Speeding primary cause of fatality crashes in Oklahoma

A new study by AAA Oklahoma shows that even the slightest speed increase can cause severe damage in a crash, to both the vehicle and those inside
Published: Jan. 28, 2021 at 6:48 PM CST
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OKLAHOMA (KXII) - A new study by AAA Oklahoma shows that even the slightest speed increase can cause severe damage in a crash, to both the vehicle and those inside.

Last year, some turnpikes and state road speed limits increased by 5mph and Oklahoma AAA spokesman Mark Medeja says that came at a cost.

“There’s a false sense of security that people have with all of the advanced technology in cars however, the car can only physically withstand so much” Madeja said.

A crash test performed by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) shows a Honda CR-V wreck in various speeds.

At 50mph, you can see there’s visible damage to the driver’s side door, dashboard and foot area.

At 56mph, both the inside and outside of the car was virtually compromised. The dummy inside had sensors that registered the impact of the crash as severe injuries.

“The speed limit might be 75 but you’ve got most of traffic going 80 or higher” Madeja said. “Once you raise the speed limit, lets say by 80 miles an hour, which is already the case in Oklahoma on some portions of turnpike, how fast are people going to drive?”

“We’ve seen speeds at over 115 -120mph and in some rare occasions, 130-140mph” said Oklahoma Highway Patrol Captain Scott Hampton.

According to the AAA study, speed was a primary factor in 30% of fatality crashes in Oklahoma.

OHP Captain Hampton says aggressive driving is up since the pandemic and that includes speeding.

Hampton blames distracted driving for a recent increase in fatalities.

“We did have a trooper get killed several years back due to a distracted driver, and we are aggressively enforcing that” Hampton said. “So my message would be, please slow down and leave your phones down.”

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