Speed Limit by Race

Prasant Moturu and Chris Gothman


What race of drivers (Asians, African Americans, Hispanic, and Caucasian) drives the most over the speed limit?


After not being able to receive enough evidence for all 4 races, we eliminated to simply Asians and Caucasians.


Asian drivers are most likely to drive the highest amount over the speed limit.
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Type of Investigation

This was a comparative experiment that compared 4 different races of people in regard to how much over the speed limit they drive.

Parts of the Experiment

Independent Variable: Race

Dependent Variable: Speed driven over the speed limit

Experimental Group: High schoolers between 16 and 18

Constant: High schoolers between 16 and 18

Control: None

Data Table

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Bar Graph

Range Error Bar

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2 SEM Error Bar

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The difference between how fast caucasian drivers drive and how fast asian drivers drive is not significant because the 2 SEM Error Bars overlap significantly. While according to the data Asian drivers drive an average of one mile per hour faster than Caucasian drivers, the difference is not significant enough to confidently say that speed driven over the speed limit can be attributed to race. It could very well be a statistical anomaly. The 2 SEM Range for Asian drivers ranges from 2.23 to 6.69 miles per hour while the Caucasian drivers 2 SEM Range goes from 1.78 to 5.34 miles per hour. Since there is a significant overlap, the independent variable of race is null in this instance. The common stereotype is that Asians are bad drivers which is why we chose our hypothesis, but research shows quite the opposite. In fact, the crash fatality rate in 2006 amongst whites was 12.50 deaths per 100,000 people while Asians in that same year had a crash fatality rate of 4.00 deaths per 100,000 people. (http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/articles/46567/are-people-of-some-races-worse-drivers-than-others-statistically/) Most of this can be contributed to alcohol use as Asians consistently have the lowest rates of binge and heavy drinking. (http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/12/31/america-s-worst-drivers-the-states-genders-with-the-most-accidents.html) While this does not necessarily account for speeding practices, it can be inferred that usually traffic accidents that resulted in fatalities involved high speeds. Furthermore, a report done by the US Department of Transportation which studied a 5 year trend in driving incidents refuted our hypothesis that Asians are more likely to drive faster over the speed limit. The report showed that approximately 32% of white drivers accumulated a speeding ticket or warning over a 5 year period while only 28% percent of Asian drivers received a speeding ticket or warning. (http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/809956.PDF) While this statistic does not definitively prove that one race typically drives faster than the other it does show some insight into which race is typically driving at a faster speed and being caught because of it. Another study done by Bradd Libby shows that while Asians are in significantly less fatal accidents than white drivers they do have a higher amount of non fatal accidents per 100,000 people. (http://schemamag.ca/2013/05/01/asian_drivers_the_myth_debunke/#.Ve8VCs4mTdk) Non fatal accidents typically do not involve speeds as high as fatal accidents so very little can be inferred from this data. It is worth considering however that Asian drivers are accounting for more accidents per 100,000 people. All in all, our data from this experiment as well data discovered by doing research can not lead to a confident trend between race and speeding. While yes 4 percent more whites were caught speeding, there are a variety of other circumstances that may have led to that. More testing should be done to find out if a trend exists between race and speeding but based on the current evidence out today no trend can be linked.


The hypothesis stated that Asian drivers are most likely to drive over the speed limit can not be said with certainty. There is enough variance to say that our data is not significant. Furthermore, research done shows Asians in fact have a lower percentage of speeding tickets compared to Caucasians. This data requires further testing and could be a result of other circumstances as Asians were in more accidents total than Caucasians according to research listed in the "Analysis" section. Our results conclude that there is no significant link between race and speeding and that Asians are not the most likely to drive over the speed limit.

Sources of Inaccuracies/Errors

Our data collection trusted our respondents to be honest with their responses. It is very possible that kids could have been lying in their surveys and submitted false data which in turn could skew the results of the experiment. The survey size was rather small and could be a result of outliers. A much larger survey size would be needed for more reliable data.


  • "Are People of Some Races Worse Drivers than Others?: Statistically Speaking, That Is - Washington City Paper." Washington City Paper. Web. 8 Sept. 2015.
  • "Asian Drivers | Good or Bad?" Schema Magazine. Web. 8 Sept. 2015.
  • "Department of Transportation, Driving Safety Report." Web. 8 Sept. 2015.
  • Rufus, Anneli. The Daily Beast. Newsweek/Daily Beast. Web. 8 Sept. 2015.
  • "This Is MY Title." Comedy Traffic School. Web. 8 Sept. 2015.
  • "Legal Options for a Speeding Ticket | AIS Auto Insurance Specialists." AIS Auto Insurance Specialists. 24 Mar. 2015. Web. 8 Sept. 2015.