Newsletter

Watch your Speed: Speeding Citations on the Rise

Whether you’re driving a truck or a passenger vehicle, the allure to shave a few minutes off your estimated time of arrival to your destination can be tempting. There are plenty of situational reasons for why people speed, but if you’re caught, the ramifications, especially for truck drivers, exceeds any time saved along the route. 

What’s more, there are plenty of statistics out there that show speeding is responsible – at least in some capacity – for a large portion of collisions that occur. Those that tend to speed don’t think they’ll be at a greater risk for being involved in a collision because they’re “carefully speeding.” It’s like riding a bike without a helmet and having the mindset “it won’t happen to me.” 

Unfortunately, that train of thought might be part of the reason why we’re seeing the number of speeding violations handed out to commercial truck drivers in the U.S. increasing. According to a 2018 report by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) – the most recent data available – 146,945 speeding violations were handed out to truck drivers that year, up 7.8% from 2017.  

The trend has prompted the Commercial Vehicle Safety Administration (CVSA) to focus its attention on speeding for its upcoming Operation Safe Driver Week, which is set for July 11-17. According to the CVSA, despite a decrease in roadway travel last year, with a 13% drop in miles traveled, there was a 24% increase in estimated rate of deaths on the road. It’s the highest year-over-year increase in 96 years. All indications point to driver’s speed having to do something with those inflated numbers.  

And the states that tend to have the highest percentage of all drivers with speeding citations might come as surprise. According to Insurify, an online insurance comparison website that regularly analyzes and reports on speeding citations throughout the states, the states with the highest percentage of drivers with at least one prior speeding ticket on their driving record are… 

Percentage of drivers with a speeding ticket 

  1. Virginia – 17.73% 
  1. Iowa – 17.55% 
  1. Ohio – 17.3% 
  1. South Carolina – 16.55% 
  1. North Dakota – 16.06% 
  1. Wisconsin – 15.78% 
  1. Wyoming – 15.36% 
  1. Hawaii – 15.1% 
  1. Colorado – 14.75% 
  1. Idaho – 14.65% 

 

While Insurify’s report is focused on citations handed out to drivers in passenger vehicles, it’s something to keep in mind when traveling through these states. In states like Wyoming and North Dakota with long, less populated roads, it’s especially easy to let your speed creep up over the posted limit.  

To help counter that, in-cab alerts have come onto the scene to help notify drivers of upcoming zones that are known to be ‘hot spots’ for speeding citations. As a result, the alerts are helping drivers slow their speeds. These notifications are bundled into Drivewyze Safety+, a service that combines speed citation areas with other driver safety notifications such as an upcoming low bridge, mountain corridor (alerts that inform drivers to use low gears as well as alerting them to upcoming runaway ramps), high rollover areas, parking availability (in select states) and more.  

The alerts to slow down in high citation areas are currently available in 10 states, with more states and high citation locations continuing to be added to the service. Prior to launching Safety+ in 2020, Drivewyze tested the impact of the alerts with several fleets and found a 27% reduction in speeding events from drivers going 5+ miles over the speed limit.  

With Safety+, fleets can create ‘custom zones’ for areas they identify as high-risk areas for drivers – such as problematic areas for speeding citations – by geofencing those locations to alert drivers passing through those zones. Custom zones can be created to deliver all safety notifications included in Safety+. 

As an example, a major carrier using Safety+ recently identified four areas where a number of drivers were receiving citations for speeding. In fact, within the first 75 days of the year, four citations were handed to drivers passing through those zones. To help fix the problem, the carrier geofenced those “speed” trouble spots so that their drivers would be aware and slow down. It’s worked. Since creating those custom zones, the fleet has reported no more citations in those areas.  

As a professional driver, faster doesn’t always mean safer and more efficient. More speeding incidents result in more collisions which lead to increased insurance premiums for all. Do your part in reversing the speeding trend. As they say, slow and steady wins the race.