As part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s comprehensive safety strategy to prevent traffic deaths, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is launching a public education campaign across the country to address one of America’s most dangerous driving behaviors. The agency kicked off the Speeding Wrecks Lives campaign aimed at changing general attitudes toward speeding and reminding drivers of the deadly consequences.
The campaign, which runs from July 20-August 14, is supported by an $8 million national media buy featuring English and Spanish-language ads running on television, radio and digital platforms. The ads target drivers ages 18 to 44, who data show are most likely to be involved in speeding-related fatal crashes.
According to NHTSA data, 11,258 people died in speeding-related crashes in 2020, and speeding was a contributing factor in 29% of all fatal crashes. Even with fewer cars on the road during the pandemic, 2020 saw a dramatic increase (17%) in speeding-related deaths compared to 2019.
The data also showed additional concerning statistics in 2020:
· Local roads saw the most speeding, with 87% of all speeding-related traffic fatalities occurring on non-interstate roads.
· Speeding contributed to 37% of the fatal crashes in work zones.
· Speeding was a factor in more fatal crashes on wet roads than dry roads.
· Drinking and speeding is the deadliest combination. Of the drivers involved in fatal crashes, 37% were speeding and had a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher.