It’s news we hear all too often: people have lost their lives on the road due to preventable car collisions. In fact, over 25% of fatal crashes in the United States involved unsafe speeds and/or aggressive driving according to the most recent year of data provided by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Despite improvements in safety features on motor vehicles, speeding and aggressive driving behaviors continue to be some of the biggest threats on the road, causing traffic fatalities in the United States. In a comprehensive analysis conducted by Harris & Harris Injury Lawyers, data reveals trends and patterns surrounding road rage, aggressive driving, and speeding in America.
Where are the Fastest and Most Dangerous Drivers Located?
Compiling the total crash data from the most recent year (2018), Texas and California had the most fatal crashes involving unsafe speeds and aggressive driving with 878 and 848, respectively. When looking at percentages to make the data more comparable, Alaska (54%), Washington D.C. (50%), and New Hampshire (46%) had the highest rates of fatal crashes involving unsafe speed and aggressive driving.
On the other hand, Mississippi (7%) had the lowest rate of speed and aggressive driving-related collisions; only 44 of the 597 fatal crashes involved speeding or aggressive behavior.
What Cities have the Highest Rate of Aggressive or Speeding-Related Fatal Crashes?
While most of the fatal crashes occurred in county areas outside of city limits, the study did find the following cities had the most crashes:
- Los Angeles: 86
- Dallas, TX: 66
- Chicago, IL: 59
- Phoenix, AZ: 42
- Charlotte, NC: 38
- San Antonio, TX: 34
- Milwaukee, WI: 33
- Middle Village, NY: 32
- Detroit, MI: 31
- Fort Worth, TX: 31
The Top Vehicles Involved in Speed-Related Fatal Crashes
When compiling data and comparing vehicles involved in speed-related crashes, it was clear speeders most often were driving Harley Davidson Motorcycles (433). While Chevrolet Silverado (345), Ford F-Series Pickup (332), Dodge Ram (195), and Honda Accord (191) rounded out the top five vehicles driven by speeders in fatal crashes, motorcycles were the top perpetrators.
Has the COVID-19 Pandemic Increased Road Rage?
This study is not the only study that showcases the prevalence in road rage and speed-related crashes in recent years. According to advocacy group Evertown for Gun Safety, the average number of road rage incidents in 2020 that involved a shooting increased to an average of 42 deaths or injured road users per month. Compared to the average four years prior, the average has doubled.
Experts believe that as the pandemic has affected people’s mental health as well economic security, it is possible it has also influenced their driving behaviors. While less drivers were on the road in 2020, riskier behavior led to the deadliest year for U.S. traffic crashes in over a decade, according to early estimates from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Fatal Crash Prevention Tips
Most accidents are not accidents; car crashes are almost always preventable. In light of the data highlighted in this piece, we want to promote safe driving behaviors and encourage safety for everyone on the road. Consider the following tips to mitigate your chances of a fatal car collision:
- Plan your route prior to driving.
- Avoid driving during heavy traffic times, if possible.
- Practice defensive driving.
- Give yourself an extra 15 minutes to get to your destination.
- Use proper signals.
- Avoid engaging with an aggressive driver.
- Leave the situation if you feel uncomfortable; take the first available exit.
- Choose a relaxing playlist or audiobook to help keep your mind calm.
Speeding and aggressive driving are both controllable actions. No one’s life is worth more than getting somewhere on time or “being right” in an altercation. Stay safe on the roads by putting safety first!