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How Speeding Makes Car Accidents Worse

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Speeding killed 9,378 people in 2018 alone. That’s an entire stadium filled with people who are no longer with us. While many people are in a rush behind the wheel, exceeding the speed limit or driving too fast for conditions is never worth your life – or someone else’s. For the past 2 decades, speeding has been involved in approximately one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities. When you know the reasons, it’s not hard to understand why:

Speeding Increases the Likelihood of Car Accidents

Speed limits exist for a reason. If a speed limit seems low, it might be because the area is a popular spot for bicyclists and pedestrians, the roads are curvy, there are many blind driveways, or any other factor. If you exceed the posted speed limit, you might not have time to respond to a hazard.

That being said, speeding can be more than going over the speed limit. If you drive too fast during bad weather, at night in areas with poor lighting, or on roadways that need work, you are putting yourself and everyone around you at risk.

Speeding increases the likelihood of car accidents because it makes it more difficult for you to control your vehicle and stop after you perceive a danger.

Speeding Reduces the Effectiveness of Safety Equipment

Today’s vehicles are built to withstand crashes and protect drivers and passengers. Seatbelts, airbags, and other safety features can prevent serious injuries and fatalities. The faster you’re going, however, the less well these safety features work.

Think of it like jumping off a diving board versus a cliff. If you jump off a diving board, you will make a nice splash into the water, but if you jump off a cliff, you could get seriously hurt. Your chances of injury increase with the height of the cliff.

Even though it is meant to protect you, an airbag can become less effective with speed, and a vehicle that is designed to crumple around you while keeping you safe can crumple too much due to excessive speed and force.

Crash tests occur at 35 mph, and most car safety features work best at speeds under 40 mph. Even if you cannot avoid a collision, following the speed limit gives you time to slow down and make sure you get the most out of your car’s safety equipment.

Speeding Makes Injuries More Severe

Human bodies are not designed to withstand high speeds and intense impacts. Even moving at a speed of 15 mph is impossible for us without motor vehicles, and even a “fender bender” can wreak havoc on our bodies. The higher the speed, the more severe the crash and the injuries that result.

It’s simple physics – force equals mass (the weight of your car) times acceleration (the speed you’re going), and the human body can only withstand so much force. Too much force always leads to serious injuries, and all too often, those injuries are fatal.

Why People Speed (and What You Can Do About It)

With all this information, some people still choose to speed. People might speed or drive aggressively because they are impatient and frustrated with traffic, because they are running late, or simply because they don’t consider things like safety and the law.

Unfortunately, you cannot control other people’s behavior, but you can take steps to keep yourself safe:

  • Always follow the posted speed limit
  • Go with the flow of traffic
  • Drive with conditions in mind
  • Give speeding drivers plenty of space
  • Do not engage with aggressive drivers
  • Call the police if you feel like another driver is following or harassing you

If someone causes an accident or otherwise harms you while speeding or driving aggressively, the Law Offices of Charles R. Gueli can help you hold them accountable.

Call us at (516) 628-6402 or contact us online to discuss your legal options during a free consultation – we are available 24/7 to take your call.

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