Mind Your Speed
By Becky Perlaky
Back in the early 1960s, “Speed kills” was the simple slogan of a government program encouraging drivers to slow down. When it comes to fatalities related to high-speed collisions, the truth of that slogan was undeniable when it was rolled out. Cars at the time provided little crash protection and lacked seat belts. In fact, some vehicle features actually increased the chance of deadly injuries.
Today, thanks to a range of safety-related features like air bags and collision-avoidance technology, you are far more likely to avoid or survive a high-speed crash than back in the 60s. KAG recognizes the importance of driver-safety technology and continues to spec our vehicles with collision-mitigation systems.
Lytx, the world’s leading provider of video telematics, analytics and safety solutions, recently released its “State of the Data” report, based on 100 billion miles of driving. Speed violations and insufficient following distance remained two of the Top 10 driving behaviors that correlate to increased collision risk. Lytx and other organizations that track driving accidents found that the frequency of these driving behaviors increased from 2017 to 2018.
Multiple studies completed for National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as far back as 1990 reveal that 75 percent of drivers report they drive over the speed limit. More current data shows that, on average, nearly a third of drivers are speeding at any given time. That’s 63.6 million drivers speeding! Speed was a contributing factor in 26% of all fatal crashes in 2017. NTHSA has stated speeding is not just aggressive driving, it’s deadly driving; and speeders account for every 3 out of 10 drivers.
In addition to reducing injuries and fatalities, reducing speed and its related accidents also provides big savings. Nationwide, employers pay a total of about $60 billion/year for collisions. And OSHA says the cost of a car-related fatality averages $500,000, but can exceed $1 million, depending on the circumstances and severity.
Given the strong connection between increased speed and increased accidents, encouraging drivers to slow down is a prime focus in efforts to improve highway safety. A 2015 driver-safety slogan advised drivers to “Stop Speeding Before It Stops You.”
Driver safety remains a core KAG value,one that we encourage all of our employees to put into practice, whether they’re heading home from work or hauling a cross-country load. Driving at safe speeds and remaining focused is the foundation of any defensive driving program. This gives drivers more time to react to events on the roads and results in less-severe crashes when they occur.
Let’s all commit to safer driving and especially obeying speed limits. It is a continuous message and expectation of members of the KAG team.