Drivers speed for many reasons. You would probably be hard pressed to find a person who hasn’t sped at one point or another while operating a motor vehicle. Maybe they are running late for an important meeting, in a hurry to get home to their family, or stressed and aggravated by slow traffic. Sometimes, it’s simply a case of failing to notice a change in the speed limit. Ultimately, though, speeding is an aggressive driving behavior that kills thousands of people each year. Some of these fatal accidents could have been avoided if drivers had simply slowed down.
Speeding is particularly dangerous because it both increases the likelihood of an accident occurring and makes the resulting accident more serious. Often, speeding causes drivers to lose control of their vehicle. A slick patch of road due to rain or ice, a tight turn on a curvy road, or a distracted driver can be all it takes to cause a serious accident. Even if the driver doesn’t lose control, speed automatically increases stop time and distance, therefore creating a higher likelihood of serious damage to persons or property.
In a high-speed crash, protective equipment like seatbelts and airbags work less effectively. Injuries are also usually more severe as the body goes through intense trauma during the force of impact. Spinal cord and head injuries may occur, along with whiplash and other fractures. Organs can be bruised, damaged, or even ruptured, leading to internal bleeding or death.
Because speed so often factors into car crashes, it’s an important aspect of many personal injury cases. After a crash, police and investigators will work to determine the speeds of the vehicles involved by measuring skid marks, interviewing witnesses, or checking traffic cameras. Often, more than one party can be held responsible for a crash. One driver may have misjudged a turn, for example, and entered an intersection when it wasn’t clear. But if you were that driver in the intersection and were struck because the other driver was racing through the light, the speeding driver might be considered largely at fault. When the police or a private reconstruction team can prove that a driver was speeding, it helps to prove damages in personal injury cases.
While each motor vehicle crash is different, they all have one thing in common. They touch the lives of many more people than just the drivers involved. They also affect passengers, other people on the road, pedestrians, cyclists, first responders, and road construction or maintenance workers. Think about that the next time you are behind the wheel. And if you’ve been struck by a speeding driver, contact a trusted personal injury attorney to help you determine your damages and subsequent course of action.
If you need a car accident lawyer, contact one today to learn more about how car accidents and personal injury cases go together.