Speeding has long been correlated to fatal accidents. When vehicles are traveling at a faster rate of speed, more severe injuries are likely. Overall, drivers who break the speed limit cause roughly a third of all fatal accidents – 29% in 2021. This led to the death of 33 people every day, or 12,330 people over the course of the entire year.
When you look at the historical data, it’s interesting to see that the percentage of deaths caused by speeding has been fairly stagnant. For instance, speeding caused exactly 30% of fatal accidents in 2000. In 2002, it peaked at 32%, a number that would be repeated in both 2006 and 2007. There was a slight decline starting around 2010, with the percentage bottoming out in 2019, at 26%. But it has increased since then, to get back up to 29% by 2021. So, while there are slightly fewer speeding-related fatalities today than there were two decades ago, there hasn’t been much change.
It’s an issue technology can’t fix
Part of the reason for this is that drivers make the choice to break the speed limit. There are already limits in place and fatalities would go down if drivers followed those limits. The police attempt to enforce them, but most people speed fairly often.
With other risks, such as distracted driving, technology can sometimes help. Distracted drivers may drift over the centerline, for instance, only to be alerted by a lane departure warning system. But without fully regulating the speed vehicles can actually go, it’s impossible to stop drivers from breaking the limit, so they will continue to take this risk.
If you’ve been injured in one of these car accidents, or if you’ve tragically lost a loved one, you need to know what legal steps to take.