Speeding is one of the most common causes of all traffic collisions in California. Speeding is also considered a very dangerous form of aggressive driving, albeit one that has only recently been truly identified as particularly destructive.
There are so many reasons why anyone would choose to speed – it is a conscious decision to speed, after all – yet doing so makes little to no difference on arrival time. Simply put, there are no practical reasons for speeding.
It’s interesting to note the correlation between speeding and another one of the most reckless and destructive driving behaviors there is: driving while under the influence of alcohol. A speeding driver and an alcohol impaired driver have both greatly reduced their ability to control their vehicle, and cannot react to any changes in road conditions or unexpected emergencies.
In fact, many people are now advocating for a speeding charge to carry the same weight as a DUI charge, as the aftermath of both types of accidents can be just as catastrophic from a financial and medical perspective.
At West Coast Trial Lawyers, our car accident attorneys have seen first-hand the physical, mental, emotional, and/or financial damage a car accident caused by speeding can cause innocent victims and their families.
We are here to help the victims and their families recover fair compensation after an accident. Because these injuries are often catastrophic and life changing, victims and their families need to be represented by a skilled car accident lawyer who will fight to get them the full compensation they deserve and need.
It goes without saying that speeding is an entirely preventable behavior. Reducing your speed behind the wheel, even by just a few miles per hour to meet the speed limit or speed of traffic , can save lives and significantly reduce medical costs and damages to property. Speeding endangers everyone. In 2017 alone, speeding killed an alarming 9,717 people in the United States, accounting for over a quarter (26 percent) of all traffic fatalities that year.
Car accidents and injuries caused by speeding can be exacerbated by even the slightest increase in speed. For example, going 5 mph to 10 mph faster than the posted speed limit can make the difference between a life or death scenario in a car accident. It’s simple: anytime a driver increases his or her speed from 40 mph to 60 mph, the energy that is released in an accident more than doubles.
According to 2020 statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 29 percent of all fatal car accidents were directly attributed to speeding. Another eye catching statistic, according to the National Safety Council, is that about 13,000 lives are lost yearly as a direct consequence of speeding.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) also noted a direct and obvious correlation between vehicle speed and crash severity. It’s simple laws of physics in action – the faster the speed of a vehicle in motion, the greater the impact, and the more severe and potentially life threatening the subsequent injuries will be.
The study conducted by the IIHS also determined that motorists traveling at or below the speed limit significantly lowered their risk of being seriously injured in a car accident. In contrast, the risk of being severely injured increased exponentially for those choosing to drive above the speed limit.
Consequences of Speeding
The faster a car is moving, the more energy and time it takes to bring it to a complete stop. Driving at high speeds increases the likelihood that a driver will lose control of his or her vehicle. Traveling at excessive speeds greatly reduces driver reaction time and their ability to adapt to unexpected changes in traffic or emergencies.
The consequences of speeding for a driver include:
Many reasons why a driver would choose to speed include:
A driver aggravated by heavy traffic may respond by becoming aggressive. Aggressive behavior includes speeding, frequent and unnecessary lane changes, and angry or violent displays towards surrounding drivers.
The Anonymity of a Vehicle
Sitting within the body of a car can give a driver the feeling of being disconnected or shielded from his or her environment. This insulation from reality can be very dangerous, as some people may feel empowered to speed or drive aggressively as they’re unlikely to ever see any witnesses to their reckless behavior again.
Some people choose to speed simply because they’re running late and have too much to do.
Disregard for the Law and Other Drivers
The vast majority of drivers rarely speed or drive aggressively, and many never will. However, several drivers do show aggressive and reckless behavior, such as speeding or frequent lane changes that are putting other drivers’ lives in danger.
If you ever encounter a speeding driver while on the freeway, or even on your own street, it’s best to simply get out of the way. There is no reason to get involved. Do not attempt to flag down the vehicle, and don’t try to get their attention in any way. While you may feel upset as a witness to another driver’s reckless behavior, it is always in your best interest to protect yourself above anything else. However, if your safety is at risk due to a speeding driver, the best thing to do is call 911 and request assistance.
Contact Us to Find Out How We Can Help
If you have sustained injuries as a result of another driver’s speeding, you have the right to hold that driver responsible. A skilled car accident attorney at West Coast Trial Lawyers can help you recover compensation for the losses you have suffered, including medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering.