Many people nowadays always seem to be in a rush, especially during busy times of the year. More vehicles on the roads can make commutes longer, and congested roads can lead to anxiety. Under these conditions, drivers may respond by driving more aggressively, often forgetting the dangers of speeding and the risks associated with it.
Speeding remains one of the most prominent elements in causing car accidents along with drunk driving and distracted driving. In fact, it remains a constant threat because many drunk driving and distracted driving incidents also involve elements of speeding. Speed limits are there for a reason — they protect us and help us to drive within the proper confines for safe driving. Disregarding the posted speed limits can lead to incredibly dangerous and risky situations.
The Dangers of Speeding: Does Speeding Cause Accidents?
Speeding doesn’t just include driving over the speed limit. It also includes other behavior, such as driving too fast for current road conditions (for instance, when it is rainy or if there is ice on the road, or while driving through a construction zone). It can also include other violations such as racing or displays of speed.
Besides potential tickets and criminal consequences, speeding can create hazards and dangers for passengers, other drivers, and pedestrians, including:
- Increased stopping distance (it will take longer to stop the car once the driver perceives a danger on the road).
- Increased occurrence of rollovers (especially for higher vehicles like trucks and SUVs).
- Greater potential for a loss of control and steering.
- Higher degree of crash severity if an accident does occur (a high speed crash is more likely to result in serious injuries or death than a low-speed collision).
One of the most alarming aspects of speeding is the increased stopping time. An average vehicle traveling at 30 mph will need about 110 feet to come to a complete stop. In comparison, a car moving at 60 mph will need over 300 feet to stop — this is the entire length of a football field! One can imagine the dangers if a driver is following too closely while speeding, or if they are speeding in an area where there are many pedestrians.
Speeding is often a component of many aggressive driving and road rage incidents. Under such conditions, when a driver is emotionally charged due to a conflict, speeding can create even more significant risks of harm and injury.
Lastly, besides these risks and dangers, speeding can lead to increased insurance rates, more wear on the car, increased fuel consumption, and points on one’s driving record. Overall, the risks simply aren’t worth it.
Speeding is one of the most prevalent and widespread driving issues across the nation. Consider the following statistics:
- For more than two decades, speeding has been a significant factor in approximately one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities. In the year 2017, speeding was a factor in 26% of all traffic-related fatalities.
9,378 total speeding-related deaths were recorded in 2018.
- According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, speeding remains the number one driver-related factor in fatal crashes involving large trucks and buses.
Speeding is especially a concern for teenage drivers. It was a critical factor in 32 percent of the fatal crashes involving teen drivers in the year 2016. Research also suggests that teenage speeding behavior increases over time, possibly due to them gaining more confidence as they drive more. Teen drivers should be especially aware of their driving speed in bad weather, on winding roads, or during other difficult driving conditions.
Dealing With Speeding Drivers
As a driver, there are some steps you can take to help avoid speeding drivers and increase your own driving safety:
- Let tailgaters pass if they are following too closely.
- Give speeding drivers more space on both sides as you share the road with them. As mentioned, drivers are more prone to losing control at higher speeds.
- Alert local authorities when safe if you observe a car driving recklessly or posing a danger to drivers or pedestrians.
- Don’t intentionally aggravate speeding drivers or attempt to communicate with them while on the road.
Also, understanding why people speed can help you avoid it personally. A few of the most frequent causes of speeding include:
- Running late: This is one of the most common reasons for speeding. Plan your trip ahead of time and leave early to avoid rushing.
- Traffic: A feeling of being “stuck” often contributes to speeding. People may be especially prone to speeding right after an accident clears or once they pass an accident scene, which can lead to yet another accident. This is why you often see another accident scene right after you pass a crash. Be especially mindful both before and after any traffic stalls.
- Road rage/aggression: Drivers may sometimes express their anger through speeding, turning wildly, or other dangerous maneuvers.
- Drunk driving: Driving while intoxicated can cause a person to lose their sense of speed and timing.
For teen drivers, it’s important to educate them early on the dangers of speeding, texting and driving, and other dangerous driving habits.
Why You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer for a Speeding Accident Case
Speeding causes unnecessary risks and places the lives of other people in danger. Crashes that involve speeding may cause more serious injuries and property damage than different types of vehicle collisions. You may need to contact an experienced injury attorney if you or a loved one of yours have suffered injuries due to another person’s negligent driving.
Car accident cases require an in-depth examination of liability, causation, damages, and other complex legal concepts. You need an attorney who is well-versed in these areas of law and who can file your claim on time.
The attorneys at The Flood Law Firm have helped our clients recover damages in more than 150 jury trials and thousands of personal injury settlements. We are committed to helping our community members obtain the justice and compensation they deserve. Contact us at (887) 987-9529 to schedule a free consultation. Our team is on hand to guide you towards the best possible recovery for your situation.