THURSDAY, Jan. 17, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Speeding is a factor in nearly one-third of U.S. traffic deaths, but doesn't get enough attention as a traffic safety issue, a new Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) report says.
"If we want to get to zero deaths on our roads, we need to address speeding on a much deeper and more comprehensive level than we have been," GHSA Executive Director Jonathan Adkins said in an association news release.
"This clear and present danger on our roadways makes it imperative to devote additional resources toward getting drivers to slow down in order to save lives," he stressed.
Speeding vehicles are especially dangerous to pedestrians and bicyclists. Even slowing down a little can reduce crash and injury severity and save lives, the association said.
Some cities, including New York and Boston, have reduced crashes and injuries by lowering speed limits. But many speed-related deaths -- more than 5,000 in 2016 alone -- occur on rural roadways, according to the association.
A program called Vision Zero is at the forefront of efforts to curb speeding in cities, and the GHSA hopes it will spread to more suburbs and rural areas.
The report -- "Speeding Away from Zero: Rethinking a Forgotten Traffic Safety Challenge" -- includes several suggestions for reducing speeding-related traffic deaths.
They include new federal laws and programs; increased law enforcement, including automated speed enforcement; and greater use of roundabouts and other features to slow speeders down.
The GHSA and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety plan a forum in April that will bring experts together to discuss ways to improve roadways and change driving culture to emphasize safety over speed.
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has more on speeding.