While most drivers admit to occasional speeding, 79% say they drive within 10 mph of the speed limit, according to a new survey from CarInsurance.com.
However, the findings also indicate a disturbing trend: Most drivers believe there are places and instances where it’s OK to speed, such as on the highway.
As to how fast they go, 14% said they drive 11 to 15 mph over the limit, 4% said they travel 16 to 29 mph above the limit, and 3% admitted to driving 30 mph or more over the limit.
The third annual survey conducted by CarInsurance.com also looks at why, how often, and where people speed.
Nearly half (48%) say they engage in the risky behavior to keep up with traffic flow and not be run over. That’s the same percentage as the 2020 survey findings. Other top reasons for speeding include arriving on time, which was cited by 17% of respondents.
Finally, some 10% of drivers believe speed limits are generally too low, making speeding an acceptable option to them. That number is down by half from the 20% who cited the same rationale in 2020.
Most motorists who do speed say they don’t do it very often — with 31% saying rarely and 20% saying sometimes. Yet, over one-third (34%) of respondents said they almost always go 5 to 10 mph over the limit, while 15% said they almost always drive 11 mph or more over the limit.
Highways and freeways are the speeding place of choice for motorists — with 64% saying this is where they are most likely to put the pedal to the metal and where it’s OK to do so.
Other situations and places where drivers indicated it’s “ok to speed,” include when it’s sunny with dry roads (25%), on residential streets (8%), and when it’s rainy and the roads are wet (6%).
Drivers do realize there are consequences for speeding with about one-third acknowledging they were pulled over for the behavior in the past year.
However, most do what they can to get out of a speeding ticket. The most successful excuse this year for avoiding a ticket was, “I didn’t know I was speeding,” which 26% of respondents used effectively.
Other top effective excuses include “medical emergency” (25%), noting that “everyone else was going the same speed” (22%), and “late for work” (21%).
Speeding remains one of the riskiest driving behaviors on U.S. roadways. In 2019, 9,478 people lost their lives in speed-related crashes. That’s more than a quarter of all traffic fatalities. Research shows that higher speeds increase the likelihood and severity of collisions.