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Speeding: Still a major risk for all road users

Scenic Summer Drive. Mountain Road and Sunset Scenery From the Speeding Car. Scenic Road

Speeding is all too common – and easy to do. Georgia drivers are taught to adhere to the posted speed limit, but there are many factors that can influence road users. They may want to move with the flow of traffic, or they are running late. Some do not even realize they are driving over the speed limit at all.

It might be common to speed, but it is still incredibly dangerous.

Is speeding getting worse?

In April, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that with fewer vehicles on the road during the pandemic, more drivers are speeding – to the extreme. In just two weeks, State Troopers wrote 140 speeding tickets, with several of these for incidents of drivers going over 100 mph.

Speeding already considerably increases the chance of an accident, but such excessive speeding enhances that risk exponentially. While speeding-related deaths have decreased over the years, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) still reports that speeding:

  • Caused 9,378 deaths in 2018; and
  • Made up 26% of all traffic fatalities in 2017.

Since speeding is so common, it is easy for many drivers to overlook this risk, but it is critical that they do not do so.

What should drivers do?

First, drivers should not engage in speeding themselves. As common as it is, avoiding speeding is one of the most important steps drivers can take to prevent a crash – and therefore a serious injury – according to a 2019 study in Forbes.

However, even if drivers refrain from speeding, they will still come across other drivers speeding along the highways. What should they do then? Georgia drivers should ensure they:

  • Are aware of the speed limit, especially with the changes in Atlanta per the Vision Zero Campaign;
  • Keep a safe distance from all other road users, including pedestrians;
  • Move over if a speeding driver tailgates them to remain safe; and
  • Do not respond to aggressive behavior from speeding drivers.

This is also why drivers must always remain defensive behind the wheel. Being aware of one’s surroundings as well as the traffic laws can help drivers avoid the risk of a crash.