speeding causes accidents

The Connection Between Speeding and Fatal Accidents

Everyone has done it—you realize you’re running late to work, school pickup, or an extracurricular activity. You know the speed limit but you’re willing to push the limits to try to make it on time. When drivers make the choice to speed, many don’t know just how dangerous of a decision they are making. There is a clear link between speeding and fatal car accidents, and saving a few minutes just isn’t worth it.

Find out more about what the research says—and if you’ve been injured in a speeding-related accident, let us help you fight for the compensation you deserve. Call Turner, Onderdonk, Kimbrough & Howell at 251-336-3411.

How Speeding Affects Your Driving and Your Safety

Speeding affects drivers in a wide variety of ways, none of which are positive. When you look at everything speeding does to a driver, it’s clear why speeding is correlated with fatal accidents:

  • Gives you less time to react to obstacles on the road, unexpected behavior from other drivers, and other situations requiring a quick reaction
  • Increases your vehicle stopping distance
  • Makes it harder for you to notice other drivers and your surroundings while driving
  • Decreases the efficacy of safety structures, such as guardrails, median dividers, and concrete barriers
  • Decreases the efficacy of internal safety equipment, such as seatbelts and airbags

Additionally, those who are speeding are often doing so because they are running late or otherwise in a rush. This isn’t the ideal state of mind for driving—it’s harder to think clearly and when issues arise, you’re less likely to make sound decisions. Combined with the factors listed above, an increase in crash severity is nearly inevitable.

What the Statistics Say

The NHTSA has conducted extensive research on speeding and its effects on driving safety. In 2020, they found that speed was a contributing factor in 29% of fatal traffic crashes. This is in line with research over the last 20 years, which has shown that speed is involved in roughly one-third of all car accident deaths.

Why is speeding so closely correlated with fatal crashes? As your speed increases, the severity of any crash that may occur also increases. However, crash severity doesn’t rise in a linear fashion, per Automotive Fleet.

Imagine a car crash where you hit a stationary object at 25 miles per hour. The crash would be inconvenient but would likely not cause serious injuries. If you experienced the same crash at 35 miles per hour—40% faster—the damage wouldn’t be 40% worse. It would be nearly twice as bad.

When you’re traveling at 50 miles per hour, the damage is four times worse, and at 75 miles per hour, crash severity is nine times higher than it is at 25 miles per hour. Not only does speeding put you at risk, but the more you speed, the dangers increase exponentially.

What This Means for You

As a driver, this should be a wake-up call. No matter how bad the traffic is or how much of a rush you are in, the dangers of speeding simply are not worth it. When you choose to speed, either above the speed limit or too fast for weather conditions, you aren’t just putting yourself in danger—you are endangering everyone else in your vehicle and everyone else on the road.

If you are driving safely but you are sharing the road with a speeding driver, you know that you’re at risk of an accident. It’s important to be proactive and take steps to protect yourself from a crash.

If someone is speeding behind you, move over to the right so they can pass. If an aggressive driver is tailgating, don’t get caught up in a game of chicken—do whatever you must to put space between you and them. At all times, leave as much space as possible between you and speeding drivers. Remember, they aren’t able to react as quickly to traffic slowdowns or obstacles.

Begin Your Personal Injury Claim with Turner, Onderdonk, Kimbrough & Howell

The team at Turner, Onderdonk, Kimbrough & Howell is here to help you fight for fair compensation after a car accident. Let’s sit down, talk about your crash, and make a plan. Just reach out online or call us at 251-336-3411.

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