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Speeding and Dangerous Driving Habits Still a Problem

Motor vehicle fatalities have been declining for many years. Despite a significantly larger population, 2010 statistics regarding fatal car crashes were comparable to the numbers seen in the 1950s. In fact, 2010 saw the fewest fatalities per miles driven ever recorded according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Despite the tremendous improvement in preventing motor vehicle deaths, it seems there has been almost no progress in cutting down on speeding and aggressive driving.

A report from the Governors Highway Safety Association indicated that approximately one-third of the people killed in motor vehicle accidents in 2010 were killed in accidents caused by speeding. That percentage has not improved in the three decades in which such statistics have been kept. The report did a survey of individual states all across the nation to see what, if anything, is being done about the consistent and pervasive problems of speeding and aggressive driving.

Aggressive driving is specifically addressed in the laws of 11 states. Of those, only Indiana passed the law in the last 7 years. Only 2 states have increased the fines for speeding in that time. During that same time period, 7 states had increased speed limits on some roads to up to 85 miles per hour. Many more states had passed laws concerning texting and driving during that timeframe.

A survey conducted by the authors of the report indicated that government officials feel the public does not care about speeding and that law enforcement is not sufficiently staffed to do more about the problem. Speeding is widely accepted and the public does not favor enhanced penalties. Perhaps if more people understood the extent of the damage caused by speeding, they would be more inclined to take steps to prevent it.

Source: The Car Connection, "Speeding, Aggressive Driving Still Cause 1/3 OF Fatal Accidents," by Richard Read, 9 March 2012

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