Do you feel the need for speed? Slow down, because it could cost you. In 2020, more than one quarter of all crash fatalities were speeding-related, and there was a dramatic increase (17%) in speeding-related crash fatalities from 2019-2020. KDOT Traffic Safety Assistant Bureau Chief Chris Bortz said especially alarming is the rising number of citations issued for speeds above 100 m.p.h. The KHP issued 1,758 citations in 2019 for speeds of 100 m.p.h. or more. In 2020, the number of 100-plus citations climbed to 2,823 and in 2021 to 3,309. "In the last decade, Kansas recorded 850 deaths and nearly 23,000 injuries related to speeding," Bortz said. He also noted a high percentage of speed-related crashes involve younger drivers. Forty-five percent of all 2020 speed-related fatal crashes in Kansas were drivers between the ages of 15 and 29.
Even advancements in vehicle safety and passenger protection cannot keep people safe from the dangers of speeding. No matter how advanced you think your driving skills may be, speeding is dangerous. Obeying posted speed limits keep drivers and passengers safe — and they aren’t suggestions. “We are asking you to slow down — in your neighborhoods, on your local roads, you need to always obey the posted speed limit,” Bortz said. “We see people speeding every day, especially young men. If you’re killed in a crash, or kill someone else, that’s it. Life is not a game — unlike a video game, there’s no second chance.” In 2020, there were 11,258 people killed in speeding-related crashes, accounting for 29% of all fatal crashes in the United States. Much like impaired driving, speeding is a selfish choice that can have deadly consequences for the driver, vehicle passenger, and pedestrians. Speeding reduces a driver’s ability to steer safely around another vehicle, a hazardous object, or an unexpected curve. Speeding also affects stopping distances: As speed increases, so do the odds of a vehicle crash. Young people and motorcyclists are especially susceptible to high speeds, and they represent the largest demographic involved in speeding-related vehicle crashes. In 2020, 27% of male drivers ages 18-44 and 16% of female drivers ages 18-44 involved in fatal crashes in 2020 were speeding. Alcohol and weather also increase the likelihood of a crash while speeding. In 2020, 37% of the drivers involved in fatal crashes were speeding and had a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher, compared to 17% of non-speeding drivers. And the chances of a vehicle crash on wet roads increases drastically when a driver is speeding. “We are Kansans to please slow down and obey the posted signs,” Bortz said. “Our goal is to save lives."