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New Federal Survey Reveals Drivers Violate the Speed Limit Even Knowing the Risks

March 31, 2014

Public information and safety campaigns are a common tool employed to deter hazardous driving practices, such as speeding or texting and driving. However, a new study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) calls into question the effectiveness of this type of approach to reducing the number of preventable collisions. The study revealed that the vast majority of motorists understand that speeding is a dangerous driving behavior but routinely engage in the practice despite this awareness. This disconnect between driver attitudes toward and actual driving practices might explain why speeding continues to cause a third of all car accident fatalities nationally according to the NHTSA.

The survey, which is entitled the National Survey of Speeding Attitudes and Behavior, revealed that eighty percent of drivers believe that driving at the speed limit makes it more difficult to avoid hazards and avert auto accidents. A further indication of the attitudes of motorists toward violating the speed limit is revealed by the fact that more than 9 in 10 people surveyed agreed that "everyone should obey the speed limit because it's the law." Almost half of those surveyed (48%) indicated they support more aggressive efforts to deter speeding.

Unfortunately, this overwhelming recognition of the dangers associated with speeding and support for more effective measures to encourage drivers to drive at a safe speed did not translate into actual driving behavior. One in four motorists in the survey indicated that speeding is essentially second nature which means that they do not even think about violating the speed limit before pushing the needle beyond the legal limit. Almost twenty percent of those surveyed indicated their primary goal when driving is to get to their destination in the minimum time possible.

Even skilled drivers are more likely to be involved in motor vehicle collisions when they violate the speed limit or drive too fast given road, weather and traffic conditions. Vehicles traveling at high rates of speed require longer stopping distances and provide less precise handling. This means that exceeding the speed limit increases the risk of being involved in an auto collision. Since basic physics dictate that the force of a collision is impacted by the speed of colliding objects, vehicles moving at high rates of speed also tend to result in more intense collisions that are more likely to cause severe injuries and wrongful death.

If you are involved in a Paulding County auto accident or accident anywhere in Georgia with a speeding driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. The legal doctrine of "negligence per se" might be applicable in a personal injury claim or lawsuit that arises out of a collision involving a driver that was speeding. This legal principle basically provides that a driver can be financially responsible for a collision that is caused by the party's violation of a traffic safety law under certain circumstances.

Put Our Over 39 Years of Legal Experience to Work For Your Case

If you or a close family member is injured in a collision caused by a motorist who is speeding, you should seek prompt legal advice because legal claims are governed by strict deadlines. Our Georgia car accident lawyers at Montlick and Associates have been representing injury victims for over thirty years throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
All information provided by our blogs is general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Consult a Montlick attorney for details about your unique situation.