- Universal Pictures
- “The Fast and the Furious” may cause an increase in speeding, according to a New York Times study of traffic tickets in Montgomery County, Maryland.
- The study found increases in average speed in tickets for the weekends following the releases of three “Fast and Furious” movies, as well as increases in “extreme speeding.”
“The Fast and the Furious” franchise has notably driven hoards of people to the theaters (as one of the most successful movie franchises in history), but it may also be leading people to drive faster than they normally would, according to a new study published in The New York Times on Tuesday.
The Times study, led by Anupam B. Jena, an associate professor at Harvard Medical School, found that “rates of extreme speeding” increased in a sample county following the releases of three “Fast and Furious” movies.
The study examined 192,892 speeding tickets recorded in Montgomery County, Maryland, between 2012 and 2017. It found that, in the three weekends after the release of a “Fast and Furious” movie, compared to the three weekends before, ticketed speeds increased almost 20 percent, “to an average of 19 miles per hour over the speed limit, from 16 miles per hour.”
“Extreme speeding” also increased drastically in the same manner, according to the study, as “the percentage of drivers charged with driving more than 40 miles per hour above the speed limit nearly doubled.” The study found extreme speeders were often also concentrated within two miles from movie theaters, which they say suggests speeding “induced by moviegoing.”
Though the scope of the study is limited, the article makes for an entertaining read on the possible effects of a franchise that remains relevant on a large scale.
“The Fate of the Furious,” the eighth and latest movie in the series, earned over $1.2 billion worldwide after its release last summer. The release of the ninth film in the series has been delayed a year to April 2020.