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Who speeds and why do they do it?

By Marc A. Johnston, posted in Car Accidents on November 5, 2014

Virtually everyone who has driven a motor vehicle has at one time or another exceeded the speed limit. But there are some of us who regularly drive above the speed limit, often putting others at danger of violent, high-velocity car accidents that cause injuries or loss of life.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has for some time studied the problem of speeding, trying to figure out who is most likely to do it, why they do it, and what can be done to slow them down.

In 2012, the NHTSA issued the first of several reports on the subject of speeding, hoping to identify whey people speed, if they can be categorized by demographics and how they are best slowed.

What the NHTSA found is that it’s more difficult to predict who will speed than it might appear. That is, demographic factors (gender, age, socioeconomic status, etc.) are not the best predictors of speeding.

While it is true, the NHTSA says, that younger drivers, especially male, are more likely than members of other demographic groups to speed, they are by no means alone.

For some drivers who regularly exceed speed limits, you can simply toss demographics aside. That’s because these drivers share attitudes and beliefs that cut across gender, age and other cultural identifiers. The drivers tend to believe that speed limits are minimum speeds set by law enforcement agencies for the worst drivers.

These regular speeders believe they are driving safely and appropriately, though they regularly go faster than posted speeds. When discussing their speeding, they will often point out that they were doing it on wide roads with good visibility.

There are also situational speeders: those who infrequently speed, unless certain conditions are present. These conditions often involve the type of road they are on, the time of day and the day of the week (they are more likely to rev it up on weekends than during the week).

We will take another look at the report on speeding in a future post.

If you have been injured in a car accident caused by speeding, you can speak with an experienced Portland personal injury attorney about the facts of your case.

Marc Johnston
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