There is something about driving fast that appeals to many people. Maybe it’s feeling powerful as you steer tons of metal around a curve. Maybe it’s the few extra moments of sleep you can get if you plan to speed toward your location. Maybe it’s arrogance – we have managed to survive this long, and we believe we’ll continue to do so.
Speeding accounts for more than 25 percent of fatal traffic accidents each year. Along with not wearing your seat belt, driving while distracted, or driving while drunk, speeding is one of the most dangerous things a driver can do.
How big of an issue is speeding?
During the coronavirus pandemic, the number of fatal traffic accidents has increased even though the number of cars traveling on the road has decreased. The reason for the rise in fatal traffic accidents is – you guessed it – speeding. Because the number of vehicles traveling on the road has been reduced, drivers have become emboldened to engage in risky driving behaviors like speeding. In a way, the reduction of cars on the road has led to an increase in dangerous driving behaviors like speeding.
Why is speeding so dangerous?
In addition to being the leading factor in fatal traffic accidents, a driver’s chances of getting involved in any accident increases when the driver speeds. Drivers who are speeding are at a greater risk of losing control of their vehicles. They also require quicker reaction times and extended braking distances because they cover more ground than drivers traveling at a slower speed.
Another reason speeding is dangerous for drivers is that it serves as a gateway for other unsafe driving behaviors. It is very rare for drivers who constantly engage in speeding to only engage in speeding. According to data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drivers who speed also engage in behaviors that can cause serious accidents, such as suddenly switching lanes, tailgating, and running red lights.
Does speed affect the severity of a crash?
It absolutely does. Cars traveling at a faster rate will increase the amount of damage that the drivers, passengers, and vehicles will sustain from the collision.
The increase in speed does not even need to be much; as the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has found, even modest increases in speed can have catastrophic outcomes. In a recent study conducted by the by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, IIHS, and Humanetics (the “leading manufacturer of biofidelic crash test dummies”), the groups looked at the impact of crashes involving three different 2010 Honda CR-V EX crossovers, traveling at three different speeds – 40 mph, 50 mph, and 56 mph. Their results were significant:
As the crash speed increased in the tests, researchers found more structural damage and greater forces on the dummy’s entire body….
At the 40 mph impact speed, there was minimal intrusion into the driver’s space. But at the 50 mph impact speed, there was noticeable deformation of the driver side door opening, dashboard and foot area. At 56 mph, the vehicle interior was significantly compromised, with the dummy’s sensors registering severe neck injuries and a likelihood of fractures to the long bones in the lower leg.
At both 50 and 56 mph, the steering wheel’s upward movement caused the dummy’s head to go through the deployed airbag. This caused the face to smash into the steering wheel. Measurements taken from the dummy showed a high risk of facial fractures and severe brain injury.
Injuries caused by speeding accidents
Speeding accidents cause traffic collisions with major force upon impact. Traffic collisions that contain the most force upon impact create the most severe and fatal injuries for all parties involved. In addition to motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists are the people most at risk of suffering fatal injuries in a speeding accident. Serious injuries can include internal bleeding, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and amputations.
Why should drivers resist the urge to speed?
Drivers should avoid the “devil” on their shoulders and stick to the speed limit whenever possible. One of the main reasons is that the speed reduction will help drivers and other parties to remain alive. It only takes a second to become involved in a fatal traffic accident and lose one’s life or take another. To reduce the likelihood of a deadly traffic accident happening, drivers should make a conscious effort to travel at speeds below the limit. Whatever limit the driver wants to travel, make sure the limit is not too slow as that can lead to a traffic accident.
Another reason why drivers want to resist speeding is that it will benefit drivers financially in the long run. Speeding tickets, insurance claims, and higher premiums drivers will have to pay after an accident are just some of the financial strains drivers can experience after getting involved in a speeding accident.
At The Hayden Law Firm, we pair big-firm resources with small-firm personalized attention to meet your needs and concerns. We take on the insurance companies so you don’t have to, working to secure fair and just compensation for your injuries. Please call our offices at 314-480-3100 or complete our contact form for a free, no-risk consultation. We proudly serve clients in St. Louis, and throughout Missouri and Illinois.
Attorney Amanda L. Hayden has dedicated her legal career to fearlessly advocating for clients and their families after their lives have been devastated by the careless and/or reckless conduct of others.
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