RALEIGH – State education leaders are teaming up with the N.C. Governor’s Highway Safety Program (NCGHSP) to help sound the alarm about speeding, one of the leading causes of death in children and a major cause of death for young adults.
“Speeding repeatedly tops the list of the central causes of preventable roadway deaths, especially among young adults,” said Mark Ezzell, NCGHSP Director.
Starting today until April 4th, the ‘Speed A Little. Lose A Lot.’ campaign will feature increased law enforcement patrols from agencies across the state working to prevent speeding.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), on average more than 9,000 lives are lost across America in speeding-related traffic crashes every year.
Sadly in North Carolina those numbers have been increasing.
By the numbers:
A report released today by NCDOT data analysts (full report attached) indicate that from 2019 to 2020 there was an 11 percent increase in speed related crash fatalities.
Young people ages 20-29 are most at risk.
From 2016 to 2020, males made up 75 percent of these fatalities.
In 2020 alone there were 416 speed-related deaths and 18,332 speed-related crashes.
Speeding was a contributing factor in 25 percent of all fatal crashes.
91 percent of speed-related fatalities occurred on non-interstate roads; the remainder were on interstates.
From 2016 to 2020, the majority, 27 percent, of speed related crash fatalities occurred in these counties:
A crash on a road with a speed limit of 65 miles per hour or greater is more than twice as likely to result in a fatality than a crash on a road with a speed limit of 45 or 50 mph, and nearly five times as likely as a crash on a road with a speed limit of 40 mph or below.
Between midnight and 3 a.m., 68 percent of speeding drivers involved in fatal crashes had been drinking.
NCGHSP is sharing a series of online videos: (elementary) (middle) (high school) (young adult) with educational institutions to use inside and outside of the classroom, as a tool to bring awareness to this issue and ultimately save lives.
“We’re teaching young people to seek higher education opportunities that will offer them job stability, career satisfaction and financial gain, but collectively we as a society need to help guide the behaviors that will help them live a healthy and safe life,” said North Carolina Community College President Thomas Stith III.
“Drivers must remember that our cars carry our most precious cargo – our children and our family members. Slowing down saves lives. We all must do better by paying attention to the speed limits,” said NC Parent Teacher Association President Harold C. Dixon.
“These numbers reveal that so many are in danger on a daily basis, especially our young people,” said UNC System President Peter Hans. “As educators, we want to spread this safety message to university students, so that they may thrive and live productive lives.”
“We truly hope sharing these safe driving messages with parents, teachers and students alike will help curb the violent roadway trends that are claiming thousands of lives,” said Catherine Truitt, State Superintendent of Public Instruction.
“Even one life lost to speeding is one too many. That’s why this series of videos, partnerships with education leaders and increased law enforcement presence is so important,” said Ezzell.
AAA Carolina’s shares these tips for encountering speeders on the roadway.
Transportation officials ask that you too share safe driving messages on social media using the hashtags #SpeedALittleLoseALot and follow @NCGHSP on Facebook and @NC_GHSP on Twitter and Instagram to help shift the culture of speeding.
For media inquiries, contact NCGHSP’s Communications Specialist Miracle King at 919-814-3657 or firstname.lastname@example.org.