Statement of Cathy Chase, President, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, on New Data Revealing More than 12,000 People Killed in Speeding-Related Crashes
(Washington, D.C. | July 10, 2023) The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released new data on the tremendously deadly impact of speeding. In 2021, 12,330 people were killed in speeding-related crashes, nearly a third of the nearly 43,000 people killed on our Nation’s roadways. That’s the highest number of speeding-related fatalities since 2007. Another estimated 328,946 road users suffered speeding-related injuries in 2021.
While we commend NHTSA for issuing Notices of Proposed Rulemakings (NPRM) for automatic emergency braking (AEB) for new cars and trucks, which will help to curb crashes caused by a myriad of safety issues including excessive speed, our Nation’s leaders can and should do more now to protect road users inside and outside of vehicles.
It’s clear speed kills and injures, but solutions are ripe for action. Even small decreases in speed have been shown to reduce the toll of crashes, especially on vulnerable road users (VRUs) such as pedestrians, those using assistive devices and bicyclists. States and localities can reduce speed limits on their roadways, especially those with a high number of VRUs, and employ speed safety cameras to augment traditional speed enforcement. Also, infrastructure changes to promote safety such as road diets, roundabouts, accessible sidewalks and protected bike lanes, should be prioritized. In addition, states and localities should equip their fleet vehicles with intelligent speed assistance (ISA), a vehicle-based speed-curbing technology.
Advocates joined America Walks, Families for Safe Streets and others to launch the Safer Fleets Challenge to encourage states and localities to take this action, and we recently sent a letter to U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Pete Buttigieg urging him to require ISA systems on new vehicles. Additionally, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) must work with NHTSA to expeditiously complete the 2016 rulemaking to require all new commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) be equipped with speed-limiting technology.
During COVID many empty roadways became “racetracks.” Subsequently, this dangerous behavior continued when motorists returned to commuting and pre-pandemic traffic patterns. It is time to “put the brakes” on speeding and save lives with proven solutions.
Media Contact: Helen Jonsen