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The Psychology of Driving Fast: Why Do Drivers Speed?


Speeding is a prevalent habit among drivers across the county, resulting in numerous tragic fatalities. According to Forbes, South Carolina claims the top spot among the ten states with the highest number of speeding-related deaths, while New York ranks tenth on this list.

In this blog post, we delve deep into the underlying reasons behind this inclination towards excessive speed. Additionally, we will provide guidance on how to respond if you encounter reckless driving on the road.

Speeding Accident Statistics

According to the National Safety Council, speeding is a contributing factor in nearly one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities in 2021.

Other statistics include:

  • In 2021, an average of 33 people were killed per day due to speeding.
  • Young male drivers aged 15-20 and 21-24 were most likely to be speeding at the time of a fatal crash.
  • According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over half of speeding passenger vehicle drivers were not wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash.

Why Do People Speed?

The reasons behind speeding are multifaceted. While some may argue it's an attempt to make up time lost due to traffic congestion and running late, as suggested by the NHTSA, others attribute it to more complex psychological factors. A blend of emotional response, personal attitude, and some level of risk tolerance creates the profile of a habitual speeder.

For instance, Student Assembly outlines a few reasons people speed:

  • Familiarity: People get used to their route over the years, and muscle memory may cause them to drive faster.
  • Thrill: Thrill seekers may have the need to belong and participate in speeding behaviors to improve their self-image.
  • Road rage: Some people express their anger and frustrations with other drivers through aggressive and reckless driving.

In addition to road rage, drivers who frequently speed may also experience a sense of detachment and anonymity. They may mistakenly believe that their behavior is acceptable since they are not visible to others. Speeding can also be indicative of a driver's disregard for both fellow road users and the law.

Moreover, a study involving 124 participants revealed a correlation between speeding and certain personality traits. Individuals with a penchant for sensation-seeking and impulsiveness tend to drive at higher speeds compared to others. Ultimately, speeding can be influenced by various situational factors and an individual's unique personality.

Can You Report Someone for Reckless Driving in NY?

What can be done about reckless driving behavior? In New York, you can report someone for reckless driving.

If you witness someone driving in a manner that endangers others or violates traffic laws, take the following steps:

  1. Pull over to a safe location
  1. Call 911 or the local police non-emergency number
  2. Provide the vehicle's make, model, color, license plate number, and the behaviors they exhibited

Ensure that you prioritize your own safety when you come across a speeding driver on the road. Refrain from confronting or engaging with them, as this can escalate the situation and jeopardize your well-being.

Been in a Speeding Accident? Contact Our Team

If you have been involved in a car accident caused by another driver's speeding, it is important to know that you do not have to face this situation alone. At Belushin Law Firm, our team of experienced speeding accident attorneys is here to support you.

We can thoroughly investigate your case and advocate for the compensation you deserve. With over a decade of experience in this field, we possess the knowledge and skill to pursue the justice you deserve.

Give our firm a call today at (888) 918-9890 or schedule a consultation with us online to learn more about how we can help.