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Governors Highway Safety Association

By Barbara Harsha and James Hedlund


Speeding—exceeding the posted speed limit or traveling too fast for conditions—is epidemic on America’s highways. Most drivers understand that speeding is dangerous, and most drivers feel that other speeders threaten their own personal safety. Yet most drivers speed: in a recent national survey, about 80 % of all drivers said they exceeded the speed limit on all types of roads, from Interstate highways to neighborhood streets, within the past month, and about one-third reported that they were speeding on the day of the interview. Speeding increases both the risk of a crash and the risk of injuries and fatalities in crashes. Speeding was documented in almost onethird of all fatal traffic crashes in 2005 and probably was involved in many more. American culture encourages speeding. Many roads are designed for speeds higher than the posted speed limit. Cars are comfortable, quiet, insulated from the road, with speedometers recording speeds over 100 mph; drivers don’t feel that they are traveling fast. Television, movies, and electronic games all promote speeding. Automobile companies and car magazines advertise speed through slogans such as “0 to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds”. And Americans ’ busy lifestyles stress that every minute counts, that in days filled with multiple appointments in different locations, we need to get from one place to the next as quickly as we can—so we speed

Year: 2010
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