Are Speeding Drivers as Dangerous as Drunk Drivers?

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Which careless driving behavior causes more fatal accidents, drunk driving or speeding?

According to the federal government, they’re responsible for about the same number of car and truck crash deaths.  This is not to diminish the harm of drunk driving.  Rather, there may need to be a stronger effort to put the brakes on speeding drivers.

The National Transportation Safety Board, the federal agency responsible for investigating serious highway accidents and other crashes, recently published an outline of an in-depth study it conducted on motor vehicle accidents caused by speeding.  Per the agency, more than 112,500 people were killed in speeding-related car and truck crashes between 2005 and 2014.

Speeding Drivers Kill as Many People as Drunk Drivers

The NTSB reports that the average number of people killed in this time frame for speeding – exceeding 10,000 annually – is about the same as those who died in drunk driving accidents.

The agency says it will have much more to say about this study, but in its first report notes that the chances for severe injuries or deaths increase greatly in crashes caused by a speeding driver.

The National Highway Safety Transportation Agency, which oversees the safety on America’s major roads, also recently issued a report on speeding drivers.  It included information from 2015, the latest year for which it compiled such data.

More than One Third of Fatal Missouri Traffic Accidents Involve a Speeding Driver

According to the NHTSA, nationally more than one out of every four people killed in a motor vehicle crash that year – 27 percent – died in an accident that involved at least one speeding driver.  In Missouri, that percentage was even higher.  At 36 percent, more than a third of all Missouri traffic accident deaths involved a speeding driver in 2015.

The report also notes just how deadly the combination of speeding and alcohol use is.  In 2015, 45 percent of all speeding drivers involved in a fatal crash were legally drunk.  That threshold is a blood-alcohol content of .01 percent.  In 2015, 37 percent of speeding drivers in a fatal motor vehicle accident had a higher BAC of .15 percent.

While drunk driving rightfully is less socially accepted than driving over the speed limit, the facts indicate that the reckless behaviors can equally pose catastrophic consequences for innocent victims.

If you lost a family member or you were seriously hurt in an accident caused by a speeding driver, contact a motor vehicle accident attorney to hold accountable all those at fault.

The choice of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertising.

Authored by Gray, Ritter & Graham, P.C., posted in Blog July 19, 2017