Speed-Related Car Crash | High-Speed Collision
Legal Representation For Speed Related Car Crash Victims
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When you’re behind the wheel, you rely on other drivers to use reasonable care to avoid collisions. Drivers who speed, however, neglect this responsibility, putting themselves and others on the roads in danger of a crash. Not only does speeding increase the risk of a crash, but it also increases the chances of vehicle occupants sustaining significant injuries. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has estimated that the social costs of a speed-related car crash are $40 billion annually.
Accidents caused by speeding involve some of the most serious and catastrophic injuries due to the sheer high velocity and impact of these crashes. Drivers who are excessively speeding, whether street racing or involved in a high-speed chase, can be held liable for any injuries caused. Such conduct is simply reckless and shows disregard for others around them.
Speeding is considered a traffic violation and can come with serious consequences for the driver including hefty fines, license revocation and, in some instances, a jail sentence.
If someone you love has been killed due to a high-speed collision, then the driver may be looking at a vehicular manslaughter charge. Seeing the driver in prison or paying a fine may provide some justice but it does not make up for the personal suffering of the victim.
What causes a driver to speed?
According to a 2015 study from the Princeton Survey Research Association International, speeding accounts for 66 percent of all traffic offenses. For many drivers, speeding is not a difficult offense to commit. This is why it occurs so often. However, speeding can become a habit that is difficult to break. One of the more common reasons for speeding is ‘zoning out’ while behind the wheel. Driving is not an intense task. As a result, the task becomes second nature—as simple as walking. When the brain is in this second nature state, it’s easy to lose track of how fast they are driving their vehicle. In addition, they may not be aware of speed signs.
There are several other reasons that lead drivers to speed. The most common reasons include the following:
- The belief that they will not get stopped by police
- Impatience, trying to get to their destination quickly
- Showing off for friends
- Enjoy the thrill of driving fast
- Keeping up with everybody else
- Disrespect for the law
- Out of habit
- Road rage
- Impaired judgement from drugs or alcohol
Those who speed have more than one incentive to slow down. In addition to tripling the chance of crashing, ignoring the speed limit has other costly consequences. Drivers caught speeding may be issued a ticket with fines ranging from $50 to more than $1,000. Repeated violations can result in increased insurance costs, suspension of driving privileges, or even a permanent loss of a person’s driver’s license.
If you or someone you love suffered injuries as the result of a negligent driver in a high-speed collision, contact The Carlson Law Firm. We can help you get the compensation you deserve by proving the other driver was at fault.
The Dangers of Speeding While Driving
Excessive speed makes it difficult for drivers to safely respond to other drivers. For example, extreme differences in land speed is a huge factor in crashes and collisions. Speeding nearly triples the odds of being in a car accident, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. In addition to causing more accidents, a speed-related car crash often results in more severe injuries than those occurring at lesser speeds.
Although some people may consider “speeding” to be driving at least 8 to 10 miles per hour faster than the speed limit, exceeding the posted speed limit even by a few miles per hour may prove extremely dangerous in some situations. The same applies if a driver is driving too fast for current traffic, road or weather conditions, regardless of the posted speed. He or she may be at increased risk of causing an accident – and the severity of the collision is likely to be far greater.
Average reaction time for most Americans is 1.5 seconds. At a speed of 60 mph, a car travels 132 feet in that 1.5 seconds. Elderly individuals and other motorists who may be driving while distracted can take as long as 2.5 seconds to react. At 60 mph, a car travels 220 feet in that length of time.
In bicycle and pedestrian accidents even modestly higher speeds can mean the difference between life and death. A pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling 39 mph is twice as likely to suffer severe injury and twice more likely to die than if they were struck at a speed of 31 mph.
What are the Consequences of Speeding?
In addition to receiving a criminal citation, speeding also endangers the lives of other motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists on the road. The consequences of speeding include the following:
- Increased chance for losing control of the vehicle
- A decrease in the efficacy of occupant protection
- A decrease in a driver’s reaction time
- A higher degree of damages in a crash
- More severe injuries
- Economic implications, such as increase in insurance rates and replacing the vehicle
- Increased fuel consumption/cost
Speeding: Rural vs. Urban Areas
Excessive speeding does not only occur on major highways. Nearly half of speeding occurs on road with speed limits of 50 mph or less, and more than 20 percent happen on roads with a speed limit of 35 mph or less. Notably, as the population density drops, car crash death rates increase. While rural roads carry less than half of U.S. traffic, they account for more than half of the car crash fatalities. In 2015, there were 35,092 traffic fatalities. Rural areas accounted for 53 percent of the fatal crashes and 54 percent of the fatalities.
In nearly every region of the country, rural areas outpace their urban counterparts in terms of deadly crashes. For example, in the South where more people live outside of big cities, crash death rates ranged from 6.8 fatalities for every 100,000 people in most urban areas to 29.2 deaths for every 100,000 people in rural areas. One of the factors for the difference in fatal crashes is the ability to drive higher speeds in rural areas.
Many drivers assume that they can drive faster on rural roads because there is little to no traffic. However, drivers should always pay attention and follow the posted speed signs. Driving in rural areas means that drivers may come across animals cross the road, unexpected driveways or dirt roads or other obstacles that may be difficult to react if driving too fast.
Commercial Truck, Tractors-Trailer and Bus Speeding Crashes
In 2016, almost 4,000 people died in large vehicle crashes. Of those crashes, 66 percent were occupants of cars and other passenger vehicles. In most states, trucks and large or heavy vehicles have to follow the same speed limits as other drivers—unless otherwise posted. Trucks often outweigh passenger vehicles by as much as 20-30 times. In addition, trucks take 20-40 percent father than cars to stop. This discrepancy is greater when road conditions are wet and slippery or with poorly maintained brakes.
Because of their size, large vehicles cause considerable damage and lead to more fatalities in speed-related car crashes. Large trucks operating at excessive speeds can contribute to a variety of accidents. Possibilities include:
- Head-on collisions
- Rear-end crashes
- Side-impact crashes
- Multi-vehicle crashes
If you suffered injuries from any of these types of crashes, contact our firm today. We have a qualified Speed-Related Car Crash Attorney who is ready to assist you in your recovery.
Common Speed-Related Crash Injuries
Speeding doesn’t just increase the risks of a crash, a high-speed collision often leads to more serious crash injuries. The force of an impact in a speed related car crash is often high, because as speed increases, so does the force with which the speeding vehicle will hit another vehicle, object, or person. Higher force means more serious crashes, which result in more serious or even deadly injuries.
Common injuries involving speeding accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Neck and back injury
- Broken or fractured bones
- Bruises and lacerations
Nearly three out of four Americans admit to speeding, according to a survey conducted by NHTSA. Though an overwhelming majority of these drivers agree that speeding leads to car crashes, most believe that the problem lies with other drivers, not themselves. Many motorists tend to overestimate their own driving skills and underestimate the potential risks of crashing due to the failure to obey the speed limit.
What happens to your body during a Speed-Related Car Crash?
As Newton’s First Law of Physics describes, “an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.” This concept is especially true in a car crash. When you are riding in a vehicle, your body is moving at the same rate as the vehicle. Even after the vehicle you are traveling in stops moving, your body is still in motion. This means that no matter what your body hits first, it will do so at the speed you were traveling. This is the reason many people are thrown from the vehicle when they aren’t wearing their seatbelt.
Modern cars are designed to absorb as much of the crash energy as possible. However, in a high-speed collision, it is inevitable that the body will absorb some amount of the crash energy. The human body is only capable of absorbing so much forceful energy before leading to injuries.
No matter what speed a vehicle is driving, you can probably expect a broken collarbone. This occurs from the force of your body and the restriction of the seatbelt working opposite each other. The seatbelt will try to keep you in place while your movement will try to propel you forward. These types of injuries typically occur in frontal collisions.
In a speed-related car crash, broken ribs are likely to occur. Your ribs protect your internal organs such as your lungs. If enough ribs are broken, the structure of your chest loses shape which can begin to affect the lungs.
Internal Organ Injuries
In addition to broken collarbones, seatbelts can lead to injuries in the lower abdomen. For example, if the lap portion of the seatbelt is not properly fitted, an occupant can end up with ruptures in the stomach, spleen or other delicate organs.
Modern vehicles generally have several safety features intended to keep occupants safe. However, a high-speed car collision can lead to serious injuries. If you suffered extensive injuries because of the speeding of another driver, contact The Carlson Law Firm. We have a qualified speeding car crash attorney ready to assist. Consultations are free.
Recovery Available For A High-Speed Collision Injury
If you are able to establish a speeding driver’s liability, you may recover compensatory damages. These are economic and noneconomic damages that are intended to put you back in the position you would have been in had you not gotten into the high-speed collision with the defendant.
We will fight to maximize your compensation after a speed related car crash in order help cover not only existing medical bills but future medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, emotional damages as well as any pain and suffering.
An insurance adjuster may act friendly and concerned about your health. But they are interested in minimizing the amount of money the insurance company representing the at-fault driver has to pay. If you talk to an insurance adjuster without legal representation, the insurance company may use your well-intentioned words against you later to deny or reduce your claim. If contacted by an insurance representative, you should decline to speak with them and refer them to your attorney.
How The Carlson Law Firm Can Help You
We know that dealing with the aftermath of a high-speed collision can be stressful, costly and confusing. That’s where The Carlson Law Firm comes in. Our team of highly skilled personal injury attorneys will help you to recover not only physically, but by also financially after a speed related car crash.
We have nurses, investigators, paralegals and attorneys on staff, who will be by your side every step of the way. We will negotiate aggressively on your behalf, using the evidence we have gathered to support the value of your speed-related car crash case.
A consultation is free, so don’t delay. Contact The Carlson Law Firm today.