Speeding is a habit for many drivers who see no harm in going a few miles or more above the posted limits. In addition to violating Texas traffic laws, however, these drivers are ignoring their duty of care to others on the road. The faster someone is driving when they crash, the more severe the outcome. High-speed crashes typically cause catastrophic and fatal injuries.
Texas has more traffic deaths annually than any other state nationwide, and speeding is one of the leading causes of those fatal crashes.
Below, attorney Seth Anderson discusses speed in a crash and how it affects the outcome of a collision.
If you were injured by a speeding driver in Fort Worth, you may have a valid case for seeking compensation through an injury claim or lawsuit. You can learn about your potential legal options at no cost or risk to you.
Why is Speeding a Few Miles Over the Limit Such a Big Deal?
When traveling at 30 mph or less, a collision will likely result in minor injuries. Victims are more likely to survive those injuries and recover. As vehicles speed up and travel 50 mph or faster, the force of impact in a crash significantly increases. For every few miles faster a vehicle travels there are two contributing factors that cause a crash to go from bad to catastrophic.
The Risk of a Being in a Crash is Far Greater
According to the NHTSA, drivers who travel at high speeds have a much greater chance of getting into a crash. However, the same applies to drivers who stick to posted speed limits when roads or weather are wet, icy, snow-covered, or otherwise just bad. In both of these situations, the driver is going too fast.
These are some of the reasons why you are more likely to crash when speeding:
- Speeding vehicles need more time and distance to stop: Even if you see a road hazard in time, it takes longer to slow down and stop a speeding car, so you are less likely to be able to avoid a crash. If road conditions are bad in any way, your chances of stopping in time are even less likely.
- Drivers are more likely to lose control: If you are speeding and encounter an object, pedestrian, animal or weather hazard, there may be little you can do. Slamming on the brakes or trying to swerve would likely cause you to lose control of your car.
- Going around curves: Anytime you take a curve too fast, you are at risk of losing control of your vehicle and causing a crash.
- Restraint and crash defense systems become less effective: Seatbelts and airbags often reduce the severity of injuries to drivers and passengers. However, when speeding, their effectiveness is greatly reduced.
Catastrophic and Fatal Injuries Are Almost Guaranteed
High-speed crashes are certain to total your vehicle. Even new model vehicles with excellent crash safety marks are not built to withstand the extreme force of a high-speed crash at impact.
If you are considering solely the economic damages, this is bad enough. However, the physical damage to the driver and any occupants is much more likely to be catastrophic or fatal. If the individuals involved survive, they may suffer severe, life-altering injuries, such as:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Brain bleeds
- Broken neck
- Crush injuries
- Permanent scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of one or more limbs
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
- Punctured lung
- Multiple and severe fractures
- Nerve damage
Why Do People Speed in Texas?
There are a lot of reasons why someone chooses to break the law by speeding, including:
- A total disregard for the law: Some drivers do not respect the law. They do not stop to consider their legal duty to others who share the road or how they might be putting their own lives in danger.
- More anonymity: Because we do not usually engage with others while we drive, some drivers may have the mindset that they can get away with certain behaviors, such as speeding, without any consequences.
- Aggressive behavior: Drivers who speed are also more likely to engage in other types of reckless driving, such as running red lights or traveling too close to another vehicle.
- Social pressures: When people drive too fast, it is often because they are short on time, angry or emotional. Younger drivers, especially, may often be egged on or encouraged to speed by other passengers.
- Inattentive drivers: Sometimes individuals may zone out behind the wheel and not realize how fast they are going. At other times, someone might be speeding because they are distracted by other things, such as texting, singing, a conversation in the car, or dealing with children in the back seat.
- For the thrill of it: There are a lot of drivers who just want to speed for the rush, such as with urban drag racing, without stopping to consider the consequences of their actions.
Regardless of the motivation, statistics show that going even a few miles over the speed limit increases the risk of a collision. It also guarantees the injuries will be worse than if the driver was obeying the posted limits.
What If I Am Injured By a Driver Who Was Speeding?
If a speeding driver caused your crash and your injuries, you may be able to seek compensation for your damages, such as:
- Emergency transportation after the crash
- Initial diagnostic testing and medical treatment in the ER
- Follow-up doctor appointments
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy
- Surgery that may be needed
- Mobility accommodations to your home
- Wheelchair, crutches and other assistive devices to aid your recovery
- Emotional counseling that may often be needed after a traumatic collision
- Scarring or permanent disfigurement
- Loss of future earnings
- Pain and suffering damages
- Property damage
- And much more
After any car crash, it is vital to seek legal help from an experienced auto accident lawyer in Fort Worth as soon as possible. Having an attorney manage your case helps to ensure you get the maximum possible compensation for your damages. It also means someone is looking after your legal rights and best interests so you can focus on your physical recovery.
Call Our Fort Worth Law Offices to Discuss Your Situation Today
At Anderson & Cummings, we have been helping injured victims recover the compensation they need for decades. We are deeply committed to seeking the maximum possible compensation for our clients, and we are always prepared to go to court if a fair settlement cannot be reached.
Not sure if you have a case? You can take advantage of the free initial consultation we offer. There is no cost or risk for this meeting. However, if you choose our firm to represent you, you can do so with no upfront costs and no fees throughout the legal process. We only receive payment for our services if we recover compensation for you through a settlement agreement or jury verdict.