Speeding Is a Major Factor in Car Accidents, but Drivers Still Aren’t Slowing Down

Abstract of a car speeding on a North Carolina highway. Motion blurs the background.

Traffic safety experts say reckless driving may be the 'new normal.'

Speeding car accidents became increasingly common nationwide during the pandemic in 2020. Two years later, car crashes caused by speeding drivers have become "the new normal," according to a recent driver trend study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

"The empty roads probably tempted pandemic-stressed drivers to put the pedal down," said Jessica Cicchino, vice president of research at IIHS. "But information collected since the lockdowns ended and the roads filled back up suggests that risky driving has become the new normal."

Speeding car accidents spiked in 2021.

The recent IIHS study focused on motor vehicle accidents caused by drivers in Virginia over the past three years. But even though the study only focused on Virginia drivers, other traffic safety studies have confirmed that speeders have become a leading cause of car accidents in states across the nation.

According to the IIHS study, 50 percent more people drove at least 10 miles per hour over the speed limit from March 2020 to June 2020 compared to the same four-month period in 2019.

Researchers blamed the increase due to fewer drivers on the road as a result of pandemic travel restrictions in early 2020. However, the number of car accidents caused by speeders continued to be a problem in 2020 and 2021.

Due to speeding and "other forms of risky driving," including not wearing a seatbelt, car accident fatalities increased nationwide by 7 percent in 2020 compared to the year before. The year after, car accident deaths increased by an additional 10.5 percent nationwide. According to The Associated Press, that increase is the largest single-year increase in car accident fatalities since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began collecting such data in 1975.

Speeders wreak havoc in North Carolina.

Like the rest of the country, North Carolina has seen an upsurge in car accident fatalities due to speeding in the past three years. According to the NHTSA, in 2019, speeders killed 331 people in North Carolina car accidents. The following year, roadway fatalities increased by 47.7 percent due to speeding drivers.

Last year, car accident fatalities in North Carolina reached a record high of 1,755 deaths. That figure is 14.1 percent higher than the state's car accident death toll in 2020 (when 1,538 people died in crashes) and the most fatalities for a single year since 2007.

Learn how a North Carolina car accident attorney can help.

If a speeding driver crashed into your car, you might think you don't need a car accident lawyer to handle your claim because your case is straightforward. But nothing is ever straightforward when dealing with an insurance company. Sometimes, it's because the other driver denies doing anything wrong and tries to blame you for the crash. Other times, the insurance company makes a lowball settlement offer that doesn't even come close to covering the losses suffered.

At Brent Adams & Associates, we know the law and understand how the legal system works in North Carolina. We have years of experience handling tough cases throughout the state and can fight for your rights throughout every step of the process.

Put our knowledge, experience, and resources to work for you. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with a North Carolina car accident attorney. We have offices in Raleigh, Fayetteville, Dunn, and Southern Pines, North Carolina. We also work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay no fees unless we obtain a financial settlement or verdict for you. Call us today to learn more.

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