JEFFERSON CITY – As you venture out this autumn to take in sights of fall foliage in the Show-Me State, or are simply just driving your daily commute, please be mindful of your speed.
The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety wants to remind all drivers that a statewide media campaign will be held Oct. 10-18. Speed limit enforcement will run Oct. 16-18. During this time law enforcement will be actively enforcing Missouri’s speed limit laws and reminding drivers of the increased risks associated with higher speeds.
Despite the decrease in traffic during the national pandemic, speed related crashes are on the rise. To date there has been more than an 11% increase in traffic crash fatalities over this time last year.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a crash on a road with a speed limit of 65 mph 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.
In Missouri specifically, speed contributed to nearly 32% of the state’s 881 roadway fatalities in 2019 continuing an alarming trend related to speed over the last five years.
There is a reason for posted speed limits – the safety of all road users. “Saving a few extra minutes on your commute is not worth the increased risk of being involved in a crash that could endanger your own life or the lives of everyone else on the road,” said Jon Nelson, chair of the executive committee of the coalition. “Speed is one of the most common contributing factors for fatal crashes in Missouri and, unfortunately, the data shows it’s only becoming more prevalent. We want to change that.”
Speeding is defined as driving in excess of the posted speed limit but driving too fast for conditions can also have dangerous consequences including:
- Reducing a driver’s ability to negotiate curves or maneuver around obstacles in the roadway.
- Providing drivers less time to react to adverse conditions.
- Extending the distance traveled before a vehicle can stop.
- Increasing the distance a vehicle travels once the driver reacts to a hazard.
- Increasing the amount of force involved in a collision.
“We often talk about every driver’s responsibility to drive sober and pay attention, and rightfully so,” said Nelson. “Driving an appropriate speed is equally important and impactful for reducing the number of fatalities on Missouri roadways.”
Change your speed, change the ending. And, of course, always buckle up and put your phone down. For more information, visit www.saveMOlives.com. #BUPD