Recommendations for vehicle-based approaches to prevent speeding (Road to Zero/IIHS)

Traffic Safety Pulse News

Speeding is a persistent safety problem that accounts for more than 25% of traffic fatalities each year. Over 12,000 lives were lost in speeding-related crashes in 2021 (Stewart, 2023). Vehicle speeds have increased since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and these higher speeds have contributed to the alarming increase in traffic deaths the United States has experienced since 2020 (Office of Behavioral Safety Research, 2021). NHTSA estimates that speeding-related crashes led to over $45 billion in costs annually from property damage, medical care, lost productivity and other effects (Blincoe et al., 2023).

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The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) adopted the Safe System Approach as its guiding paradigm for addressing roadway safety (2022). Safer speeds are central to designing a safe system that builds in redundancy and accounts for human vulnerability, as higher speeds increase the likelihood of both crashing and becoming seriously injured when a crash occurs. Safer speeds require designing roads with this objective in mind and setting and enforcing appropriate speed limits that consider all road users. Safer vehicles are another element of a safe system. In addition to protecting their occupants in a crash, safer vehicles are equipped with technology that can prevent or mitigate crashes. This includes technology that contributes to safer speeds. Read the recommendations for vehicle-based approaches to prevent speeding here.