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Dangers of Speeding and Why it Leads to so Many Crashes on U.S. Roads

speedometer to the rightEach year, thousands of people are killed in car crashes that involve one or more vehicles that were speeding. (In 2019 alone, 9,748 people were killed in crashes involving speeding.) A significant number of these crashes also involve distracted driving, as distracted drivers often do not realize how fast they are going.

So many drivers speed so often they forget how dangerous it is. Below, we discuss why speeding is dangerous and how it can increase the risk of a serious crash.

Victims of car crashes that result from speeding or other forms of negligent driving should strongly consider seeking legal representation. These crashes often result in significant damages and insurance companies fight hard to avoid paying full compensation to victims.

The experienced Harrisburg vehicle crash attorneys at Schmidt Kramer know how insurance companies operate and how to build strong cases to pursue full compensation. We are prepared to take cases to court to secure the compensation our clients deserve and there are no upfront fees for our services.

Why do so Many Drivers Speed?

Speeding is one of the most common reckless driving behaviors. There are many reasons why drivers do it:

  • Being late for work, school or some other obligation, such as a concert, sporting event or leisure activity like going to the movies
  • Distractions, such as cellphones, conversations with passengers, music they are playing in the car; distractions can cause drivers to lose track of how fast they are going
  • Making up for lost time after being stuck in traffic, which may cause drivers to speed out of anger
  • Impairment by drugs or alcohol, which can impair judgment and cause drivers to be reckless
  • They lack experience behind the wheel. For instance, those who are younger than 29 years of age are much more likely to be involved in a crash caused by speeding
  • Feeling detached from the world because they are inside a car, which causes some people to feel less constrained in their behavior
  • Some have a complete disregard for traffic laws and constantly speed, even in parking lots and areas with lower speed limits

No matter the reason, speeding is dangerous and illegal. Speeding tickets can be expensive and speeding can result in serious crashes. Depending on the injuries involved, speeding drivers could be sued by victims.

Drivers are responsible for operating their vehicles in a safe manner to keep themselves safe and lower the risk of a crash with other vehicles.

Why Speeding Increases the Odds of a Crash

There are several reasons why speeding can make a crash more likely to occur.

  • Greater possibility of losing control – It is much easier to lose control of a vehicle when you are speeding. The faster a car goes, the more difficult it is to handle and the more likely a small mistake could cause you to crash. Moving the steering wheel too much while you are speeding could cause the car to swerve, possibly resulting in a rollover. If you are moving at 60 miles per hour, it takes more than 300 feet to stop. That is the length of a football field.
  • It takes longer to stop – For most drivers, the natural reaction to danger is to hit the brakes to slow down or stop their vehicles. However, it takes longer to stop if you are speeding. Even if you slam on the brakes, you may not be able to stop in time.
  • Higher risk of a rollover crash ­– This is particularly true for taller vehicles like trucks, SUVs and crossovers. Speeding on turns is especially dangerous. You never know what other drivers are going to do. You want to be able to maneuver and slow down without being concerned you will be unable to avoid trouble.
  • It is harder to deal with inclement weather – Bad weather can make it harder to control your car, particularly if you are speeding. When rain or other conditions impair visibility or make it harder for your tires to maintain traction on the road, speeding only makes the situation more dangerous.
  • Poor road conditions and poor lighting become more dangerous – Speeding gives you less time to react, so any other hazards become more dangerous. It is important to slow down in poor road conditions or around construction. If you are in a dark area, it can be more difficult to spot hazardous conditions until you are right upon them.

Other Risk Factors Associated with Speeding

Speeding often occurs with other forms of reckless or negligent driving, such as:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs – Speeding is common among drivers who are intoxicated. They may not realize how fast they are traveling because of impaired vision and reaction time. They may also drive more recklessly because alcohol or drugs have lowered their inhibitions.
  • Distracted driving – It is harder to pay attention to the speed limit when you are distracted. People who are distracted may also be impatient and more likely to speed to try to get where they are going faster.
  • Lack of driving experience Teenage drivers often take risks and may engage in reckless behavior for fun. They may also lose track of how fast they are going.

Avoiding Speeding Drivers

While there is no way to avoid all reckless drivers, there are steps you can take that may help to lower your risk of getting into a crash with these drivers.

  • Change lanes and let tailgaters pass you. Tailgaters are often angry and will not simply go around you. They would rather stay right behind you and stay angry.
  • Keep your distance from speeders, whether that means changing lanes or slowing down.
  • Ignore speeding drivers and do not make eye contact. Keep your distance but do not try to communicate with them. They will probably just get angrier.
  • Call the police if you observe a driver who is being reckless and putting others in danger.

Contact Schmidt Kramer to Discuss Your Crash

If you were injured in an accident, pursuing compensation on your own is a lot to ask. Car crashes can cause a serious disruption to victims’ lives. You have many other issues to deal with, and the last thing you need is to try to navigate the legal process.

Schmidt Kramer’s experienced attorneys are prepared to handle every aspect of the legal process on your behalf at no upfront cost. We have secured millions on behalf of crash victims, so we know how to negotiate with insurance companies that are intent on underpaying claims.

Give us a call today to learn more. (717) 727-1837