The Traffic Group

Speeding and Automobile Fatalities – A Global Problem

The Thailand government has set an ambitious goal of reducing road fatalities by nearly two-thirds within five years, although officials acknowledge that the effort could be challenging. According to the World Health Organization, Thailand has the ninth-highest rate of road fatalities in the world, with 32.7 deaths per 100,000 people.

The young are particularly at risk with an average of 59 people aged 15–19 being injured every day in powered two-wheeler crashes on Thailand’s roads. A lack of rider training is an issue, and the country’s road safety problem is getting worse. Road deaths caused by speeding have also seen an increase of 4%. In addition, the increase in driving under the influence of drugs could actually negate any attempts to reduce Thailand’s annual death toll.

Meanwhile, since cannabis use was legalized in various U.S. states, there has been an increase in crashes involving drivers under the influence of marijuana.

What is worse, marijuana or speeding? We’re seeing a shift throughout the world where speeding is getting worse and in turn causing a higher mortality rate per 100,000 people.

New figures from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that nearly 43,000 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2021. This is the highest casualty rate since 2005, with an average of 117 people per day being killed on U.S. roads.

If that were being advertised as deaths by guns, there would be an outrage like we have never seen in the United States.

The 2021 early estimates suggest crash deaths rose by over 10% in 2021 compared to 2020. This increase is the biggest annual increase in the nearly five-decade history (50 years) of the fatality analysis reporting system by NHTSA.

Several types of roadway deaths are up, including 13% more pedestrian deaths, 16% more deaths on urban roads, and speed-related crashes are up 5%.

“An increase in dangerous driving/speeding, distracted driving, and drug and alcohol impaired driving, not buckling up during the pandemic, combined with roads designed for speed instead of safety has wiped out 15 years of progress in reducing traffic crashes, injuries, and deaths,” according to the Senior Director of Policy and Government Relations of the Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA).

“We can never accept these deaths as simply the price of mobility and convenience.” Russ Mardin, Senior Director at the GHSA goes on to state that “most roadway deaths are preventable. We know the root causes of most traffic deaths and what we need to do to address those causes.”

There is story after story relating to traffic fatalities and speeding. The time has come to do something positive and meaningful about speeding.