Speed plays a role in thousands of crash fatalities every year. A driver cannot react as quickly when they are operating a vehicle at a high rate of speed. They don’t have as much time to slow down or stop.
As the speed of the vehicle increases, the crash energy does as well. Many localities are choosing to raise their speed limits, and more accidents are occurring. People frequently go above the speed limit, so raising the limit encourages them to go even faster. While people may say they need to speed, they must understand the dangers of going faster before they press down on the accelerator. The consequences of an accident caused by speeding are often devastating.
The Dangers of Speeding
As a vehicle’s speed increases, the less time the driver has to react to an emergency on the road. They need more space to stop the vehicle once they hit the brakes, and an evasive steering move is more likely to lead to the driver losing control of the car. What many people don’t realize is an increase in speed leads to a disproportionate increase in crash energy.
The Risk of Severe Injuries
A 50 percent increase in speed results in a 125 percent increase in the energy the driver needs to manage. If the vehicle crashes, the vehicle structure must absorb and dissipate this energy. It may not be able to do so, leading to severe injuries to any passengers at the time of the crash. Therefore, people often have to be cut out of their vehicles following a high-speed crash. The vehicle structure collapsed because of the collision.
Safety features in the vehicle typically hold even in severe crashes. However, they cannot overcome the significant forces resulting from the accident. As a result, even a person who is wearing their seat belt or has their airbags deploy may suffer serious injuries.
The Cold, Hard Facts
Over 12,000 individuals lost their lives in 2021 as a result of speed-related crashes. Billions of dollars are lost each year because of these accidents, and more people speed today than they did before the global pandemic, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. With many people already speeding and states raising speed limits, these numbers will probably increase.
Teenagers believe they are invincible, so it is not surprising that young males are often caught speeding. In fact, most accidents involving a young driver are related to speed, particularly among those between the ages of 16 and 20. Twenty percent of men who die in a fatal crash are speeding when the accident occurs. Only 13 percent of female drivers are speeding when they are involved in a fatal crash. As a person ages, their risk of dying in a speed-related crash decreases.
Rising speed limits will probably lead to an increase in speed-related crashes and fatalities. People have a tendency to drive above the speed limit regardless of what it is. Drivers need to understand that going faster puts them at more risk of severe injuries or death. This may be the only way to get them to slow down.
However, the driver who is speeding is not the only one at risk. Other people on the road may be injured or killed as a result of their actions. Anyone who has been injured as the result of another person speeding should speak with an attorney to learn their rights under the law. Nobody should be harmed through the actions of another. For those who are, help is available. It all begins with a consultation with an attorney, so make this call today.