Posted on Aug 30, 2017

In its recent Safety Study: Reducing Speeding-Related Crashes Involving Passenger Vehicles, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) suggests that we could eliminate over 60 percent of traffic-related fatalities if we could stop both speeding and alcohol impairment. Over the last ten years, about 31 percent of all traffic fatalities involved alcohol impairment and about 31 percent involved speeding. Of course, there is some overlap, as some crashes may include both speeding and alcohol impairment.

In fact, the report goes on to make this very point, breaking down the numbers for 2014 as follows:

Fatal Accidents

56.3 percent  involved neither speeding nor alcohol

18.3 percent involved alcohol with no speeding

13.8 percent  involved speeding with no alcohol

11.6 percent  involved speeding and alcohol

When you analyze the data at this level, you see that if it were possible to eliminate speeding, you could prevent up to 24 percent of traffic-related fatalities. While speeding contributed to approximately 24 percent of crashes in 2014, it consistently contributes to approximately 31 percent of crashes, reports the NTSB.

How Common Is Speeding?

Between 2005 and 2014, speeding contributed to over 112,000 accidents. And while between almost 90 percent of people think traveling 10 mph the speed limit on a residential street is unacceptable, 45 percent of people admitted to doing just that within the last 30 days, according to a AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety study. 

Does the Report Have Any Suggestions for Curbing Speeding?

Yes. The NTSB report suggests two high tech solutions to reducing speeding. These are:

  • Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE): This technology is similar to red light cameras, but it instead catches speeders.
  • Intelligent Speed Adaptation: This refers to technology installed in your car that either warns you when you are exceeding the speed limit or prevents your vehicle from traveling over a certain speed.

ASE systems face the same public criticism as red-light cameras. People object to private vendors who supply the cameras receiving compensation for the number of tickets created. And investigations have unmasked some local governments for setting up these cameras in “speed traps” and generating a significant portion of their budget through the use of these ASE cameras. Congress prohibits state and local governments from using federal money to buy, use, or maintain ASE systems.

With Intelligent Speed Adaptation technology, your car comes equipped with technology that will either warn you when you are speeding or keep you from driving over a certain speed. Unlike speeding cameras, you pay for the equipment that monitors or controls your speed. Anticipating public resistance, the NTSB recommends that manufacturers embed this technology in new cars, to make these cars more appealing to car buyers.

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