Speed Kills: How Driving Too Fast Causes Accidents

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In the United States, speeding causes more than 40% of all the country’s accidents every year. Drivers continue to speed despite the clear speed limits on various interstate and state highways, which is always an issue of concern. With this in mind, people should always try to move from one point to another with time to spare despite a modern busy life.

Factors That Contribute to Speeding

The problem is that not everyone on the road is speeding to reach a specific destination. Some are speeding to show that they have advanced driving skills and outperform other vehicles on the road. Studies have proven that several factors are contributing to speeding, and a few of these are:

  • Age-related factors
  • Gender-related factors
  • Alcohol and drug abuse

Now let’s take a closer look at how these factors are connected to speeding.

Age-Related Factors

As opposed to experienced drivers, teens are more likely to engage in speeding. What is more, teenage drivers are also more likely to be involved in other risky driving behaviors like not using the seat belt, alcohol and drug abuse, and they tend to keep shorter headways (the distance between two vehicles). Male teen drivers, especially when they have other male passengers, tend to display an increase of general risk-taking actions.

These risky moves coupled with inexperience can often lead to fatal car accidents. In fact, the second main cause of death for teens (aged 13-19) in the U.S. is due to car collisions. Statistics show that in 2018 alone the number of U.S. teenagers who died in motor vehicle crashes was close to 2,500 [source].

Gender-Related Factors

Men not only tend to accumulate more miles driving than women do, but they also engage more in risky behavior, including speeding. According to a Federal Highway Administration report, only 11% of women and 20% of men reported exceeding the speed limit.

Alcohol and Drug Abuse

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs presents a great danger for everyone on the road. Driving skills can be severely affected even by low doses of alcohol and drugs, and can lead to risky driving behaviors that include speeding, erratic actions, and slow reactions.

Also, if you want to get behind the wheel after taking prescription medication (regardless if it was prescribed to you or not), it is your responsibility to research whether or not there is any potential risk to driving.

Ways That Speed Kills

Speeding does not only lead to an accident but also increases the severity of the crash. There is a higher chance that people will get severe injuries or die in a speeding accident than other types of crashes. Here are some of the major reasons why speeding causes serious accidents.

Speeding Drivers Easily Lose Control

When the vehicle is moving at a moderate speed, the driver is always in control in case something dangerous happens on the road; they will control the car and prevent possible fatalities. According to a Mckinney car accident attorney, 10,111 people died in speeding accidents in 2016.

However, when the car is speeding, the driver has less power to control the vehicle and is also likely to turn into a spectator. A speeding car can easily collide with other cars on the road or other nearby barriers on the road. Any speeding car is also highly likely to experience a rollover accident.

Increased Stopping Time and Distance

Any vehicle that is speeding will need more time and distance for the driver to regain control and stop. As a speeding driver, it will be very difficult to immediately stop your speeding car as this can also lead to a serious road accident.

If you notice other motor vehicles suddenly stop on the road, you will likely slam on your brakes and still rear end someone because it is difficult to stop safely when speeding. Driving at a moderate speed prevents the car from hitting other motor vehicles or careening off the road.

Improper Functioning of Safety Features

Every motor vehicle is fitted with many safety features that are supposed to control the car and thereby prevent an accident. However, according to motor vehicle manufacturers, most safety features can only work at specific vehicle speeds, which means a speeding car is likely to lose most of the benefits of those safety features.

Brakes may not control the car at very extreme speeds, leaving the car vulnerable to serious accidents. Other safety features such as airbags and safety belts will offer very little assistance if the vehicle is moving too fast.

Speeding Confuses Other Road Users

Another reason why speeding causes serious accidents is because any speeding car is likely to cause confusion to other road users. A speeding car will be trying to move between lanes to avoid accidents with the slower-moving cars. Drivers who are aware of their surroundings will change lanes to try to get out of the way of the speeding vehicle so it may pass. This confusion may cause other vehicles to collide as they move in all directions, clearing the way for the speeding car.

Victims of Speed

For all of the above reasons and more, speeding is a leading cause of accidents and can lead to severe injuries for those involved. Next to teenagers, one of the most vulnerable groups of drivers is senior citizens. While they tend to strongly support traffic safety, “older drivers” are still at risk to be involved in collisions for a number of reasons:

  • Slower reaction times
  • Slower reflexes
  • Difficulty in accurately judging distance and time
  • Cognitive decline
  • Eyesight problems
  • Hearing loss

Currently there are not that many studies about senior citizens and speeding behavior. However, scientific evidence is slowly mounting to form a better understanding of this neglected issue [source].

Have You Been Involved in a Speeding Accident?

Drivers who speed in excess increase everyone’s risk of being in a car accident. If you were involved in an accident, contact your personal injury attorney. They have experience handling road accident cases and know how to best present your case to obtain compensation.

The post Speed Kills: How Driving Too Fast Causes Accidents appeared first on The Mechanic Doctor.

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