While driving has become more than necessary in today’s day and age, the dangers of hitting the open road are often overshadowed. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently projected 31,785 traffic-related deaths in the first three-quarters of the last year alone. Violating the speed limit is one of the most commonly broken laws, as well as one of the causes for the most dangerous types of car accidents.
Learning the dangers of speeding, along with the common causes, can help any driver stay safe out on the road. If you’re involved in a speeding accident, don’t hesitate to reach out to a personal injury lawyer who can help with your case.
How Dangerous is Speeding?
While tens of thousands of people die on a yearly basis from total car accidents, 1/3rd of traffic fatalities are caused by speeding alone. When a driver speeds on the road, there are a number of crucial factors that increase the danger:
- Speeding drivers have less time to react in a dangerous situation
- Vehicle stopping distance is increased
- Road safety structures are less protective than normal
All of the above factors occur in dry weather, but poor weather only makes matters worse. The percentage of fatal crashes due to speeding skyrocket on slick driving surfaces such as dirt, mud, snow, or simply water.
Common Situations Where Speeding Occurs
A speeding accident can cause a number of common injuries including: bone fractures and breaks, brain trauma, spinal cord injuries, whiplash, and disfigurement. Recognizing when there’s a higher likelihood that speeding drivers will be around can help other drivers act more defensively out on the road to keep themselves safe.
Speeding is most commonly seen in the following situations:
- Traffic: As drivers grow frustrated with slow moving vehicles, they may be more inclined to let their emotions take over and drive erratically to get out of traffic.
- Morning and Evening Rush Hour: These two times of the day are some of the most common for speeding. Workers rush to get to the office on time or let their excitement take over on the way home and don’t follow the speed limit as closely as they should.
- A simple disregard for others: Some drivers just don’t care about others on the road and will speed for the thrill of it.
The Fines and Penalties for Speeding
Make no mistake that speeding can lead to heavy penalties and fines, not to mention the possibility of death. The base fee for going over the speed limit ranges from $35-100, not including additional fees, depending on how many miles-per-hour over the limit a driver is traveling. Fees in constructions zones will be even higher. If your level of speeding is so erratic that it qualifies as reckless driving, your punishment could even be jail time.
What Are Your Legal Options in a Speeding Accident?
When you are involved in a speeding accident, the danger is far more than a standard car accident due to the speed of the crash. This can lead to serious bodily injury, as well as major vehicle damage. Both of these can some with serious costs that you may not be able to afford, even with assistance from insurance.
Fortunately, you may have legal ground to sue the other driver for your personal injuries. Assuming their speeding was reckless, or negligent at the very least, you may be able to win a personal injury lawsuit. Consult with a personal injury lawyer to see what options are available if you’ve been the victim of a speeding car accident.
How to Keep Yourself Safe on the Road
While you can’t control the actions of other drivers, there are a few ways you can stay safe from speeders and in general on the road:
- If you see someone speeding in your rearview mirror, maintain your position and allow them to speed around you rather than making a sudden movement which would force them to react.
- Call the police and report the driver if their speed is well-beyond safe levels
- Allow speeding drivers plenty of space
- Avoid driving during times where many speeders are on the road
Find representation in the event of an accident
Knowing your legal options will help you respond quickly after an accident. Don’t pay for medical expenses or vehicle repair out of pocket if you were in an accident that was caused by another driver who was speeding recklessly. Speak with an attorney as soon as possible to discuss submitting a personal injury claim.