Traffic Calming Stats

Speeding by the Numbers  

 Credible statistics related to speeding and traffic safety.


When you evaluate data related to speeding drivers, it’s easy to see why smart, effective traffic calming is so important.  Below are stats from the U.S. and Canada, where driver feedback signs from Radarsign are slowing speeding drivers and helping to save lives.  


United States


  • Speeding triples the odds of crashing [Source: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety]
  • In the decade from 2002 through 2011, speeding was a contributing factor in nearly one-third of all fatal crashes, killing 123,804 and costing approximately 40 billion dollars per year (NHTSA, 2013).
  • In 2011 alone, 9,944 lives were lost in speeding-related crashes.
  • Speeding in residential areas is the most common citizen complaint faced by local police, city councils and HOAs. [Source: DOJ/COPS Office]
  • Most residential speeders live near the area of the offense.  [Source: DOJ/COPS Office]
  • Speeding increases both the risk of a crash and the risk of injuries and fatalities in crashes. [Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety]
  • Speeding was documented in almost one-third of all fatal traffic crashes in 2005.  [Source: AAA Foundation]
  • When travel speed increases by 1 percent, the injury crash rate increases by about 2 percent, the serious injury crash rate increases by about 3 percent, and the fatal crash rate increases by about 4 percent.  The same relation holds in reverse: a 1 percent decrease in travel speed reduces injury crashes by about 2 percent, serious injury crashes by about 3 percent, and fatal crashes by about 4 percent. [Source: AAA Foundation]
  • Probability of a crash increases as a vehicle’s travel speed rises above the average travel speed of surrounding vehicles.  [Source: AAA Foundation]
  • Fewer than one-sixth of all speed-related fatalities nationwide occur on Interstates.  [Source: AAA Foundation]
  • In fatal crashes, about 55 percent of all speeding-related crashes were due to “exceeding posted speed limits” as compared to the 45 percent that were due to “driving too fast for conditions.”  The comparable percentages for speeding-related injury crashes were 26 percent versus 74 percent and those for PDO (property-damage-only) crashes were 18 percent versus 82 percent.  [Source: NHTSA]


  • A pedestrian hit by a vehicle traveling 20 mph has a 5 percent chance of fatality. This increases to 45 percent at 30 mph, and 85 percent at 40 mph. [Source: NHTSA]
  • 4,735 Pedestrian deaths in 2013.  43 percent of all those fatalities came from California, Florida, Texas, and New York. [Source: GHSA]
  • Delaware and Florida had the highest rates of pedestrian deaths per 100,000 residents, at 2.70 and 2.56, respectively (2013)  [Source: GHSA]  


  • 81 percent of drivers report driving every day or almost every day. Nearly 3-in-1 say they enjoy driving as fast as possible [Source: NHTSA]
  • 91 percent of drivers believe that “Everyone should obey the speed limit because it’s the law.” [Source: NHTSA]
  • Speed limits do not have significant impact on driving speeds. Drivers tend to base their speed on the road conditions and the driving environment. [Source: Grand Forks Herald]  
  • Posting excessively low speed limits does not improve safety.[Source: Grand Forks Herald]
  • 85 percent of drivers choose reasonable speeds, and only 15 percent choose excessive speeds.[Source: Grand Forks Herald]
  • Teens are more likely than older drivers to speed and allow shorter headways (the distance from the front of one vehicle to the front of the next). The presence of male teenage passengers increases the likelihood of this risky driving behavior. [Source: CDC]
  • Since 1997, the number of drivers stopped by police for speeding has fluctuated very little, hoving between nine and 11 percent. Of those stopped for speeding, drivers receiving tickets has also remained stable, varying between 65 and 70 percent. [Source: NHTSA]


  • Radar speed signs are scientifically proven to slow traffic and to be effective as a long-term traffic-calming solution.  Studies show that:
    • up to 80 percent of speeders will slow down when alerted by a radar sign
    • Speeds are reduced by 10-20 percent.
    • Overall compliance with the posted speed limit improves by 30-60 percent.
      [Source: Radarsign}
  • In a national survey, about 80 percent of all drivers said they exceeded the speed limit on all types of roads, from Interstate highways to neighborhood streets, within the past month. One-third reported that they were speeding on the day of the interview.
  • Driver feedback signs are the most preferred speeding countermeasure with 89 percent of drivers giving radar speed signs the highest approval rating of all speeding countermeasures. [Source: NHTSA]
  • Radar speed signs can be used to slow speeding drivers AND reduce legal exposure with issues related to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Its an important consideration for elderly and disabled citizens who charge that vertical devices cause undue pain, suffering, and injury whenever they routinely encounter these roadway modifications. Generally, these citizens are opposed to the vertical devices such as speed humps, raised crossings and traffic circles on public right of ways. [Source: and EEOC]
  • Driver feedback signs combat “autopilot journeys,” familiar routes to work, shopping and carpool where drivers can become inattentive. 46 percent of drivers report making these journeys and having no recollection of how they got to their destination. [Source: Churchill Insurance Study]
  • The signs remain effective and can become even more effective over time.
    • In locations where radar signs had been installed for six or more years, the majority of 85th percentile speeds dropped by 10 percent or more. [Source: City of Bellevue Transportation Study]
    • Almost the same speed reduction was being achieved four months after installation. [Source: Texas Transportation Institute]
    • Data confirms a consistent reduction in average speeds and a 50 – 70 percent reduction in the number of drivers who speed more than five mph above the speed limit.  More than two years after installation, data indicates a long-term shift in driver behavior (Alpharetta, GA location, comparing week-one data with week-109 data). [Source: Radarsign]
    • Other studies have shown drivers exhibit traveling significantly reduced speeds even months after the sign are removed.
  • When used in highway work zones, these signs reduce mean vehicle speed an average of 5.2 mph. Additionally, highway workers thought the speed signs increased driver awareness and “significantly lowered speeds” in the area. [Source: FHWA]
  • Driver feedback signs improve school zone safety by decreasing speeds and increasing compliance.  [Source: Utah DOT ]



  • 40 percent of speeding drivers involved in fatal crashes were 16 to 24 years of age.
  • 47 percent of drivers believe that speeding is a main cause of traffic collisions; however, 70 percent admitted to exceeding the speed limit at least sometimes, particularly on highways (81 percent).


  • Over the period 2004-2008, 13 percent of fatalities have been pedestrians, while motorcyclists and bicyclists have accounted for 8 percent and 2 percent of fatalities respectively. In total, vulnerable road users account for almost a quarter of traffic fatalities in Canada.
  • 75 percent of pedestrian traffic fatalities occurred on urban roads;
  • 6 percent of fatally injured pedestrians were under the age of 16 and, of these, 20 percent ran out into the street.


  • 38 percent of fatally injured motorcyclists had been speeding prior to the crash.
  • About 2 percent of traffic fatalities are bicyclists.

NOTE: All Canadian stats from Transport Canada