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Speeding costs society $40 billion annually according to NHTSA

Accident statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveal that more than 10,000 lives were lost in 2012 in accidents involving vehicles being driven at an excessive speed, and 208 of those people were killed on Oklahoma roadways. Law enforcement efforts to reduce speeding often focus on highway drivers, but NHTSA figures indicate that most fatal accidents occur on local roads.

Driving at a speed in excess of the posted limit has been linked with about 30 percent of all fatal car accidents over the past several years, and the annual cost to society of these crashes has been estimated at $40 billion. Young male drivers are the demographic group most likely to be involved in a high-speed crash. Younger motorists are also less likely to use safety belts.

The NHTSA data also reveals that drivers involved in a fatal high-speed accident are far more likely to have been drinking. While 42 percent of motorists involved in such collisions had a BAC level of .08 percent or above, drivers in accidents that did not involve excessive speed were only found to have a blood alcohol level higher than the legal limit about 16 percent of the time. Speed-related accidents that occurred at night were even more likely to involve alcohol. Drivers involved in a high-speed accident between the hours of midnight and 3:00 a.m. were found to be over the limit 69 percent of the time.

Drivers who cause an accident due to negligent behavior such as speeding or consuming alcohol before getting behind the wheel may face civil sanctions in addition to possible criminal penalties. A personal injury attorney may file a lawsuit on behalf of accident victims seeking compensation for their lost income, medical expenses and property damage.

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