How Many Oklahoma Auto Accidents Are Caused by Speeding?
A few years ago, we wrote an article investigating the role of speeding in Oklahoma car accidents. At the time, we found that speeding was responsible for roughly a third of all auto accident fatalities, not only in Oklahoma, but throughout the United States. Data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) revealed that, in Oklahoma, speeding was responsible for 221 deaths in 2008, 234 in 2009, 189 in 2010, 213 in 2011, and 218 in 2012. Now, our Cleveland County car accident lawyers examine the latest data to determine whether the problem is improving — or getting worse.
Speeding Kills, Injures Hundreds of Drivers in Oklahoma Every Year
NHTSA data indicates that nationwide, car accident deaths declined slightly from 2012 to 2013, decreasing by more than 1,000 from 33,782 to 32,719. Speed-related deaths declined at a slightly lower rate, decreasing by 716 from 10,329 in 2012 to 9,613 in 2013. Overall, the national percentage of auto accident deaths related to speeding decreased slightly from 31% to 29%. A total of 9,262 people nationwide were killed in speeding-related accidents in 2014, bringing the percentage down further from 29% to 28%. While the trend is moving in the right direction, too many lives are still claimed annually by preventable speed-related crashes.
According to NHTSA data, as well as a report by the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office (OHSO), a total of 678 people lost their lives in Oklahoma car accidents in 2013. (In a separate report on statewide accidents in 2013, OHSO found that 621 crashes were fatal, meaning some accidents killed more than one person.) In 2013, OHSO attributed just over a quarter of Oklahoma’s 678 accident fatalities — 174, or approximately 26% —to speeding, just slightly fewer than the national figure of 29%.
According to a more recent OHSO analysis, there were 589 fatal crashes in Oklahoma in 2014, resulting in 669 total fatalities. While there were 32 fewer fatal accidents in 2014, the number of fatalities decreased by only nine.
OHSO found that speeding was involved in 9,034 out of the 68,327 crashes in Oklahoma in 2014 (13.2%). That year, unsafe speeds were a cause or contributing factor in:
- 123 out of 589 fatal crashes (almost 21%).
- 131 out of 669 car accident fatalities (about 19.6%).
OHSO has yet to release statewide crash facts for 2015. However, the available OHSO data for 2015 reveals that:
- 645 people were killed in car accidents, 24 fewer than in 2014.
- 159 people were killed in crashes related to speeding, making speeding responsible for 24.7% of the traffic fatalities reported in 2015.
- Speeding also played a role in causing 597 incapacitating injuries, as well as an additional 2,251 non-incapacitating injuries.
Percentage-wise, these numbers represent an improvement from previous years. As we found in our original article, speeding was a factor in 31% of the Oklahoma crash fatalities reported in both 2012 and 2011.
While government initiatives like harsher speeding penalties and lower speed limits can help cut down on speeding-related deaths and injuries, human behavior will always be a decisive factor. To quote an NHTSA press release from 2013, “Despite acknowledging the safety benefits of speed limits and reasons drivers should follow them, more than a quarter of those surveyed admitted ‘speeding is something I do without thinking’ and ‘I enjoy the feeling of driving fast.’ Further, 16% felt that ‘driving over the speed limit is not dangerous for skilled drivers.’”
All drivers can commit — or be victimized by — speeding. However, excessive speed is an especially prominent risk among:
- Teen drivers, who lack experience and may be trying to impress their friends.
- Intoxicated drivers, who are more likely to engage in risky driving behaviors than sober motorists. Our attorneys have handled many drunk driving accident claims in Oklahoma which involved excessive speeds.
Hurt in an Auto Accident Caused by Speeding? Call Our Norman Car Crash Lawyers
If you or one of your family members was injured in a car accident caused by a speeding driver, you may have a right to get compensated. Oklahoma is a fault state, which means negligent drivers are responsible when they cause careless, preventable accidents.
When you are represented by the Oklahoma vehicular accident attorneys of Hasbrook & Hasbrook, we will compile evidence and build a strategy designed to show that the other driver was to blame for your accident. We will also protect you during settlement negotiations with the at-fault driver’s insurer, so that you don’t get bullied or deceived into accepting a settlement offer that doesn’t adequately address your family’s financial needs.
To set up a free legal consultation with Hasbrook & Hasbrook, call our law offices right away at (405) 698-3040. Our lawyers in OKC have more than 75 years of combined experience handling accident claims involving head-on collisions, intersection accidents, rear-end collisions, lane change accidents, parking lot accidents, and many other types of crashes. While our offices are based in Oklahoma City, we handle auto accident claims throughout the metropolitan area and surrounding counties.