Too Many Car Accidents Still Involve Speeding
July 30, 2020
According to reports from the National Safety Council (NSC), speed is a factor in roughly one-third of all deadly car accidents, killing more than 9,000 men, women, and children every year. Despite the fact that speed is one of the most preventable – and controllable – factors of nonfatal and fatal car accidents, it continues to be a leading cause of traffic crashes that result in serious injury or death.
The Effects of Speeding
Posted speed limits are on national roadways for a reason, and that reason is to help keep people safe. Even when a driver is obeying posted speed limits, if the conditions are dangerous (like during icy or wet weather, while driving at night or going through a work zone) speed can affect his or her safety behind the wheel – as well as the safety of everyone else. Because speeding has so many consequences, it is important that we all know what they are so that we can commit to preventing speed-related accidents from happening.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) compiled a list of examples that illustrate how speeding endangers every person on the road. Here are just a few examples of what happens when a driver speeds:
- He or she is more likely to lose control of the vehicle
- It takes more time to stop when the driver perceives a potential hazard in front of them
- Crash severity worsens, which can lead to a greater number of injuries and fatalities
- An uptake in damages, such as damage to vehicles, property damage, and more
- Higher levels of fuel consumption and cost
- Reduced effectiveness of occupant protection equipment, including but not limited to seatbelts and airbags
Although it is against the law to speed, the NHTSA finds that there are certain factors that speeders cite as motivating reasons. These factors include a disregard for the safety of others and for the law, running late to an appointment or to work, the anonymity of being inside a vehicle, (which sometimes causes people to act more like an observer than a participant in regard to their surroundings) or being stuck in traffic.
There are also certain risk factors that can increase a person’s chances for speeding. For example, men between the ages of 15 and 20-years-old are killed in speed-related car accidents at disproportionately high rates. The NHTSA also observes that nearly 50% of people killed in speed-related car accidents were not wearing a seatbelt at the time the deadly incident took place. So next time you get behind the wheel, take just a moment and pledge to avoid all aggressive and reckless driving behaviors – and remember to always buckle up.
What to do if you Encounter a Dangerous Driver
Even if you are abiding by posted speed limits and driving responsibly, chances are you may still come into contact with aggressive or unsafe drivers. Here are just a few ways that the NHTSA recommends dealing with drivers who are speeding or behaving aggressively behind the wheel:
- If you are in the left lane and someone is trying to pass you, move to the right to let them by
- Because speeding is directly linked to aggressive driving, it is important that you attune your responses to what you are coming into contact with. This means that if a speeding driver is tailgating you or trying to engage you in dangerous driving behaviors, safely steer your vehicle out of the way to avoid confrontation
- Give speeding cars extra space. Drivers who speed are more likely to lose control of their vehicles, so give them plenty of room to limit your chances of being involved
- If someone is following you or harassing you, call the police or 9-1-1
If You’re Involved in an Auto Accident
If you are involved in an automobile accident with a speeding or reckless driver, it is critical to follow a few steps. Assuming you do not require emergency medical care, call the police and request that they come to the scene of the accident. Next, exchange names, addresses, car registration, license information, plate numbers, and proof of insurance (insurance card) with any other driver(s) involved. If there are any witnesses to the accident, get their name(s) and address(es). Seek any necessary medical attention and be sure to inform your doctor that you were involved in an automobile accident. Take pictures of damages to all the vehicles involved in the crash, and notify your insurance company of what happened.
By taking these simple steps, you protect your ability to make a claim for injuries and damage in the future. If you would like to discuss your options for filing a legal claim with an experienced automobile accident attorney, someone at our firm can help. Contact a representative online now.
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