In 2018, more than 9,300 people have been killed in speed-related collisions across the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This accounts for almost 800 deaths a month.
At high speeds, drivers often need more time and distance to stop or slow down to avoid a crash. The faster a driver travels at the time of a crash, the greater the amount of damage is done.
In 2018, there were 1,190 traffic fatalities throughout Pennsylvania — 455 of which were speed-related.
The rise in statewide speed limits (as high as 65 mph in Pennsylvania) and the overall acceptance of speeding in our driving culture may be the leading culprits behind the alarmingly high number of speed-related crashes. So, what are state officials, federal agencies, and safety advocates doing to discourage drivers from exceeding the speed limit?
Education has failed to curb speeding
The death toll in Pennsylvania and nationwide has transportation officials and safety advocates exploring new life-saving strategies.
For years, the NHTSA has set out to educate motorists on the dangers of speeding, yet the message has only gone in one ear and out the other.
Drivers generally know that speeding is dangerous. Some are willing to take the risk when they are in a hurry anyway. According to AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety's 2018 Traffic Safety Culture Index, most drivers acknowledge that traveling 15 mph over the speed limit is very risky, yet roughly half of them have done so within the past 30 days.
"A large body of evidence shows that education has not been effective in addressing traffic safety issues, such as alcohol-impaired driving or seat belt use," said Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Vice President Jessica Cicchino.
Exploring newer, more effective strategies
Where education fails to prevent serious and fatal crashes, technology may pick up the slack. When it comes to addressing the risks of speeding, safety advocates are urging the installation of speed regulation technology in new cars.
In addition, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Governors Highway Safety Association, and National Road Safety Foundation are collaborating to institute a new speed management pilot program.
Through this program, state transportation agencies can compete for a grant by making improvements to:
- High-visibility enforcement
The three federal agencies want to implement a national template for speed management. The intent is to change the overall "driving culture" around speeding.
With more people juggling busy schedules, speeding will likely continue to be a prevalent risk on Hazleton-area roads. We see it every day on our rural backroads and major highways. Until the problem can truly be mitigated, more road users will sustain injuries, or worse, be involved in fatal crashes.
That's why the legal team at the Law Offices of Edward P. McNelis dedicates itself to helping crash victims seek justice. If you were hurt in a crash, or lost a loved one, because of someone else's reckless behavior, contact our law office and schedule your free consultation with one of our car accident attorneys.