With our hectic schedules, it should come as no surprise that people sometimes ignore posted speed limits to get from point A to point B a little faster. However, driving faster than the speed limit or faster than is safe for road conditions can be disastrous in the event of an accident. Speeding contributes to car accidents in the following ways:
- Higher speeds increase your chances of losing control. Speeding drivers may be more likely to accidentally swerve into oncoming traffic or nearby barriers. Losing control of your vehicle can cause a rollover accident.
- Speed increases stopping time and distance. The faster you drive, the more time and distance you will need to stop your vehicle. If you are speeding and suddenly notice debris on the roadway or a stopped vehicle in front of you, you may not have enough time or space to brake and end up in an accident.
- High-speed collisions often result in severe injuries. High-speed collisions often cause severe whiplash, resulting in the jarring of the brain and skull, as well as serious neck and spinal injuries. You may also hit your head on the steering wheel, windshield or another hard surface. At high speeds, this impact can end your life on the spot or cause significant brain damage.
- Vehicle safety features may not work as intended at higher speeds. Safety belts and airbags protect drivers and passengers from severe injuries by reducing the force of the impact. If you are traveling too fast and are involved in an accident, these safety features may not function properly.
How Many Accidents Are Speeding-Related?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), speeding played a role in 27 percent of all 2015 fatal motor vehicle accidents. In the United States, there were 9,557 speeding-related fatalities in 2015. The percentage of speeding-related fatalities increased 3 percent from 2014 to 2015. Many speeding drivers in fatal crashes operate their vehicles at night and while intoxicated. In fact, nearly 45 percent of speeding drivers in fatal crashes had a blood alcohol content of .01 or more.
In Florida, 320 traffic deaths, or 11 percent of all traffic fatalities in 2015, were speeding-related. Florida had the lowest percentage of speeding-related traffic fatalities in the country in 2015.
What Behaviors Cause Speed-Related Accidents?
Speed limits indicate the maximum speed a driver can go, assuming there are favorable traffic and weather conditions. Drivers may cause accidents by engaging in the following behaviors:
- Driving too fast – Many people mistakenly believe that traveling five to 10 miles over the speed limit is not speeding. However, even traveling just a few miles over the speed limit can have serious consequences. Excessive speeding can be particularly dangerous.
- Driving too slow– Driving too slow can be just as dangerous as driving too fast. If you drive 10 miles per hour or less slow than surrounding traffic, you are more likely to be in an accident.
- Failing to maintain reasonable speed– Just because the posted speed limit is 70 m.p.h., does not mean you should drive at that speed during a thunderstorm. Drivers who fail to consider weather conditions, traffic conditions, roadway construction and other factors when driving may end up causing an accident, even if they are not technically exceeding the speed limit.
If you are ever involved in a high-speed collision, contact the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine. Our personal injury attorneys can help you file an insurance claim for benefits as well as file a lawsuit against the speeding driver if you have severe injuries. Contact us at 800-747-3733 for a free consultation.