Fast & Furious: Analysis of Fatal Collisions Involving Speed and Road Rage

Car collisions are unfortunately common. The Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported 13 car accidents occur somewhere in the United States every 60 seconds.

Every 16 minutes, a car crash occurs that results in death. But how many of these collisions involved speed and road rage? Despite progressive advancements in automotive safety, fatal collisions due to speeding and aggressive driving still occur and lead to lawsuit loans

A recent analysis of National High Traffic Safety Administration fatal crash data reveals harrowing details of the prevalence of these types of fatal crashes: 25% of fatal crashes in the United States involved unsafe speed or aggressive driving.

What is Aggressive Driving?

Road rage, also called aggressive driving, can take many forms. Offensive hand gestures, physical threats, profanity, tailgating, break checking, weaving, and speeding can all be classified as road rage behavior. 

In a AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety survey, 80% of drivers expressed significant anger or aggression behind the wheel over the course of a year. The most common type of aggressive behavior was purposefully tailgating (51%, 104 million drivers). 

While common, engaging in aggressive driving behaviors is not safe. Aggressive driving is incredibly dangerous and could have fatal consequences for everyone sharing the road. 

Which States Had the Highest and Lowest Number of Fatal Crashes Involving Speed or Aggression?

Texas (878) and California (848) had the highest number of fatal crashes with the given criteria, but are also the two states with the country’s highest populations. To accurately examine the available data, the study evaluates crashes off of percentages to provide insight into which states have more or less fatal crashes with speed or aggression as a factor.

The ten states with the highest rates include:

  1. Alaska: 54%
  2. District of Columbia: 50%
  3. New Hampshire: 46%
  4. Rhode Island: 45%
  5. South Carolina: 43%
  6. Hawaii: 43%
  7. Illinois: 42%
  8. Vermont: 38%
  9. Missouri: 38%
  10. Montana: 38%

The ten states with the lowest rates include:

  1. Mississippi: 7%
  2. Florida: 9%
  3. Nebraska: 11%
  4. Kentucky: 15%
  5. Tennessee: 16%
  6. Louisiana: 17%
  7. Georgia: 18%
  8. Iowa: 19%
  9. New Jersey: 20%
  10. Idaho: 21%

Which Types of Vehicles Are Driven by “Speeders” in Fatal Crashes?

When examining the available data, motorcycles were commonly involved in fatal crashes that involved speed. The most common vehicles involved in a speed-related fatal crashes are as follows:

  1. Harley Davidson Motorcycle (750cc or greater): 433 
  2. Chevrolet Silverado: 345
  3. Ford F-Series Pickup: 332
  4. Dodge Ram: 195
  5. Honda Accord: 191
  6. Honda Civic: 182
  7. Suzuki Motorcycle (750cc or greater): 168
  8. Toyota Camry: 134
  9. Ford Mustang: 124
  10. Honda Motorcycle (750cc or greater): 120

Tips to Prevent Aggressive Driving or Speeding

Car crashes are almost always preventable, especially if they involve speeding or aggressive driving behavior. Whether you are rushing or feel emotionally overwhelmed, nothing is worth more than someone’s life. The aftermath of a fatal crash involving speeding and road rage cannot be undone.

If you are prone to speeding or aggressive driving, consider the following tips:

  • Leave 15 to 20 minutes earlier than normal to account for any traffic or street closures
  • Map your route prior to driving
  • Leave before or after major traffic times
  • Listen to calming sounds
  • Give the road your full and undivided attention

If you encounter a dangerous driver on the road, consider these tips:

  • Avoid engaging in any type of response with the aggressive driver
  • Do not take anything personally
  • If possible, get as far away from the aggressive driver as possible
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