WASHINGTON, D.C. – Drivers are addicted to speed, and we unfortunately see the deadly results every day on roadways across the country. The auto industry has made tremendous gains making vehicles more crashworthy, but this new study from AAA and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) shows how the impulse to speed and the trend of rising speed limits are canceling out those safety advances, with deadly consequences. Even small increases in speed can cause major, traumatic injuries and turn survivable crashes into lethal ones. During the pandemic, this problem has only worsened and our roadways have turned into speedways.
Speeding is especially deadly for teen drivers. They are more likely than any other age group to die in speeding-related crashes, as confirmed by our report released this week with Ford Motor Company Fund. Most teen drivers do not start out speeding, but as they gain confidence behind the wheel, their travel speeds are likely to increase and be exacerbated by other drivers on the road. For teens, keeping up with traffic – even if it means going well over the speed limit – becomes the norm. Therefore, as speed limits rise, so too does the risk for our most inexperienced drivers.
The AAA/IIHS study makes clear the deadly consequences of higher speed limits and reaffirms the need to comprehensively address the issue of speeding on our roadways.
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The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) is a nonprofit association representing the highway safety offices of states, territories, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. GHSA provides leadership and representation for the states and territories to improve traffic safety, influence national policy, enhance program management and promote best practices. Its members are appointed by their Governors to administer federal and state highway safety funds and implement state highway safety plans. Visit www.ghsa.orgfor more information or find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GHSAhq or follow us on Twitter @GHSAHQ.