The Connection Between Speeding and Fatal Accidents
A wide range of driving behaviors and road conditions can lead to fatal accidents. However, few behaviors are as closely tied to fatal crashes as speeding. There’s a large body of research linking speeding to fatal accidents, and unfortunately, each year proves that research to be true.
If you or someone you love has been hurt in a speed-related accident, you could be entitled to compensation. Find out now by calling Mann & Potter at 205-879-9661.
Speeding—the Most Common Form of Reckless Driving
There are many behaviors that are considered reckless driving: driving while impaired, driving while distracted, drag racing, and any other activity that displays willful disregard for other people’s safety.
Speeding, though, is something that almost everyone does sometimes. Even the safest drivers find themselves driving five to ten over when they’re running late. However, speed limits exist for a reason. Research indicates that the given speed limit is the safest option for that road and its conditions. Driving above the speed limit—or even below the speed limit in certain weather conditions—is reckless.
That’s why it’s so alarming that speeding is closely connected to fatal crashes. Since almost everyone speeds at least some of the time, there are likely far more fatal crashes than there ever should be.
Speeding Leads to More Severe Crashes
The Federal Highway Administration has conducted research on speeding and fatal car accidents. Their basic explanation is that the faster two cars are driving when they collide, the higher the collision speed is. This is true even for single-car crashes, as a single car driving at a higher speed will cause much more damage than a slower car when it strikes an obstacle.
Speeding gives drivers less time to react to obstacles in the road, a sudden slowdown in traffic, or someone cutting them off. This increases the overall accident rate, and the higher speeds increase the damage of the crash itself. They note that speed, while not the only factor in collisions, is definitely one of the most easily controlled. They estimate that roughly one-third of fatal collisions are completely or partially caused by speeding, even if speeding isn’t listed as the cause of the crash in the official report.
Other agencies have noticed this troubling trend and weighed in. The NSC has looked into the correlation between higher fatal accident rates and higher rates of speeding. Per official reports, 29% of traffic fatalities in 2020 were caused in part or in whole by speeding. That’s over 11,000 lives that could have potentially been saved had drivers chosen to slow down. While speeding-related deaths had been trending downward, that trend reversed in 2020 and speeding-related fatalities are now on the rise.
It’s important to note that this trend does not affect all demographic groups equally, perhaps due to differences in driving habits and preferences. The ratio of speed-related collisions to fatal collisions decreased with each jump in the age demographic, indicating that younger drivers’ tendency to speed and drag race is a serious risk factor. Furthermore, female drivers are far less likely to cause a speed-related crash. The group showing the greatest risk for speeding-related fatal accidents is male drivers between the ages of 15 and 24.
The correlation between speeding and fatal crashes is also different across weather conditions. The correlation is lowest on dry roads and highest on roads with moving or standing water. The accident rate is also higher than average on roads with mud, dirt, gravel, ice, or frost.
Drivers who caused speeding-related fatal accidents to follow another trend. Speeding and being under the influence of alcohol are closely linked, and those who are impaired are more likely to speed than sober drivers. Drivers between the ages of 21 and 54 are the most affected by this troubling trend.
Get the Support You Deserve: Call Mann & Potter Now
Speeding-related crashes are far too common and often cause devastating injuries. If you’ve been hurt by a speeding driver, we’re here to help. Schedule a consultation with Mann & Potter now by calling us at 205-879-9661 or filling out our online contact form. We’ll help you fight for the compensation you deserve.