Ever wonder why your insurance rates go up when you get a speeding ticket? A study of 3.7 million licensed Maryland drivers shows that ticketing does not reduce drivers’ likelihood of getting another ticket for speeding.
Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine looked at Maryland’s licensed drivers and found that getting a speeding ticket almost doubles the risk of receiving a subsequent speeding citation.
The study also turned up interesting data comparing those who go to court for speeding tickets and those that do not. As every Maryland driver knows, if you get a speeding ticket and you were not doing a complete Dale Earnhardt impression, you can either go to court (where you will invariably be found guilty so your best bet is to plead guilty) or you can pay the fine by mail. The University of Maryland study found that the likelihood of receiving another speeding ticket was 12 percent among drivers who had opted to pay fines and received points on their driving records compared to eight percent among those who received probation before judgment (PBJ). This makes sense. The driver who cared enough to go to court is probably more likely to slow down.
The author also noted that “PBJ appears to be the most effective penalty for speeding, however, we do not know if there are other contributing factors influencing drivers receiving PBJ and that these factors are responsible for the lower rate of repeat violations in this group. If the effects of PBJ are due to the punishment itself, perhaps the experience of going to court and appearing before a judge has more of an impact on a violator than sending in a check to pay a fine. Future research is needed to learn more about the deterrent effects of PBJ.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, speeding was a contributing factor in 31 percent of all fatal automobile and truck accidents nationally in 2003. If our auto accident lawyers have learned anything, it is that speed kills. Our lawyers have seen so many accidents where speed was a likely contributing cause. But another common cause of serious car and truck accidents that no one talks much about: the differences between the speeds at which different vehicles travel. This is especially true with truck accidents. The problem with trucks is that they take a longer time to speed up to the prevailing speed compared to cars and motorcycles. This results in speed differentials that promote lane changes as cars move aggressively to get around the slower speeding up trucks. The Texas Transportation Institute did a study that found that imposing lane restrictions for trucks improves safety by reducing differential vehicle speeds, lane changes, and passing maneuvers that cause truck accidents. The study underscored the obvious: the safest conditions exist when cars and trucks are not traveling at widely differing speeds.