivers who do it on a regular basis who really make speeding feel normal, to the point that many people don’t think twice about it.
The accident statistics, however, show that they should. If you look at the data for 2017, more than a quarter of traffic fatalities (26%) involved speeding as a “contributing factor.” When you run the numbers for the past two decades, speeding contributed to about 33% of deadly accidents.
Regardless of which statistic you rely on — the suggestion from 2017 is that it was a slightly safer year, in this regard — it is clear that speeding plays a large role in deaths on American highways. One reason for this is that it can make injuries more severe. A driver going 45 miles per hour may suffer only minor injuries, while the same accident at 60 miles per hour could be fatal.
If you have lost a loved one to an accident caused by a speeding driver, or if you’ve been seriously injured yourself, be sure you know what options you have.