Statement on NTSB Study: Reducing Speeding-Related Crashes Involving Passenger Vehicles

Today, after the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released recommendations from a new report aimed at reducing speeding-related injuries and fatalities, The National Complete Streets Coalition made the following statement:

“The National Complete Streets Coalition thanks NTSB for taking aim at the critical issue of speeding-related crashes that injure and kill far too many Americans each year — including many on foot or bike. We hope this report will continue to bring attention to the important yet often overlooked role of speeding in traffic injuries and fatalities for everyone who uses our streets.

Over the last decade, speed has consistently been associated with about 30 percent of traffic fatalities annually, and addressing that will help reduce auto-related injuries and fatalities. Speed is also the most important variable in how likely someone is to survive a crash. For people on foot, the likelihood of surviving a crash decreases rapidly after 30 mph; older adults are 47% likely to experience fatalities at this speed. Between 2005 and 2014, Americans were more likely to die while walking than from a natural disaster. But our Pedestrian Danger Index shows that people of color, older adults, and low-income populations are both overrepresented in pedestrian deaths and disproportionately subject to dangerous walking conditions.

We believe the “safe systems approach” that considers crash experience, speed limits, and vulnerability of people walking and bicycling will help produce a comprehensive solution for reducing crashes that benefits everyone — not just those driving. Unfortunately, previous approaches to addressing speeding have negatively impacted traffic safety. Previous solutions include the 85th percentile speed limit rule that does not account for the dangers of speeding or unintended consequences on pedestrian injuries and fatalities.

The Coalition promotes policies and practices that ensure streets are designed to account for the safety of all road users regardless of mode of transportation, age, ability, race, or income. This NTSB safety study is a crucial first step in highlighting what can be done to prevent traffic injuries and fatalities — especially for underrepresented communities. Through the adoption of Complete Streets policies, over 1,200 jurisdictions have prioritized the safety of all people walking, bicycling, using transit, and driving. These recommendations provide support and encouragement to those communities and illuminate the path forward to zero roadway deaths.

The Coalition is committed to continuing dialogue around speeding-related injuries and fatalities. Thank you to the NTSB team for spotlighting the issue of speeding and traffic safety.”

Complete Streets