Among all of the dangerous and reckless behaviors that are conducted by drivers, speeding is one of the most common. In fact, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) estimates that at least one-third of all fatal motor vehicle accidents are caused by speeding. This translates to almost 900 fatalities per month just from speeding alone. With all of the risks associated with speeding, including death, it is often difficult to understand how so many Americans still partake in this unsafe practice.
Speeding is a risky habit that is often trivialized, or minimized, by the individuals that participate in the behavior. They often attempt to make excuses in order to justify their driving at high speeds. One common example, mentioned by several car accident attorneys, is when the driver claims that they were speeding because they were late for work or school. They may also claim that everyone drives fast, and that it is not just them. The fact that “everyone” drives their vehicles at unsafe speeds is not by any means a realistic defense. If everyone instead made an effort to drive more slowly, think about all of the lives that could be saved.
Potential Injuries from a Speeding Car Accident
There are serious, sometimes deadly, consequences that are attributed to speeding that everyone should know about, such as:
- It can reduce your ability as a driver to manipulate winding roads. It can also reduce the reaction time available to avoid obstacles in your lane.
- The distance that your car travels before coming to a complete stop is increased. You may notice the car ahead of you stop abruptly; however, you may not be able to reduce your speed enough to avoid a collision.
- There is an increased distance that your vehicle travels before you can react to an upcoming hazard.
- Other individuals using the roadways, such as pedestrians or other drivers, may not be able to properly gauge the amount of time that they have to clear your lane. What may appear at first to be an acceptable distance to safely cross a road may not be safe at all due to your increased speed.
When an accident happens at high speeds, the damage that is inflicted is often much worse than a similar accident occurring at slower speeds. This is because the energy of the crash is increased by the square of the speeds. As per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, colliding with a vehicle traveling at speeds of 65mph or higher is more than twice as likely to cause a fatality as a collision occurring at speeds of 45-50mph. It is also almost five times more likely to result in fatalities than a similar accident at less than 40mph.
It is a proven fact that in high speed crashes, the risk of death or serious injury is incredibly high. The force behind the collision could crush your vehicle with you inside of it. Also, safety features, such as airbags and restraints, may not be able to disperse the force enough to avoid serious injury.
Each year it is estimated that more than $40 billion dollars are spent on these types of accidents in one form or another. Through: medical care, treatment, physical therapy, lost wages, permanent disability, and property damage; motor vehicle accidents that are caused by excess speeds are incredibly taxing on our economy. Those that sustain severe injuries could find themselves no longer able to work, and facing a lifetime of constant pain and suffering.
The law considers speeding a reckless and aggressive driving tactic. Because of this, if an accident should occur due to speeding, then the responsible party may be held accountable for any injuries and losses that are incurred. Depending on your automobile insurance policy and the injuries that are sustained, this financial burden could be devastating for you and your family.
Speeding is usually defined as driving at speeds higher than the posted limits. But did you know that even if you are driving at the posted speed limit, you could be ticketed for speeding? This can occur when you are driving much too fast for current weather conditions. For example, if the roads are covered in ice, then driving at 65mph could be dangerous, even though that is the legal speed limit.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident that was caused by speeding or another reckless behavior, then you may have a case against the responsible party. You should consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer to find out if a personal injury lawsuit or a wrongful death claim may be appropriate.