White-knuckle winter driving may be a distant memory for Minnesotans in July, but the dangers of speeding should be top-of-mind during the 100 deadliest days of summer. A statewide extra speed enforcement and awareness campaign now through July 23 will remind Minnesotans to slow down and drive safely.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety coordinates the campaign with more than 300 law enforcement agencies (police, sheriff and state patrol) stepping up enforcement efforts through overtime funding provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
“Sunny summer skies and clear roads tempt drivers to drive more aggressively and push down on the accelerator a little harder. That’s a dangerous choice,” said Donna Berger, Office of Traffic Safety director. “When speeds go up, so does the likelihood of fatal crashes and serious injuries. Add in motorists who are drunk, distracted or unbelted, and the summer months become the 100 deadliest days on Minnesota roads. Drive Minnesota Nice and choose to obey the speed limit.”
You Speed, You Crash
While getting a ticket may be a primary concern when exceeding the speed limit, drivers should worry about far more dangerous consequences.
Preliminary numbers show speed-related fatalities in 2016 (92 deaths) increased by 18 percent last year compared with 2015 (78 deaths).
During the 100 deadliest days in the past five years (2012 to 2016), preliminary numbers show that 109 people lost their lives in speed-related crashes.
Speed contributes to an average of 83 deaths each year (preliminary).
In single-vehicle crashes in 2015, illegal or unsafe speed was the most common contributing factor.
Higher Speeds, Bigger Problems
The higher the speeds of vehicles, the following are increased problems:
• Greater potential for loss of vehicle control.
• Increased stopping distance.
• Less time for driver response for crash avoidance.
• Increased crash severity leading to more severe injuries and death.
Cost of a speeding violation will vary by county, but it will typically cost a driver more than $110 with court fees for traveling 10 mph over the limit. Fines double for those traveling 20 mph over the limit, and fines for speeding in a work zone are more than $300. A driver can lose their license for six months for going 100 mph or more.