Many of us will admit to exceeding the speed limit at least once or twice in our lives. Maybe while running a little late to work, or maybe rushing to be on time for an engagement that was important to us. And the vast majority of the time, nothing catastrophic happens when we speed.
But unfortunately, for hundreds of United States citizens every day who speed for one reason or another, the catastrophic does happen. In fact, driving too fast for road conditions, or exceeding the posted speed limit, is one of the greatest contributing factors in motor vehicle crashes.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, in 2019 alone 9,478 fatalities, representing 26% of all traffic crash fatalities that year, were caused by accidents in which excessive speed was a factor.
That year there were 8,544 fatal automobile collisions that were caused by speeding drivers, and these numbers are tragic, when you consider that speeding should be a fairly easy behavior to stop.
But speed related crashes don’t just take a large toll in human lives, they cost the United States as a whole a great deal of money as well. According to NHTSA estimates, speed related crashes cost the U.S. around $40.4 billion every year! That is equivalent to $1,281 every second.
Excessive speed collisions are often particularly deadly in urban surroundings, where pedestrians and other, non-automobile road users are present. And the apparent growing trend of street racing that has plagued cities like Denver, Colorado, only adds to the danger in our urban centers.
Most drivers view speeding as merely bending the rules when, in fact, it poses a grave and immediate danger to not only their personal safety, but also the safety of others.
Consequences of Speeding
There are multiple reasons why speeding is so dangerous, including but not limited to:
- Speeding decreases the amount of time a driver has to react to an unexpected event, whether that is a previously unseen vehicle, or a pedestrian stepping out into the street;
- A speeding vehicle requires more distance to come to a stop, so if the driver has to come to a stop quickly because of some unforeseen event on the road, they’ll have less time to do it, right when it’s most important that the vehicle comes to a halt as quickly as possible;
- Speeding increase the chances that a driver will lose control of their vehicle;
- Speeding also reduces the effectiveness of occupant protection equipment, such as airbags;
- Speeding increases the degree of crash severity, which leads to more severe injuries.
Speeding and Severe Crashes
The severity of a crash increases with the speed of a vehicle at impact. Speed has an inverse effect on the success of safety devices such as seat belts and airbags and vehicular safety features such as crumple zones and side member beams. Their effectiveness declines as impact speed increases.
The likelihood of death, disfigurement and debilitating injury increases with higher speed at impact, and the dire consequences double for every 10 mph over 50 mph that a vehicle travels. Many drivers, however, do not consider this. They slow down in residential areas, or when the weather gets bad, but are otherwise content to gamble with their safety, thinking the worst that could happen is receiving a speeding ticket.
Speeding by the Numbers
When deciding whether or not to take that gamble, consider these sobering statistics:
- On average, 1,000 Americans die every month in speed-related crashes
- Drivers in fatal speed-related crashes are more likely to have a history of traffic violations
- 66% of speed-related crashes involve one vehicle
- 60% of all speed-related crashes occur between 6 pm- 6 am
- Rural roads account for over 60% of all speed-related crashes
- Of drivers aged 15-24 years involved in fatal crashes, 32% were speeding
- of drivers under age 21 involved in fatal crashes, 38% of male and 24% of female drivers were speeding
Even if you are never involved in a high-speed collision, there are still economic and environmental costs to speeding. Fuel consumption in passenger cars and light trucks increases steadily when traveling at speeds over 45 mph. These vehicles use about 50% more fuel traveling at 75 mph than they do at 55mph.
Contact our Denver Car Accident Lawyers
If you were injured in a motor vehicle accident, contact our Colorado attorneys for help today. At the Gold Law Firm, we work hard to achieve the maximum compensation for all of our clients. Contact us today for a free, no-pressure consultation by calling (303) 694-4653, or by filling out the contact form on this page.
The Gold Law Firm serves the victims of personal injury, car accidents, and insurance disputes throughout the state of Colorado, including Castle Pines, Denver, Akron, Brush, Byers, Fort Morgan, Greeley, Holyoke, Strasburg, Weldona, Wiggins, and Yuma.