Objective facts show that driving too fast is dangerous, and most drivers are aware of these facts and agree that speeding is risky. In fact, 91 percent of all drivers responding to a survey conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that they believe people should obey speed limits because they are the law, while almost half of all of the surveyed drivers reported a belief that speeding is a problem on roads in the United States.
With most survey respondents speaking out against speeding, it may be surprising to learn that around 10,000 lives every single year are lost in car accidents that involve motorists going too fast. Car accident lawyers in Chicago know that about 1/3 of all deadly car accidents have speeding as a contributing cause. How is it possible that so many speeding crashes occur, despite 48 percent of the population saying that something needs to be done to reduce speeding on U.S. roads? Simple: drivers are speeding even though they say they know it is dangerous to do so.
Drivers Exceed Speed Limits They Know are Important For Safety
In the same NHTSA survey where motorists said speeding was dangerous, one driver out of every five also admitted that he or she tried to get to their destination by “going as fast as I can.” Further, while four drivers out of every five surveyed said that it was easier to avoid dangerous situations and that a car crash was less likely when going the speed limit, more than a quarter of the motorists responding to the survey said that speeding was something they did automatically without thinking about it. More than 25 percent also said that they enjoyed how it felt to drive fast, while 16 percent expressed the belief that “skilled” drivers were not at risk from going too fast.
Male drivers and drivers ages 16-20 were the groups with the highest number of people who admitted to speeding. A total of 11 percent of drivers between the ages of 16 and 20 said they had been involved in a speeding-related crash within the five years prior to taking the survey, compared to a total of four percent of drivers in the population as a whole. The fact that the percentage of drivers in the 16-20 age group who have been involved in speed-related crashes is so much higher than other age groups is especially disturbing considering that none of these motorists have had their licenses for the full five years that the survey questions targeted.
Parents and schools need to do a better job of educating young drivers about how deadly speeding is, while all drivers in every age group should remember their own opinions about how unsafe speeding is and should make sure to stay within the speed limit at all times when on the roads.
If you’ve been involved in a Chicago car accident, contact Coplan & Crane at 800-394-6002 for a free case evaluation or visit our Oak Park office.