Speeding is a common and dangerous behavior on our roads that leads to numerous accidents and fatalities each year. In fact, speeding is a factor in approximately 30 percent of all fatal traffic accidents, responsible for the deaths of more than 12,000 people each year.
While many drivers might believe they can handle driving at high speeds, the reality is that speeding significantly increases the risk of crashes. If you have been injured in a crash caused by a speeding driver, contact a Virginia Beach car accident attorney to find out what legal options you may have.
The following are some of the ways that speeding contributes to accidents.
Reduced Reaction Time
One of the primary reasons speeding contributes to crashes is the reduction in a driver’s reaction time. When a vehicle is traveling at a high rate of speed, the distance it covers in a short span of time is much greater than at lower speeds. This means that a speeding driver has less time to react to unexpected situations, such as a sudden stop by the vehicle in front or an obstacle in the road. Reduced reaction time makes it challenging to make split-second decisions that can prevent accidents.
Increased Stopping Distance
Speeding dramatically increases the stopping distance required for a vehicle. As the speed of a car or truck increases, so does the distance it needs to come to a complete stop. When a driver is traveling at high speeds and encounters an obstacle or another vehicle suddenly stopping ahead, they may not have enough room to brake in time, leading to rear-end collisions and other types of crashes.
Speeding compromises a driver’s ability to maintain control of their vehicle. At high speeds, even small adjustments to the steering wheel can result in significant changes in direction. If a driver encounters a curve, wet or icy road conditions, or uneven terrain, excessive speed can make it difficult to keep the vehicle on the intended path, increasing the risk of a loss of control and a subsequent crash.
Speeding can impair a driver’s visibility and awareness of their surroundings. When traveling at high speeds, the field of vision narrows, making it more challenging to spot potential hazards, pedestrians, or vehicles merging onto the road. Speeding drivers are also less likely to notice traffic signs, signals, and road markings, which can lead to missed turns, intersections, and exits.
Increased Severity of Collisions
Crashes that occur at higher speeds usually result in more severe injuries and fatalities. The force of impact in a collision increases exponentially with speed, leading to greater damage to vehicles and more significant harm to occupants. Speeding drivers are not only more likely to be involved in accidents but also more likely to experience devastating consequences when they do crash.
Speeding is often linked to impaired judgment and risky behavior. Drivers who engage in speeding may also be more inclined to take other risks on the road, such as aggressive driving, tailgating, and weaving between lanes. This combination of behaviors escalates the likelihood of accidents and road rage incidents.
Inadequate Time for Decision-Making
Speeding doesn’t just reduce reaction time; it also diminishes the amount of time a driver has for decision-making. When traveling at high speeds, drivers have less opportunity to evaluate their surroundings and assess potential hazards. This limited decision-making time can lead to poor choices and a higher likelihood of collisions.
Reduced Margin for Error
Speeding leaves drivers with a reduced margin of error. Even minor mistakes or misjudgments can have severe consequences when driving at high speeds. Whether it’s misjudging the distance between vehicles, failing to anticipate the actions of other drivers, or making a late decision in traffic, speeding amplifies the likelihood that any error will result in a crash.
Have You Been Injured by a Speeding Driver?
If you were injured in a crash involving a speeding driver, or any other type of vehicle accident, contact Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our skilled Virginia Beach car accident lawyers. Our firm has successfully obtained more than $100 million in settlements and verdicts, like the $125,000 car accident insurance settlement for one client who suffered a nondisplaced right wrist fracture and other soft tissue injuries when another driver ran a red light and smashed into her vehicle
For your convenience, we have offices in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Hampton, Portsmouth, and Chesapeake.