Open Roads are not a Reason to Speed

By Member Jennifer Homendy

This past week, law enforcement officials across the United States, including in Indiana, Minnesota, and Virginia, took to social media to express their concern about the increased number of motorists speeding on the nation’s currently less-crowded roads.

In Minnesota, Governor Tim Walz reported that state officials have seen a “troubling surge” in traffic fatalities, even though stay-at-home orders have sharply reduced travel. The Minnesota Office of Traffic Safety reports that there have been 24 fatal crashes in Minnesota since March 16, resulting in 28 deaths, compared to 12 crashes resulting in 13 deaths during the same time period last year.

Just because the roads are clear, doesn’t mean you can—or should—speed.

In 2017, we issued a report, Reducing Speeding-Related Crashes Involving Passenger Vehicles, which emphasized that speeding increases the likelihood of being involved in a crash and intensifies the severity of injuries sustained in a crash. Although research shows speeding impacts all road users, it’s particularly dangerous for the most vulnerable, such as pedestrians and bicyclists. As mentioned in our report, more than 40 percent of the more than 300,000 people who sustained nonfatal injuries due to speeding in 2014 were pedestrians, bicyclists, or occupants of nonspeeding vehicles.

Trying to save a few minutes to get to your destination, isn’t worth the risk of a crash. At this time, we should all be working together to lessen the burden on our already overtaxed law enforcement officials, emergency responders, and medical personnel. Don’t assume that because the roads are fairly empty these days, you’re safe to drive dangerously. If you must go out, be safe. We’re all in this together.


Implement a Comprehensive Strategy to Reduce Speeding-Related Crashes is on the NTSB 2019-2020 Most Wanted List.  



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