According to the latest data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, speed is the number one contributing factor of fatal car accidents in Alabama, which typically leads the nation in traffic fatalities, and the current statistics do not buck that trend. Alabama's 2010 1.34 per 100 million vehicle miles traveled fatality rate is higher than the nation's 1.11 average. Speed was a factor regardless of the type of roads traveled, though more fatal crashes did occur in rural areas, where speed is often combined with alcohol use and emergency response times can be slower. But even in accidents that occur on highways, the fatality rate is increased. In Shelby and Jefferson counties, 43 crashes caused 47 traffic fatalities on the most used highways. These accidents include single-vehicle accidents, multivehicle accidents and accidents that involved vehicles and pedestrians.
How many times have you driven through Birmingham and seen a large sign that flashed your current speed in lights? For years, traffic safety experts thought that if drivers were made aware of their speeding, that it would encourage them to slow down and follow the speed limit. They were wrong.