The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is launching a new campaign to educate the public about the dangers of speeding. Its new Speeding Wrecks Lives campaign kicked off July 20th and runs through August 14th. The effort is designed to change general attitudes about speeding and remind drivers about the dangerous consequences.
NHTSA says its stats show a dramatic increase in speeding-related crash deaths during the pandemic. In 2020, 11,258 people died in crashes related to speeding - a contributing factor in 29% of all fatal crashes. That marked a 17% increase in speeding related deaths over 2019.
Additional 2020 NHTSA stats include:
- Local roads saw the most speeding, with 87% of all speeding-related traffic fatalities occurring on non-interstate roads.
- Speeding contributed to 37% of the fatal crashes in work zones.
- Speeding was a factor in more fatal crashes on wet roads than dry roads.
- Drinking and speeding is the deadliest combination. Of the drivers involved in fatal crashes, 37% were speeding and had a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher.
“Much like impaired driving, speeding can steal the lives of everyone using our roads: drivers, passengers, pedestrians and cyclists,” said Dr. Steven Cliff, NHTSA’s Administrator. “We cannot accept the status quo. Speed-related deaths aren’t inevitable. They’re preventable, and everyone has a role in addressing this crisis on our nation’s roadways.”
The ads in the NHTSA's new campaign focus on drivers ages 18 to 44, who data show are most likely to be involved in speeding-related fatal crashes.
The NHTSA says ending speeding-related deaths is a top priority for the Biden-Harris Administration. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, also known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, makes significant investments in highway safety. In January, Secretary Pete Buttigieg unveiled the National Roadway Safety Strategy, which includes a special focus on safer speeds. The long-term plan aims to save lives by leveraging road design and other infrastructure interventions, and focusing on safer speed limit setting, education, and equitable traffic enforcement.