Speeding and Fatal Accidents

The Connection Between Speeding and Fatal Accidents

Speeding seems like a harmless driving behavior; it’s so common that it’s rare to see someone driving at or below the speed limit. But the research is clear—there’s an obvious link between speeding and fatal car accidents. Knowing this, it is important to drive at an appropriate speed and avoid getting too close to drivers who are obviously exceeding the speed limit.

Learn more about the link between speeding and traffic fatalities, and if you’ve been injured in a speed-relating crash, call Peake & Fowler at 803-788-4370 to set up a consultation with our team of Columbia car accident lawyers.

Why Speeding is So Dangerous

Speeding makes every aspect of driving more difficult. The faster your car is moving, the more time it takes for you to come to a complete stop. Even a difference of a few feet can mean the difference between a near-miss and an accident. When you’re speeding, it’s more likely that you’ll completely lose control of your vehicle and cause a severe crash. Seat belts and other protective technology within your car are only tested within certain speed parameters; when you exceed that, it loses effectiveness and your occupants are at serious risk of severe injuries.

A speeding driver often struggles to be attentive to their surroundings. They may not notice other vehicles in their peripheral vision or obstacles in the road. If they do notice a change in traffic, they may not have enough time to stop or swerve to avoid it.

How Speeding Leads to Fatalities

It’s clear that speeding leads to more accidents, but why does it specifically cause more fatalities than other types of collisions? Data indicates that over 12,000 fatalities were attributed to speeding in 2021. That means that nearly one-third of all traffic fatalities were related to speeding. Men across all age groups are much more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than women of any age. There is a connection between excessive speeding and alcohol impairment, which may also indicate why these crashes can be so dangerous.

Speed-related crashes tend to be more serious because of the additional force generated by high-speed vehicles. The speed of the vehicles in a crash determines the force created, and with more force, you’re more likely to end up with serious or fatal injuries. Even if a speeding driver attempts to take evasive action to mitigate the damage of the crash, their speed at the time of impact is still likely enough to cause catastrophic damage.

Addressing the Root Causes of Speeding

Clearly, speeding is one of the most dangerous things you can do while driving—and yet, everyone seems to speed. Why is that? People today are busier than ever before, often rushing between work, home, kids’ activities, and their own errands. 

When you’re under pressure to get things done, it’s tempting to speed up and save yourself a few minutes. Additionally, many drivers assume that since they have been speeding for so long and have not yet been in a crash, speeding must be safe. Lots of drivers don’t truly accept the dangers of speeding until they experience a speed-related collision.

Public education is a big part of addressing these problems. Making it clear to people that speeding kills thousands of people every single year can encourage drivers to slow down and give themselves a few extra minutes when planning out a trip. Some have also called for stricter enforcement of speed limits and reckless driving laws. More stringent enforcement would not only discourage those who get caught but serve as a deterrent for drivers who see the costs and penalties associated with speeding.

Ultimately, it comes down to personal responsibility. Drivers have to realize that the lives of others are more important than their desire to save a few minutes on a drive.

Pursue the Compensation You’re Owed with Peake & Fowler

If you’ve been hit by a speeding driver, you could be entitled to compensation. It all starts with a conversation with the team at Peake & Fowler. Our Columbia personal injury lawyers are here to help you explore your legal options. Contact us online or give us a call at 803-788-4370.