Drivers admit they feel it's fine to speed in some situations

Written by
Abraham Jaros
Updated on Monday, Sep 4, 2023

Speeding is illegal because it causes accidents and makes those crashes more likely to be deadly than if they happened at lower speeds.

Drivers know it, and they agree with the laws overall. As common as speeding is, one study reported that 90 percent of drivers who were asked said that people should follow the limits.

However, those same drivers were then asked if it was important for a driver to match his or her speed to the flow of traffic. Nearly the same amount — 89 percent — agreed that they should. A full 55 percent of them were younger drivers, while 43 percent were older or middle-aged drivers, showing that young people in particular felt that going at the speed of traffic around them was important.

This, naturally, raises some important questions and points out a critical area of tension. If the flow of traffic is 10 mph over the speed limit, should drivers obey the limit or match that flow? They can’t do both.

Drivers were then asked if they felt that certain situations made it fine to break the law and the speed limit. Of the younger drivers, 50 percent said it was. Those in the middle age group agreed 46 percent of the time, while a mere 26 percent of the drivers in the oldest age bracket though it was acceptable.

These answers do shed some light on why people continue to speed, even though they know the risks and technically think that the law should be followed. They’re willing to make exceptions. When they do and accidents are the result, it’s important for those who have been injured to know what legal options they have.

Source: NHTSA, “Matching Countermeasures to Driver Types and Speeding Behavior," C.M. Richard et al., accessed Jan. 11, 2018

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