Speeding kills. While it might seem like a minor offense to some people, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) linked speeding to more than 26% of all traffic fatalities in 2017. Nationwide, that’s nearly 10,000 people killed in a single year because of speeding. In Texas alone, speed contributed to 46,756 fatal or injury-causing crashes in 2017.
But even following the speed limit isn’t always enough to prevent speed-related collisions. What if a speeding driver crashes into you? How do you protect yourself and your family from these reckless drivers?
In this article, Crosley Law discusses why people speed, ways to stay safe on the road, and why you need to call an accident attorney if you or a loved one has been injured in a speed-related crash.
Why People Speed and What You Can Do About It
Speeding is extremely common. Almost everyone drives at least a little faster than the speed limit on occasion. But there’s a difference between exceeding the speed limit by a couple of miles per hour to pass a large truck and blasting down the highway at 80 mph. But why do people speed?
Need for Speed: Running Late
One of the most common causes of speeding is running late. You oversleep, can’t find your wallet, rush out of the house, and zoom off because someone scheduled another early morning meeting.
If this sounds like something that happens to you frequently, try getting everything you need for work together the night before. Planning ahead might include packing your purse or laptop bag, pre-making your breakfast and lunch, and making sure your kids have everything ready to go as well.
Impatience: Stuck in Traffic
Even if you’re not running late, being stuck in traffic can make drivers feel rushed. Some drivers speed to try to make up for missing a light or getting stuck behind that little old lady going 15 miles under the speed limit. Impatience can cause drivers to take off too quickly, pass other drivers recklessly, and run lights.
While taking different routes or leaving at a different time might help you avoid some of the worst traffic, becoming less impatient is more difficult. One solution you can try is to make your commute more enjoyable. Create a playlist before you leave to jam out to on your ride or try listening to an audiobook.
RELATED ARTICLE: Speeding and Car Collisions: A Dangerous Combination
Habit: Just Because
For many drivers, speeding is a habit. Other people believe driving 5 to 10 mph over the limit is socially acceptable. However, according to the World Health Organization, increasing your speed by just 5 mph increases the chance of a fatal crash by 30%.
Breaking a habit can be hard, but look for ways that you can regulate your driving habits. Some cars can alert drivers that they are speeding and remind them to slow down. Many GPS systems and navigation apps can also detect whether you are speeding and warn you. You can also set your cruise control.
“But there’s a difference between exceeding the speed limit by a couple of miles per hour to pass a large truck and blasting down the highway at 80 mph.”
But how do you protect yourself from other drivers who are running late, impatient, or just plain speeding?
Stay Safe From Speeding Drivers
Understanding the importance of driving the speed limit is only the first step in staying safe on the roads. Changing your driving patterns and habits can be hard, but changing the way other people drive is nearly impossible.
If you see a speeding driver, there are a few steps you can take to keep you and your family safe.
- Move over: Always let speeding drivers pass you by switching lanes or even pulling over if necessary.
- Give them space: Speeding drivers are more likely to lose control and crash, so it’s important to keep your distance.
- Don’t engage: Speeding could indicate an aggressive driver, and engaging with them by not letting them pass, honking, or gesturing at them could incite them to road rage.
- Call the police: Of course, you shouldn’t call the police on every driver you see speeding, but if you feel like someone is driving recklessly or aggressively and is a true danger to others, call 911.
If speeding played a role in your car crash, it’s important to document it. If possible, take pictures of the crash site and skid marks associated with the wreck, which accident reconstruction experts can use to calculate the other driver’s speed. You should also collect the names of any witnesses who saw the at-fault’s behavior before the crash.
Crosley Law Helps Crash Victims Get Justice
At Crosley Law, we use the latest technology to investigate our clients’ crashes and hold speeding drivers accountable. That sometimes includes creating digital reconstructions of crashes. These accurate crash simulations allow judges and juries to understand the evidence and facts of your case.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a speeding-related accident, contact our accident attorneys today. Our attorneys can investigate your case and work to get you the compensation and justice you deserve. Call us at 210-LAW-3000 | 210-529-3000 or fill out our simple online form to schedule your free consultation.
Crash contributing factors: 2017 (2018). Texas Department of Transportation. Retrieved from http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot-info/trf/crash_statistics/2017/21.pdf
Road Safety – Speed Facts. (2004, August). World Health Organization. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/violence_injury_prevention/ publications/road_traffic/world_report/speed_en.pdf
Speeding. (2018, March). National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Retrieved from https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/speeding
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.