Yesterday, our Oakland Park injury attorneys urged all drivers to make a resolution to become better drivers in 2013.
While being a better driver involves making a host of smart decisions behind the wheel, we’ll be helping those committed to safer driving by tackling some of the top causes of crashes. To help you avoid behaviors that could lead to a crash, we have a four part series on how to be a better driver this New Years.
Our previous article introduced our New Years safe driving series and upcoming articles will focus on the dangers of distracted driving and on pedestrian and bicycle accidents. Today, however, we’re focusing on speeding, which by some accounts is involved in as many as one-third of all serious crashes.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), speeding is one of the most common contributing factors to car accidents and auto accident fatalities in the United States. In Florida alone, 2010 data shows that 118 fatal crashes occurred due to drivers going too fast for the road conditions and 94 fatal crashes were attributed to drivers exceeding the posted speed limit. Hundreds more were injured by speeding as well, with 2,440 people hurt due to drivers going too fast for conditions and 517 hurt because of drivers going over posted limits.
These are just the crashes in which speed was reported as a factor.
As these Florida figures show, speeding accidents can happen even if you are going under the posted limits. NHTSA data also indicates that many accidents throughout the U.S. are caused by drivers who are technically obeying speeding rules but who are still going unreasonably fast given the current status of the roads. According to NHTSA, drivers going over the speed limit are the cause of only 55 percent of speeding crashes while the remaining 45 percent are caused by drivers who don’t slow down enough to account for poor visibility, bad weather, traffic volume or other potential risks.
Why Is Speeding so Dangerous?
Speeding is dangerous for many reasons. One issue is that you have less control of the car at high speeds, meaning you are more likely to spin out of control, veer into the wrong lane or off the road, or otherwise get off course in a dangerous way. When you are speeding, you also have more forward momentum that your brakes have to stop. This means it takes longer for you to slow or stop your vehicle, increasing the risk of a crash.
Finally, when you are speeding, you hit another vehicle with more force than if you were going slower. This means that the injuries in speeding accidents may be more serious than in other types of crashes where the vehicles weren’t going as quickly and didn’t strike with as much force.
Avoiding Speeding Accidents
Because speeding is so dangerous, it is important to do everything possible to avoid becoming involved in a crash due to driving too fast. In order to stay safer, make a resolution today to avoid going too fast. To help you do this, you should always plan to leave on time or a little early to get to your destinations so you aren’t prompted to speed. Pay attention to your speedometer at all times and account for the current road conditions when deciding how fast to go. If you have teen drivers in your family, you should also discuss with them the risks of speeding so they don’t put themselves or others in danger.
Freeman & Mallard is a personal injury and wrongful death law firm dedicated to helping those who have been injured in auto accidents. Call today for a free consultation. 1-800-561-7777.
Drunk Driving Accidents Expected to Increase with Alcohol-Serving Fast Food Chains, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, July 14, 2011