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The role of speed in car accidents

On Behalf of | Oct 24, 2021 | Personal Injury, Traffic Violations

The average person in Indiana has a lot on his or her plate. Whether juggling multiple jobs, getting to school or ferrying children to after school activities, it might even feel like there is not enough time in the day to get everything done. Unfortunately, some drivers try to make up for that feeling by speeding well above the posted speed limit. While this might seem innocent enough, speed actually plays a major role in car accidents. 

Speeding is dangerous, and in an accident, it is a leading contributor to serious injuries and even death. In 2019 alone, speeding drivers caused approximately 26% of all accident-related fatalities. Speeding also causes thousands of injuries every year. 

Why is speeding so dangerous? 

You have probably experienced the confusion of a driver flying past you at exceptionally high speeds. Maybe you have even had the terrifying experience of stopping at a red light and looking in your rearview mirror unsure if the car behind you will be able to stop in time. The worry you feel when near a speeding driver is completely understandable. Some of the reasons it can feel this way is because speeding: 

  • Increases the distance needed to stop after applying the brake 
  • Gives drivers less time to react 
  • Makes drivers more likely to lose control when making evasive steering maneuvers 

Speed-related accidents are also more dangerous because elevated speeds increase crash energy. Not all motor vehicles are designed to withstand such forces. Even safety features such as seatbelts and airbags cannot totally limit the impact of a high-speed collision. 

Who is speeding? 

Although any driver of any age, gender or background can speed, there are a few factors that appear to be at play. For example, younger drivers tend to speed more than their older counterparts. Similarly, men generally speed more often than women. 

One study even determined that, compared to drivers over the age of 30, speeding violations for every mile traveled is approximately three times higher for drivers between the ages of 16 and 19. A different survey found that drivers aged 16 to 20 are more likely than any other age group to report a speeding related crash in the past five years. This age group is also more likely to receive citations for speeding than for anything else. 

Speed limits are rising 

The history of the maximum speed limit goes all the way back to 1973, when an oil shortage prompted Congress to take action. By 1974 all 50 states were adhering to a maximum national speed limit of 55 mph. The national speed limit was officially repealed in 1995, and since then speed limits have been on the rise, increasing the risk for accidents, injury and death. 

Car accidents are terrifying experiences, and victims often suffer both physically and emotionally. Dealing with any physical injuries or lingering trauma can be difficult without the right help, though. When deciding on the best course of action to get that help, many victims in Indiana carefully consider the benefits of a personal injury lawsuit.