There are more than 37,000 fatal car accidents that happen throughout the country each year. Of these, approximately 1 in 3 collisions involve a driver who was operating their vehicle above the legal posted speed limit.
Speeding is a danger to everyone on the road. It is reckless, and in the blink of an eye, speed demons who drive faster than they should can cause or contribute to a devastating accident.
Driving speeds can have a major impact on motor vehicle collisions. Here’s what you should know about driving speed and how it affects accidents.
The Specifics of Speeding
Speeding is more than just driving faster than the posted speed limit in any given location. It also involves driving too fast for road conditions, like heavy fog or thunderstorms. The National Safety Council considers a motor vehicle collision to be speeding-related if the driver was cited for speeding, if they were racing, driving too fast for the road conditions at the time of the crash, or if “exceeding the posted speed limit was indicated as a contributing factor in the crash.”
Speeding is more common than some may think; a federal study of more than 12 million vehicles discovered that two-thirds of all vehicles observed drove at rates that exceeded the speed limit. Just how common is speeding?
- 70% of vehicles exceeded posted highway speed limits
- Almost one in 5 vehicles drove more than 10 miles per hour over the speed limit
Speeding is more than just a danger to those behind the wheel; it’s risky behavior that puts the lives of their passengers in jeopardy, as well as every other motorist and passenger they encounter in their travels. Thousands of people are injured or killed each year as a result of the reckless, dangerous behavior of those who speed.
Traveling at high speeds can be a critical factor in motor vehicle crashes when road conditions are poor. The National Safety Council shared the specifics of speeding and road conditions for fatal crashes in 2019, which were as follows:
- 16% of speeding drivers were traveling on dry roads
- 19% of speeding drivers were traveling on wet roads
- 40% were speeding through moving or standing water
- 41% were speeding on roads with mud, dirt, or gravel
Speed and Its Role in Accidents
Speed is one of the biggest risk factors in traffic collisions and plays a major role in many accidents, especially those with more severe injuries. This is because high driving speeds amplify the effects of a collision due to:
- Higher collision speeds
- Less reaction time
- Longer required braking distance
- Increased risk of loss of vehicle control
- Decreased effectiveness of a vehicle’s protective equipment
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), speeding has consistently been a contributing factor to one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities for over 20 years. Tragically, there were 9,478 speeding-related deaths in 2019.
One study conducted at the University of California at Berkeley, and shared by Automotive Fleet, found that for every 1% increase in speed, a driver increases the likelihood of an accident by 2%. But it’s not just the chance of causing an accident that increases; it also increases the risk of serious injury and fatality.
- Every 1% increase in driving speed increases the chance of serious injury by 3%.
- Every 1% increase in driving speed increases the chance of fatality by 4%.
Those driving faster than the other vehicles around them have even greater chances of causing serious, injury-inducing collisions. When driving at 80 miles per hour on a road where the majority of vehicles are traveling at 70 miles per hour:
- The risk of crashing increases by 31%
- The risk of causing a crash with an injury increases by 49%
- The risk of causing a crash that leads to a fatality increases by 71%
The Legal Ramifications of Speeding
Florida is one of several states that has a “no-fault” law in place. The purpose of Florida’s No-Fault Law that provides Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits, is to provide for medical, surgical, funeral, and disability insurance benefits without regard to fault, and to require motor vehicle insurance securing such benefits, for motor vehicles required to be registered in this state.
These no-fault laws were enacted to make it simpler for those who have been injured in motor vehicle accidents to get the medical treatment they need. The problem? Many of these PIP insurance policies have limits on what they will pay for medical expenses, meaning they will only pay for a certain portion of your medical bills.
However, this does not mean that you or your loved ones should be stuck paying for medical bills if you have been gravely injured. If your injuries are more severe, meet a certain threshold, or extend beyond your PIP coverage, you may decide that it’s right for you to file a lawsuit against the other driver to cover medical bills and other damages.
Steven A. Bagen & Associates Are Here for You
If you or a loved one have been involved in a motor vehicle collision where speed was a factor, the things that are important to do can be urgent, overwhelming, and stressful. That’s why it’s important to have someone, conduct a thorough investigation for you right away. At Steven A. Bagen & Associates, our expert car accident injury attorneys make sure to start working on your case as soon as we can, not to miss anything, and take the stress of investigation and evidence gathering off of you, so you can focus on getting the medical attention for your injuries that you need.
No one should have to deal with the painful, sometimes devastating effects of a speed-related motor vehicle accident. If you or a loved one have been involved in a truck or car accident and you suspect speed was a contributing factor, contact Steven A. Bagen & Associates today. Our team is committed to representing your interests and needs to get the compensation you are entitled to so you can begin to move forward after your accident. Give us a call at 1 (800) 800-2575 to have us start fighting for you as soon as we can.