How Does Speed Affect Car Accidents?
Speeding is a danger to everyone on the road from the driver themselves, to other drivers, passengers and pedestrians. The fact is that speeding increases the chance of getting into a car accident and increases the likelihood that the accident will be deadly. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), speeding was the leading cause of death for 9,738 people in 2018. According to crash stats from the NHTSA, speeding has been a factor in approximately one-third of all motor vehicle accident fatalities for more than two decades.
Speeding is when a driver exceeds the legal speed limit or drives too fast for road conditions such as flooding, ice or road construction. You have to wonder; considering the potential consequences, why do so many drivers choose to speed?
How does speed affect car accidents?
Car accidents range from very minor to severe. Each crash has its own factors. Here are some of the ways that speed affects car accidents:
- Easier to lose control of the vehicle
- Increases the time it takes to react to a road hazard
- Increases time it takes to come to a stop after putting foot on brake
- Reduces effectiveness of occupant protection equipment such as seat belts
- Higher risk of serious crash leading to severe injuries or death
Why do drivers speed?
Speeding is considered to be a type of aggressive driving. Drivers speed for a variety of reasons, including:
Road rage and heavy traffic. A certain percentage of drivers become angry when they feel stuck in heavy traffic and will speed as much as they are able in order to weave around other vehicles and change lanes frequently. One of the ways to overcome this urge is to understand that if you’re in heavy traffic, these behaviors are not going to get you to your destination much faster than if you had simply stayed in line.
Running late. Some drivers will choose to speed because they are running late for a meeting or appointment, the start of their work day or to pick up their kids. The clear answer here is to do everything you can to give yourself enough time to get to your destination on time.
A selfish disregard for others and the law. When drivers speed, they are breaking traffic laws and they are disregarding the safety of others on the road. There is obviously a difference between a person who rarely or momentarily speeds and a person who speeds every time they get behind the wheel. If you are being tailed by a speeder, the best thing you can do for your safety is to move over to let them pass. If this is not possible, give extra space to the speeding driving because they have a higher chance of losing control of their vehicle. In extreme circumstances, you should pull over and call the local police to report a reckless driver.
How do authorities attempt to decrease speeding and speeding accidents?
- Cities and towns use road design and engineering measures to decide on safe speed limits.
- Traffic laws are used by law enforcement to issue tickets to drivers who break them.
- Public education campaigns are used in high schools and elsewhere to teach people about the dangers of speeding.
- The NHTSA gives a Speed Management Program course to state and local jurisdictions.
Seek the help of a car accident attorney
If you or a loved one was injured because of the negligence of another, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal rights. Let an experienced car accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times larger with the help of a lawyer. Call the personal injury lawyers at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!