Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.
Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.
OCR for page 6
SECTION II Introduction Approximately 42,000 automobile-related fatalities occur each year in the United States. Nearly one-third of fatal crashes are speeding-related. In Traffic Safety Facts 2006--Speeding, NHTSA defines a speeding-related crash as a crash in which "the driver was charged with a speeding-related offense or if an officer indicated that racing, driving too fast for conditions, or exceeding the posted speed limit was a contributing factor in the crash" (NHTSA, 2006, p. 1). Excessive speeds reduce a driver's ability to react and maneuver, and require greater stopping distances. The severity of a collision, particularly those involving pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists increases dramatically with the speed of collision. Excessive or inappropriate speeds result from two basic problems, both of which involve human factors considerations. Driver behavior (i.e., consciously choosing a clearly inappropriate speed) is one aspect of the problem. The second is associated with driver response to the environment (i.e., inadvertent selection of a speed that is inappropriate or unsafe, failure to adjust or change speeds, or failure to perceive the speed environment and as a result incur risk of a collision or conflict). It is both of these types of problems that this guide seeks to address. Efforts to reduce speeding and speeding-related crashes need to be multi-disciplined in order to address all factors that contribute to a driver's choice of inappropriate speed or misunderstanding of what a safe speed would be. Speeding-related crashes can be reduced with increased efforts in education, engineering, and enforcement. Strategies in this guide are encouraged for implementation by state and local highway agencies, especially where there is a high frequency or rate of serious crashes that appear to involve inappropriate speeds. Many of the strategies discussed in this guide are engineering-related. However, it is important to consider the need to involve stakeholders, and other safety professionals who will either be directly involved, or who can provide additional perspectives and expertise for implementing planned strategies. In some cases, implementation of the strategy will directly impact operations on the highway. In such cases, many elements of the safety community (e.g., law enforcement, EMS, fire departments, utilities companies, contractors, media, adjacent land users and owners) are best involved from early planning stages. II-1