For a lot of reasons – someone is late to work, running behind on errands or simply not paying attention – speeding occurs every day on Tennessee roads. Many people may not feel it is a major issue, but recent data sheds an important spotlight on the dangers of speeding and its relationship to fatal car accidents.
Crash data published by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration notes that speeding is one of the main factors in motor vehicle accidents. In 2009, the most recent year for which data is available, over 30 percent of fatal crashes involved speeding. This ratio has been relatively consistent over the course of the past decade.
Certain groups pose higher risks than others. For example, 43 percent of speeding-related fatal crashes involved alcohol. In addition, young males are more likely than any other group of drivers to be involved in fatal accidents.
In Tennessee, the problem is prevalent. In 2009, 209 of 989 fatal crashes involved speeding.
Speeding increases the chance of being involved in a serious car accident for several reasons. First, driver reaction time is greatly reduced, which makes a collision much more likely. Secondly, cars perform differently at high speeds. They don’t turn as tightly, and some models will skid and roll much easier. Finally, the higher the speed, the greater the impact and the more serious the accident and injuries will be. When other factors such as alcohol or cell phones are involved, the risk only increases.
In Tennessee, fatal car accidents occur on all roads, regardless of their speed limit. Campaigns have been launched to place speed cameras and speed traps on intersections where crashes commonly occur. Unfortunately, until drivers realize the dangers of speeding, these fatal accidents will continue to occur.
Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration “Traffic Safety Facts: Speeding“