July 18, 2015

Danger: 23 Speeding Statistics and Facts

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Is that really the average cost of a speeding ticket? Read on for 23 head-spinning speeding facts and statistics, including how many traffic tickets are issued each day.

© David Lofink (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

Living in the fast lane might mean having a little more fun, but it can also land you in trouble with the law if you get pulled over for speeding. Seeing those flashing blue lights in your rear view mirror is never a welcome sight, especially if it's not your first time getting pulled over. In some states, racking up multiple speeding tickets can mean losing your license or even going to jail. If you like to keep the pedal to the medal, CreditDonkey has collected some facts and statistics on speeding that might make you want to put on the brakes.

HOW SPEEDING TICKETS ADD UP

Getting a speeding ticket is one of the easiest ways to turn a good day into a bad one. Aside from the cost of the ticket itself, there's the added hassle of going to court to resolve the matter. If you're wondering just how often cops are pulling out those citation books, here are some eye-opening numbers to consider.

  1. How many people are issued speeding tickets each day?
    Speeding is one of the most common traffic violations that people engage in. About 112,000 drivers on average are ticketed for going too fast each day. Drivers have roughly a 1 in 6 shot at getting nabbed for speeding.

  2. How many speeding tickets go out each year?
    Almost 41 million speeding tickets are issued in the U.S. each year, which comes out to about 1 each second.

  3. What's the average cost of a speeding ticket?
    While it's up to each state to determine how much to charge wayward drivers for speeding, estimates put the national average cost at somewhere between $115 and $135. Your insurance rates, however, can spike as much as 18% after the first ticket and 34% after a second.

  4. How much revenue do speeding tickets generate annually?
    Based on that average range for ticket costs and the number of tickets issued each year, speeders generate anywhere from $3.8 billion to $5.4 billion a year in revenue.

  5. What's the most expensive speeding ticket ever issued?
    One Swedish driver found out the hard way just how much driving fast can cost. In 2010, he snagged a $290,000 fine after being caught driving his Ferrari Testarossa at 85 mph through a village.

  6. What percentage of drivers contest a speeding fine?
    According to one survey, 50% of drivers say they've taken their speeding ticket case to court. Overall, 39% were successfully able to have the ticket reduced or tossed out altogether.

WHO GETS THE MOST TICKETS?

If you've never gotten a speeding ticket, you're either an extremely cautious driver or you're simply better at flying under the radar of law enforcement. We were curious about which drivers are more likely to get a ticket and how often they're able to dodge them.

  1. What car model is ticketed most often?
    Hipsters beware - that Subaru you're driving may earn you a traffic citation. Research shows that the Subaru WRX is the most ticketed car on the road, accounting for nearly 34% of all traffic violations.

  2. Which is the least ticketed?
    Strangely enough, people who drive Dodge Vipers score the lowest number of speeding tickets, with just over 5% of all moving violations.

  3. Does gender influence whether you get a speeding ticket?
    In general, men are more likely to get a traffic ticket, including speeding tickets. Among drivers who report having gotten at least one speeding ticket, 41% are men while 28% are women.

  4. Who's better at talking themselves out of a speeding citation?
    Sometimes all it takes is saying the right thing to wiggle your way out of a speeding ticket, but men seem to have more success. About 56% of male drivers say they've been able to avoid getting a ticket, compared to 43% of women.

  5. How often do drivers lie to avoid a fine?
    About 5% of drivers admit to fibbing about an emergency to dodge a speeding ticket. Six percent say they cried, 8% have tried to flirt their way out of it and 14% pretended not to know they were speeding in the first place.

SPEEDING AND TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS

Driving above the speed limit isn't just bad for your wallet; it can also be extremely hazardous to your physical well-being. Speed is one of the most-cited causes of car accidents in the U.S. and certain drivers stand a higher chance of being involved in a crash than others.

  1. What percentage of traffic fatalities are caused by speeding?
    Speed definitely impacts the odds of a car accident turning fatal. About 30% of all traffic deaths that occur each year are caused by a speeding driver.

  2. How many people die in speeding-related accidents each year?
    The number of speed-related traffic deaths has declined steadily over the last decade and in 2013, the total number dipped to about 9,600. That averages out to around 800 people per month.

  3. How much do speeding-related accidents cost?
    Accidents caused by speeding don't just cost the people involved; it's estimated that their total economic impact averages about $40 billion a year.

  4. Who is most likely to be involved in a fatal speeding-related accident?
    Young men are most often behind the wheel when a speeding-related accident results in a traffic death. In 2011, 39% of male drivers aged 15 to 20 and 37% of those aged 21 to 24 involved in fatal crashes were speeding at the time the accident occurred.

  5. Which drivers are least likely to do so?
    Seniors have the lowest incidence of fatal speeding-related accidents. Among the 55 to 64 crowd, men were involved 14% of fatal crashes that occurred in 2011, compared to 7% for women.

  6. How often is alcohol a factor?
    Drinking and driving is dangerous enough but it becomes even more of a risk when you add high speeds into the mix. In 2011, 42% of drivers who crashed after speeding had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher.

  7. Which speeding drivers are most likely to be impaired?
    Once again, it's younger drivers who tend to be most prone to speeding-related accidents when alcohol is involved. Just over 50% of drivers aged 21 to 24 reported having a BAC of 0.08% or more.

  8. Where do most speeding-related crashes occur?
    Interestingly, the majority of accidents where speed is a contributing cause don't occur on major highways. Approximately 35% of speed-related crashes in 2013 happened along minor roads versus 30% for interstates and freeways.

HOW THE STATES COMPARE

Since the national speed limit was repealed in 1995, it's been left up to the states to set their own guidelines for speeding. To finish up our research, we took a look at which states are the most lenient and which ones are the biggest speed traps.

  1. Which state allows drivers to drive the fastest?
    Texas is home to big stretches of open road; along certain parts of the highway, drivers are allowed to clock in at 85 miles per hour. Wyoming, Utah and Idaho have speed limits of up to 80 mph on some interstates.

  2. Which state reports the most speeding-related fatalities?
    Those higher speed limits make the Lone Star state the most dangerous for drivers who choose to speed. There were 1,165 speed-related traffic deaths in Texas in 2011, which is nearly 12% of the nationwide total for that year.

  3. Which state has the highest speeding fines?
    If you live in Virginia or you're just passing through, watch out. It might be for lovers but it's definitely not for speeders, who can end up with a fine of up to $3,000 if they are caught.

  4. Where are speeding tickets least expensive?
    If you're going to get a speeding ticket, Tennessee is the best place to do it. Fines here average about $50, which is a relatively small price to pay.

CONCLUSION

Speeding is an all-around bad idea, especially for younger drivers (as the data demonstrates). Breaking the speeding habit can be tough but learning to slow down a little can save you money and potentially even your life.

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