Release Date: 12/11/2013
An Abt SRBI survey for the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) finds that nearly half of drivers say speeding is a problem on our nation's roads. However, one in five drivers admitted, "I try to get where I am going as fast as I can." Speeding-related deaths nationwide account for nearly a third of all traffic fatalities each year, taking close to 10,000 lives.
Abt SRBI completed landline and cell telephone interviews with a representative national sample of 6,144 drivers for the latest National Survey of Speeding Attitudes and Behavior, released today. Because young drivers are a high-risk group of particular interest, the survey included an oversample of drivers 16 to 34 years old.
"We all have places we need to go, but it's never the right decision to put ourselves, our families and others in harm's way to get there faster," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "This is another reminder, as the busy holiday season approaches, to obey speed limits, reduce speed in inclement weather conditions and allow plenty of time to arrive safely."
Highlights of the survey include:
The large majority of drivers, about four out of five, believed driving at or near the speed limit makes it easier to avoid dangerous situations and reduces the chances of a crash.
An overwhelming majority, 91 percent, agreed with the statement that "everyone should obey the speed limits because it's the law."
Almost half of all drivers, 48 percent, said that it was very important that something be done to reduce speeding on U.S. roads.
Male drivers admitted to speeding more compared to females.
Despite acknowledging the safety benefits of speed limits and reasons drivers should follow them,
More than a quarter of those surveyed admitted "speeding is something I do without thinking" and "I enjoy the feeling of driving fast."
16% felt that "driving over the speed limit is not dangerous for skilled drivers."
Drivers with the least experience behind the wheel, 16-20 years old, admitted to speeding more frequently than any other age group.
More than one in ten, 11 percent, of drivers age 16 to 20 reported at least one speeding-related crash in the past five years, compared to 4 percent for the population as a whole.
The percentage of drivers in speeding-related crashes in this age group is greater than in any other age group, even though these young drivers may not have been driving for all of the past five years.
"The need for speed should never trump the need for safe and responsible driving," said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. "Motorists who drive at excessive speeds put themselves and others at an increased risk of being involved in a crash and possibly of being injured or killed."
To encourage safe driving practices among teens, NHTSA recently launched its "5 to Drive" campaign that challenges parents to discuss five critical driving practices with their teenage drivers that can have the greatest beneficial impacts in the event of a crash: No speeding, no cell phone use or texting while driving; no extra passengers; no alcohol, and; no driving or riding without a seat belt.
Abt SRBI Vice President Paul Schroeder directed the survey. Interviews were conducted March 31 - September 4, 2011.