“Slowed for several months”: A mixed methods comparison of minor, moderate, and extreme speeders

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Speeding remains a major and consistent contributor to motor vehicle fatalities in the U.S. Using a parallel convergent mixed methods approach, we compared minor, moderate, and extreme U.S. speeder types (N = 293) to gain a better understanding of why U.S. drivers speed to the degree that they do. An online survey collected quantitative data on self-reported characteristics, speeding behaviors, and roadway behaviors after key events (collisions, speeding tickets) and given passenger presence. Analysis of qualitative data from participants explaining their roadway behaviors and beliefs identified several speeding-related themes. Themes shared to the same extent by all speeder types include not typically citing speeding a cause of a collision and good drivers not needing to change speeding behaviors (i.e., perceived mastery). However, the permanence and extent of speed reductions after key events and with passengers did vary by speeder type, with minor speeders making more extensive and permanent changes. Qualitative and quantitative data both underscore the perception that speeding is not a high priority threat to roadway safety. Findings suggest continued research using conservative and nuanced definitions of speeding is warranted to understand how similar perceptions result in a spectrum of speeding behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100511
JournalTransportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the University of Minnesota through the Mixed Methods Interdisciplinary Graduate Group and the J.B. Hawley Student Research Award.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s)


  • Attitudes
  • Driver behavior
  • Mixed methods
  • Qualitative research
  • Roadway safety
  • Speeding


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