Mar 20, 2015 - SAFETY BULLETIN: SPEEDING AND IMPAIRED DRIVING, A DEADLY COMBINATION

Danger is amplified when speeding and driver impairment are combined.

Individuals driving over the speed limit or while impaired pose a very serious threat to their safety and to the safety of others on the roadways. Such danger is further amplified when speeding and driver impairment are combined.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) considers a crash to be speeding-related if the driver is charged with a speeding-related offense, or if the responding officer demonstrates that the driver was going too fast for the road conditions at the time or was exceeding the posted speed limit. This can have dangerous consequences including:

  • Reducing a driver’s ability to negotiate curves or maneuver around obstacles in the roadway;
  • Extending the distance traveled before a vehicle can stop;
  • Increasing the distance a vehicle travels while the driver reacts to a hazard;
  • Increasing the risk of crashes and injuries because other vehicles and pedestrians may not be able to judge distance correctly.

When a driver couples dangerous speeds with impairment due to drugs and/or alcohol, they further diminish their ability to safely navigate the roadways. According to NHTSA, in 2012, 42 percent of speeding drivers had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher in fatal crashes, compared to only 16 percent of non-speeding drivers involved in fatal crashes. Furthermore, the 2012 statistics showed that this percentage is elevated during nighttime hours. Between midnight and 3 a.m., 69 percent of speeding drivers involved in fatal crashes were alcohol impaired (BAC = .08+) as compared to 43 percent of non-speeding drivers.

Due to high rates of fatal co-occurrence, it is important that law enforcement agencies address these traffic safety issues both separately and together. More information on these issues can be found on the NHTSA website, which includes the 2012 survey.

Source: Western Springs Patch


 

Last updated on: 2015-03-27 | Link to this post