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Office of Traffic Safety

A Division of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety
 

Speed/Aggressive Driving

The Dangers of Illegal and Unsafe Speeding

Each year, illegal or unsafe speed is a leading contributing factor in Minnesota fatal crashes.
 
On average, speed contributes to:

 

  • 113 people were killed in speed-related crashes in 2018.
  • Summer months provide beautiful weather in Minnesota but the dry roads also allow for drivers to get complacent with speeding. During the 100 deadliest days (Memorial Day – Labor Day) in 2018, speed played a role in 29 fatalities.
  • During the 100 deadliest days in the past five years (2014-2018), numbers show that 117 people lost their lives in speed-related crashes.
  • In 2018, speed was a contributing factor in 25 percent of single-vehicle crashes.

Drive Minnesota Nice

  • Statistics show drivers are slowing down and being less aggressive. When comparing the five year periods of 2008 – 2012 to 2013 – 2017:
    • There has been a 7 percent reduction in speed-related fatalities.
    • There has been an 18 percent increase in serious injuries.
  • Weaving in and out of traffic causes other drivers to slam on the brakes or possibly weave to avoid a cash.
  • Aggressive driving, speeding and weaving through traffic give drivers less room for error.

Higher Speeds, Bigger Problems

  • Greater potential for loss of vehicle control.
  • Increased stopping distance.
  • Less time for driver response for crash avoidance.
  • Increased crash severity leading to more severe injuries and death.  

If Confronted with an Aggressive Driver:

  • Get out of their way; disengage.
  • Stay calm — reaching your destination safely is your goal.
  • Do not challenge them.
  • Avoid eye contact.
  • Ignore gestures and don’t return them.
  • Report aggressive driving (vehicle description, license number, location).

Increased stopping distance:

  • At 40 mph, braking distance is 79 feet, with total stopping distance with reaction time 118 feet
  • At 60 mph, braking distance is 180 feet, with total stopping distance with reaction time 240 feet
  • At 80 mph, braking distance is 315 feet, with total stopping distance with reaction time 394 feet
  • At 100 mph, braking distance is 499 feet, with total stopping distance with reaction time 597 feet.

Resources
• DPS Speed Commercial
• DPS Speed PSA
 

Speed played a role in each of these crashes

 

Speak Up: Tell the driver to slow down

  • Tell the driver to obey the speed limit to protect their life and yours.
  •  Most speeders think they’re above-average drivers but they’re 60 percent more likely to be in a crash than the average driver (OTS High Risk Driver Study 2014).
  • Tell the driver to obey the speed limit to save money.
  • For every 5 mph over 50 mph, it’s like paying an additional 19-cents per gallon.
    • Traveling at 55 mph versus 45 mph for a 10-mile trip will only save a driver a little more than two minutes travel time. 
       

You are an aggressive driver if you:

  • Ignore traffic signals

  • Speed and tailgate

  • Weave in and out of traffic

  • Make improper lane changes frequently and abruptly

  • Pass on the shoulder

  • Make hand and facial gestures

  • Scream, honk and flash lights.

 

If confronted by an aggressive driver, you should:

 

  • Get out of their way.
  • Stay calm — reaching your destination safely is your goal.

  • Do not challenge them.

  • Avoid eye contact.

  • Ignore gestures and don’t return them.

  • Report aggressive driving (vehicle description, license number, location).

  • Always buckle up to maintain proper seating position in case of abrupt driving maneuvers.

Report Aggressive Drivers:

  • Find a safe place to call 911

  • Be prepared to provide location, vehicle description and license plate.

Tailgating

Motorists should keep at least a three-second following distance, as it takes more than the length of a football field to stop when traveling at 60 miles per hour.