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Which Is More Dangerous: Speeding or Aggressive Driving?

Craig McClellan

Speeding is often overlooked by the public as a serious source of danger for drivers; however, aggressive driving is viewed as a dangerous practice according to surveys. Ironically, studies show that nearly one third of all fatal car accidents are due to speeding—but studies are also having difficulty pinpointing just how many car accidents are due to aggressive driving. Perhaps this is speeding could arguably be defined as a type of aggressive driving.

What Is Aggressive Driving?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines aggressive driving as, “a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property.” Further, the NHTSA’s Fatal Accident Report system found that aggressive driving played a role in more than half of crashes, with speeding being the primary factor. Many think aggressive driving speaks more to the attitude of the driver, rather than the action of the driver. This is incorrect.

Aggressive driving is not limited only to road rage, but also includes the following:

  • Improper or erratic lane changing
  • Illegal driving on road shoulder, in ditch, or on sidewalk
  • Passing where prohibited
  • Failure to yield right of way
  • Failure to signal
  • Excessive speed
  • Racing
  • Improper turning
  • Operating the vehicle in a careless and erratic manner

Aggressive driving is sometimes more obvious than speeding, and the sudden movements and careless decisions of aggressive drivers can scare other drivers on the road. While speeding is just as dangerous, less drivers seem find it alarming. Why?

Speeding: Everyone Does It

Results point to the public having an apathetic view on speeding. After all, speeding tickets are one of the most common traffic violations among drivers. It seems to be a case of, "well everyone speeds, so what is the big deal?" In 2014, 9,262 people died in speeding-related crashes; this made up 28% of all traffic fatalities.

A great deal of technology is available to help reduce speeding issues, but few states have implemented the most up-to-date technology (technologies that have proven successful in other countries). Most states use radar and laser devices to detect speed, but when it comes to reducing speeds for safety reasons, the Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA) suggests that automated speed enforcement cameras could be more valuable.

Furthermore, in its report, the GHSA proposes that that states and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) should start to educate the public more about aggressive driving behavior, including speeding.

Reach Out to Our San Diego Car Accident Attorneys Today

The first step to curbing any societal problem is nationwide education on the topic. Spread the word about the dangers of speeding and aggressive driving to better your chances of avoiding a car accident. If you are injured in an accident, talk to the San Diego car accident lawyers at The McClellan Law Firm for legal advice and aggressive help in obtaining just compensation.