Speeding Deaths on the Rise

So far this year in North Carolina, there have been 231 fatal crashes because of speeding resulting in 253 deaths – up 19.7% from last year’s 196 crashes.


In South Carolina, there were 414 fatalities at the hand of speed-related crashes in 2018. So far in 2019, there have been 240, which will hopefully continue to trend downward.


Speeding is the most common traffic-law violation – outnumber all other traffic violations combined. In 2017, speeding killed 9,717 people in the U.S., accounting for more than a quarter of all traffic fatalities, which is down from accounting for one-third of all fatalities in the past 20 years.


Speeding results in a high number of fatal crashes because there is less time to react or distance to use to respond to danger ahead. Our reaction times – about 1 second for most motorists – don’t speed up just because we are driving faster.


Most motorists speed to get somewhere quicker or because they’re running late, however AAA finds that speeding will barely reduce your travel time and is nowhere near worth the risks. AAA breaks down how much time it takes to make a 30-mile trip at different speeds:

  • 55 miles per hour = 32.7 minutes
  • 65 miles per hour = 27.7 minutes (5 minutes saved)
  • 75 miles per hour = 24 minutes (8.7 minutes saved)


So, if you drive 20 miles per hour over the speed limit the entire time of your 30 mile trip, you will only save yourself 8.7 minutes, but you will have put your life and the lives of everyone else on the road in danger the entire way. And this is if you travel at a consistent speed, with no traffic or signals. The average time saved on a 5-mile trip, driving 65 on a 45 mph posted road is only 1.9 minutes.


Tips to avoid a driver that is speeding:

  • If you are in the left lane and someone wants to pass, move over and let them by.
  • Give speeding drivers plenty of space. Speeding drivers may lose control of their vehicle more easily.
  • Adjust your driving accordingly. Speeding is tied to aggressive driving. If a speeding driver is tailgating you or trying to engage you in risky driving, use judgment to safely steer your vehicle out of the way.
  • Call the police if you believe a driver is following you or harassing you.