Speeding-related motor vehicle accidents are those in which the crash occurred at least in part because the driver was racing, driving above the speed limit or going too fast for conditions. Fatalities that happen as a result of motor vehicle accidents caused by speeding are on the decline compared to a decade ago, but speeding remains a serious issue in Louisiana and across the country. In 2018, it was a factor in more than one-quarter of traffic deaths.
Speed, age and sex
Younger drivers are more likely to cause speed-related crashes. In all age groups, female drivers speed less than male drivers do. The most likely demographic group to be speeding when a fatal motor vehicle accident occurs is male drivers who are 15-24 in age. The incidence of speeding-related deadly crashes decreases with increasing age, with fewer than 10% of drivers 75 and over involved in fatal accidents with excessive speed as a factor.
Road surface and alcohol use
Road conditions and alcohol consumption can both exacerbate the dangerous effects of speeding. Just 16% of the drivers in deadly crashes in 2018 were on dry roads. In contrast, more than one-third were on roads that had snow or slush on them. Almost half of drivers were on mud, dirt or gravel roads. Wet roads, roads with standing water or water moving over them and roads with ice or frost also presented hazards. Among drivers aged 25 to 44 who are in deadly speed-related motor vehicle accidents, more than 40% are also under the influence of alcohol. Just 22% of drivers younger than 21 are and less than one-third in the 55 to 64 age group. The percentage of drivers in speed-related fatal crashes who are also alcohol-impaired continues to fall with age.
Even when a crash is not fatal, passengers and other drivers may suffer catastrophic injuries, including traumatic brain injury and broken bones. Drivers who cause a motor vehicle accident might owe compensation to individuals who are injured. This compensation can be critical for people who may have long recovery periods ahead or who may never recover permanently.