Table 2-29: Motor Vehicle Fatal Crashes by Posted Speed Limit

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  1975 1980 1985 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 (R) 2010 2011 2012
TOTAL fatal crashes 39,161 45,284 39,196 39,836 36,937 34,942 35,780 36,254 37,241 37,494 37,324 37,107 37,140 37,526 37,862 38,491 38,477 38,444 39,252 38,648 37,435 34,172 30,862 31,925 31,470 32,378
Under 55 mph, total 15,233 20,079 19,278 19,136 17,507 16,827 16,985 16,948 17,439 17,345 17,258 17,018 16,963 17,054 17,582 17,651 17,422 17,758 18,461 18,327 17,767 16,555 15,058 15,541 15,476 16,172
5,10,15, 20, 25 mpha 2,617 2,865 2,504 2,234 2,097 1,911 1,895 1,890 1,893 1,896 1,955 1,873 1,863 1,827 1,919 1,897 1,883 1,904 1,947 1,972 2,054 1,910 1,700 1,930 1,955 2,058
30, 35 mph 6,099 8,527 7,890 7,756 6,908 6,696 6,759 6,565 6,681 6,445 6,383 6,025 5,946 6,079 6,260 6,090 5,995 6,064 6,337 6,347 5,946 5,773 5,141 5,310 5,297 5,475
40, 45 mph 4,276 6,256 6,812 7,092 6,608 6,345 6,454 6,632 6,938 7,096 7,132 7,349 7,245 7,315 7,576 7,784 7,717 7,964 8,359 8,172 7,994 7,343 6,679 6,833 6,780 7,124
50 mph 2,241 2,431 2,072 2,054 1,894 1,875 1,877 1,861 1,927 1,908 1,788 1,771 1,909 1,833 1,827 1,880 1,827 1,826 1,818 1,836 1,773 1,529 1,538 1,468 1,444 1,515
55 mph and above, total 16,095 20,352 18,871 19,749 18,630 17,450 18,144 18,698 19,140 19,460 19,251 19,333 19,373 19,735 19,416 19,898 19,995 19,780 19,857 19,252 18,675 16,771 14,990 15,082 14,642 14,839
55 mph 16,094 20,352 18,863 17,556 16,543 15,444 15,980 16,512 16,753 14,097 12,897 12,522 12,184 12,143 11,847 12,268 12,155 11,893 11,760 11,337 10,997 9,820 8,859 8,875 8,574 8,781
60 mph 0 0 2 18 9 4 9 13 16 523 935 1,073 1,069 1,163 1,221 1,270 1,364 1,296 1,347 1,359 1,332 1,236 1,078 1,065 1,059 1,062
65 mph 1 0 2 2,175 2,078 2,002 2,155 2,173 2,323 3,214 3,311 3,421 3,537 3,686 3,721 3,742 3,848 3,856 3,966 3,960 3,816 3,424 3,040 3,063 2,898 2,619
70 mph 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 38 1,282 1,633 1,835 2,079 2,230 2,116 2,027 2,039 2,127 2,198 2,077 2,074 1,836 1,629 1,709 1,711 1,819
Over 70 mph 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 10 344 475 482 504 513 511 591 589 608 586 519 456 455 384 370 400 558
Unknownb 7,833 4,853 1,047 951 800 665 651 608 662 689 815 756 804 737 864 942 1,060 906 934 1,069 (R) 993 846 814 1,302 1,352 1,367

KEY: mph = miles per hour; R = revised.

a The "No Statutory Limit" speed limit designation is included in this category.

b The "blank" designation is included in this category. The 2010 - 12 figure includes fatal crashes where the speed limit was not reported.

NOTES

In 1974, Congress enacted a national maximum speed limit of 55 miles per hour (mph). Amendments in 1987 and 1991 allowed states to increase speed limits to 65 mph on rural Interstates and similar highways.

The National Maximum Speed Limit was repealed in late 1995; speed limits are again set by the states, some of which have raised their maximum speed limits to 70 mph or above.

SOURCES

1975-93: U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, National Center for Statistics and Analysis, Traffic Safety Facts 2000, DOT HS 809 337 (Washington, DC: December 2001), table 30, and the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) Web-Based Encyclopedia, available at http://www-fars.nthsa.dot.gov as of November 2003.

1994-2012: U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, National Center for Statistics and Analysis, Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), Web-Based Encyclopedia, available at http://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov/ as of Sept. 16, 2014.