(WFXR) — As the number of people killed in speed-related crashes climbs this year, 96 percent of Virginians admitted in a survey that they drive over the speed limit.

This information comes from the Governor’s Executive Leadership Team on Highway Safety’s most recent #YourSayVA digital town hall, a survey aimed at gauging Virginians’ perspectives on various highway safety topics.

More than 600 Virginians participated in the survey focused on speeding. The survey results reveal 96 percent of those who took the survey admitted they at least sometimes speed, while 43 percent admit they speed ‘frequently’ or ‘most of the time.’

“We are grateful for the more than 600 Virginians who took the time to share their thoughts on the impact of speed on our roadways in our second #YourSayVA digital town hall,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran. “While speed continues to play a major role in crashes that claim hundreds of lives every year, the information collected through this town hall will help to better understand how such crashes can be prevented.”

For more than a decade, speed has been the leading factor in fatal crashes on Virginia roadways — a trend mirroring national statistics. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), for more than two decades, speed has been a factor in one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities.

In 2020, there were 22,479 speed-related crashes on Virginia roadways with 406 fatalities — the highest number of fatalities in at least 10 years. For this year, 417 speed-related fatalities were reported as of Nov. 30 — a 12 percent increase over the number of deaths last year at the same time.

“In the year 2021, we have already witnessed too many preventable traffic fatalities as a result of speeding,” said Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine. “Our highways are safer for everyone when drivers choose to follow speed limits. As thousands of Virginians prepare to travel for the holidays, I ask that we all remember that slowing down to the posted limit can save a life.”

When survey respondents were asked why they speed, 43 percent said they are following the speed of surrounding traffic and 23 percent said the posted speed limits seem too low.

You can view the complete survey and results by clicking here.