January 8, 2016
Speeding is a major contributing factor to thousands of fatal traffic crashes every year in the U.S. That’s why the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is set on getting the word out that “Speed Shatters Life!”
This campaign has one goal: to inform the public that driving at speeds that exceed the posted speed limit can endanger them, as well as other motorists on the road. In fact, regulators want motorists to understand that, while speeding is illegal and can lead to expensive tickets (along with points added to a driving record, etc.), it can also lead to catastrophic – if not deadly – traffic crashes.
Risk Factors for Speeding: When Motorists Are Most Likely to Be Speeding
Although any driver can have a lead foot, it’s far more common for speeding to be an issue1 if or when:
- Younger motorists are behind the wheel – In fact, teen drivers are far more likely to exceed speed limits than more experienced motorists.
- Drivers are distracted – When motorists aren’t paying attention to the road or the task of driving, there’s a far greater chance that they won’t know the speed limits and/or they won’t be abiding by them.
- Drivers are impaired – Like distracted drivers, impaired drivers are also more likely to speed, as they are far less likely than sober motorists to be attentive to speed limits.
- Drivers are in a hurry – Of course, when people behind the wheel are in a rush or are late for something, they tend to be more likely to hit the gas and ignore speed limits.
Speeding Gets a Failing Grade
Although fatal auto accidents related to impaired driving and failing to wear seatbelts have been on the decline in recent years, speeding-related crashes have NOT seen a similar downward trend. In fact, in 2104, approximately 9,300 motorists died in a car accident in which speeding was a factor, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association.
This may reveal the facts that:
- Motorists don’t see speeding as a problem.
- Federal transportation safety officials may need to do more work to get the word out about the deadly dangers of speeding.
- Law enforcement officials may need to step up their efforts to target and penalize the motorists who do violate speed limits and, in doing so, put the driving public at risk.
The Impacts of Speeding in an Auto Accident
When speeding leads to traffic collisions, it can:
- Increase the chances of totaling a vehicle
- Decrease the effectiveness of onboard safety equipment (such as seatbelts, airbags, reinforced supports, etc.)
- Increase the stopping threshold
- Result in more catastrophic (if not life-threatening) injuries.
Reducing Speed Related Traffic Deaths
To prevent speeding-related traffic fatalities, some believe that authorities need to take a similar stance with speeding as they have with impaired driving. This move reflects the views and research being done by Washington State’s Target Zero Team project, ticketing by technology advancements, and public service announcements.
While it remains to be seen if states will fall in line with this thinking, here are some of the things that authorities across the nation have done to try to curb speeding (and prevent the crashes it can cause):
- Seven states – Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Oklahoma, Texas, and Virginia – all raised their speed limit, some to as much as 85 mph on highways.
- Other states have increased fines for speeders or have rebranded offenders as “Super” or “Excessive” speeder.
- Some have even deemed offenders to be “aggressive drivers,” when motorists are habitual speeders who have violated more than one traffic rule.
Contact a Littleton Car Accident Lawyer at Bahr, Kreidle & Flicker
If you have been injured in a car accident, it’s time to contact a trusted Littleton car accident lawyer at Bahr, Kreidle & Flicker. Since 1983, our attorneys have been fighting on behalf of injured people and aggressively standing up against injustice, inequality and intolerance.
To get more information about your potential case and rights, call us at (303) 794-7422 or email us using the contact form on this page.
1: Based on a study conducted by the NHTSA