Speeding Fatalities, Injuries Down in Oklahoma, but Still a Big Problem

Oklahoma Car Crash Trends: Part 5

Speeding continues to be a major cause of traffic fatalities and injuries in Oklahoma. In 2013, 155 people were killed in our state in car crashes that involved unsafe speeds.  That’s almost a fourth (23%) of the 678 total roadway fatalities in our state last year.

An additional almost 5,700 people experienced injuries in crashes caused by unsafe speed on Oklahoma highways and roads. The combined total of people killed and injured in unsafe speed crashes is 17% of total fatalities and injuries.

Although drunk driving garners much more media attention, speeding causes almost as much death and destruction in our state:

  • The 155 unsafe speed fatalities compares to 189 alcohol-related fatalities in 2013. That’s 24% compared to 28% of the total.
  • There were 5,853 fatalities and injuries occurring in unsafe speed crashes, compared to 7,126 occurring in alcohol-related crashes.

Some Good News in the Car Accident Numbers

As with several other statistics I have reviewed in previous posts of this series on “Oklahoma Car Crashes Trends,” there is some good news regarding speeding to be found in Oklahoma’s most recent official traffic statistics.

For one thing, the number of fatalities caused by unsafe speeds is down significantly. Take a look at the last five years in Oklahoma:

year fatalities in crashes involving unsafe speeds pct. of total fatalities
2013 155 23%
2012 192 27%
2011 177 25%
2010 163 24%
2009 213 30%

Who are the Speeders?

Who are the ones doing the speeding? Drivers in their 20s. In traffic fatalities in which unsafe speed was a contributing factor, 31% of the drivers were ages 20-29. Another 17% were age 30-39, and 16% ages 40-49.  That’s 64% of the total.

Does gender play a role in fatalities and injuries caused by speeding? Absolutely.

In traffic fatalities in which unsafe speed was a contributing factor, 73%(!) of the drivers were males. In crashes in which unsafe speed was a contributing factor and someone was injured (but not killed), 59% of the drivers were men.

If you need to get from point A to B without killing or injuring someone, your best bet is a female driver in her 50s.

In case you were wondering, there is not a strong correlation between alcohol and speeding, at least when it comes to car crashes. Only 5% of the drivers who were driving at unsafe speeds in fatality or injury crashes were also found to be drunk or driving while intoxicated.

By the way, driving at an “unsafe speed,” in the state’s official vocabulary, does not always mean exceeding the legal limit. It also includes driving at an unsafe speed on a curve or turn, on a wet, icy or snowy roadway or driving at an unsafe speed for existing traffic conditions, even when in compliance with the speed limit.

Newly Released Car Crash Statistics

Earlier this year, the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office released several hundred pages of statistics about vehicle Oklahoma car crashes in 2013. I have been studying those reports and commenting on what the data reveals about the safety of Oklahoma roads. In the first post of this blog series, I provided links to the OHSA publications. At the bottom of that post, I also provided titles and links to all of the posts in this blog series on Oklahoma Car Crash Trends.

More Information from our Car Accident Attorneys

Hasbrook and Habrook has been interested in Oklahoma traffic safety for many years, so you will find a lot of information and resources on our website. A great place to start is the video, content and links for information on how our Oklahoma City car accident lawyer can help.

If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or you have lost a loved one in a car accident, we are here to help you obtain the compensation you need and deserve. For a free consultation, contact us at phone: 866-416-4737, email: cth@hasbrooklaw.com or use our online contact form: Contact Us.