The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has collected car crash data from New Jersey and all across the United States for the last decade with their Fatality Analysis Reporting System or FARS. One key finding from the data is that for the past three years straight, there has been a steady rise in fatal collisions on the road, and a significant portion of these were because drivers were speeding.
Speeding is a major problem on the rise
The NHTSA found that the single largest contributing factor to deadly car accidents is drivers who go too fast. This new trend started in 2018, with 8,632 fatal crashes involving speeding. By 2021, that number had jumped to 11,057. From 2018 to 2021, these accidents were up by 28.1%. From 2012 to 2021, the upward trend was 19.2%.
The NHTSA found that men are more prone than women to be in a motor vehicle accident from driving too fast. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s findings also support this: The nonprofit found that statistically, men drive more than women and exhibit riskier behavior while behind the wheel.
Breaking down the data
By far, the most common type of vehicle involved in deadly speeding-related crashes were motorcycles. This is owed to the design of the vehicle that leaves drivers and passengers more vulnerable as well as their higher acceleration capabilities. There’s also the added hazard of lane splitting in states where it’s legal for cyclists to pass between lanes to get by other vehicles. Unfortunately, all this tends to be a recipe for speeding-related collisions.
According to the NHTSA’s data, people drove over the speed limit more often during holiday weekends than at other times of year over the past decade. State by state, the District of Columbia had the highest rate of accidents caused by speeding over 10 years. New Hampshire and Hawaii followed the nation’s capital. It should be noted that these states also have low numbers of overall crashes, which makes it easier for their speeding-related accident rates to appear high in comparison.
Another demographic that the NHTSA FARS is broken down by is age. The organization found that those younger than the age of 34 make up the largest age group involved in speeding-related fatal car crashes. This applies to teenagers in particular due to lack of experience and development.