Delaware is the strictest state when it comes to observing the speed limit while the most lenient state is Texas. That’s according to new research published by WalletHub.
All 50 states and the District of Columbia (DC) were compared based on factors such as cost of insurance after a speeding ticket and highest and lowest maximum fines for a first and second conviction.
“Speeding and reckless driving are important issues, and some of the main causes for motor vehicle accident deaths in the country,” said WalletHub Analyst Jill Gonzalez. “In 2016 for example, speeding was a factor in 27 percent of motor vehicle crash deaths. Unfortunately, despite being aware of the dangers of exceeding the speed limit, Americans continue to do so. Speeding doesn’t only endanger people’s lives, but is also quite costly, as billions of dollars are spent annually due to crashes.”
Nearly three quarters of the states and DC have “absolute” speed limits, which means that exceeding the limit is enough evidence for a conviction. According to WalletHub, about 26 percent of the states leave room for interpretation with “prima facie” laws — or a “mixed” combination of absolute and prima facie rules — allowing speeders to argue in court that their speed was reasonable.
The research found that reckless drivers should expect, on average, to spend at least one day in jail for their first offense and three days for a second offense. The average maximum cost of a ticket for reckless driving is $845, with the lowest being $100 (in Kentucky, Mississippi, New Mexico and Ohio) and the highest at approximately $6,250 (Oregon).
View the full research report.