Millions of people in the U.S. are injured or killed in car crashes each year. While there are many reasons why car crashes can cause severe or fatal injuries, speeding is one of the leading factors in serious and/or fatal accidents.
Goldberg Finnegan discusses how speeding affects a driver’s ability to react to hazards on the road and how the speed at impact often determines how badly crash victims may be hurt. We also explain how we may be able to establish another driver was speeding, and that this was the cause of the crash.
If you were injured by another’s reckless driving, our knowledgeable car accident attorneys in Silver Spring are ready to help you seek compensation for your injuries and other losses. Find out whether you may be eligible in a no-cost, no-obligation case review.
Speeding and the Severity of Injuries
According to crash tests conducted by AAA, increasing your speed even slightly will dramatically increase your risk for a serious injury.
AAA conducted crash tests at impact speeds of 40, 50 and 56 mph with a crash test dummy using a 2010 Honda CR-V EX Crossover:
- At 40 mph there was a slight intrusion into the driver’s space.
- At 50 mph the driver side, including the dashboard, side door and foot area, was noticeably deformed.
- At 56 mph the driver’s area was fully compromised. Crash test dummy sensors registered for probable fractures in the lower leg area, as well as serious neck injuries.
At the two higher speeds, tests also revealed that the steering wheel was forced into an upward movement at impact. This caused the crash test dummy’s head to go through the airbag as it deployed, smashing its face into the steering wheel. In a crash involving a real person, this could result in severe facial, head, neck and brain injuries.
Even though the speed limit in Maryland is 55 mph for many roads and highways, many cars travel at 65 mph or greater. Driving at that speed significantly increases the risk of a serious or fatal injury. In fact, according to a study by Automotive Fleet, the impact of a driver traveling at 65 mph is about the same as it would be if you drove your car off the roof of a 12-story building.
Proving the At-Fault Driver was Speeding
The police report often indicates if a driver was speeding. The police can often tell if a crash was caused by speeding due to the damage to both vehicles and the victim’s account of the crash.
However, you may need more evidence to establish the crash was caused by speeding. Your attorney may be able to obtain witness statements and video footage of the crash to show what happened. Sometimes it may also be necessary to bring in an accident reconstruction expert.
Even though it may seem obvious the crash was caused by speeding, you should strongly consider meeting with a licensed attorney to find out how he or she may be able to assist you. Those who hire attorneys often recover more compensation than those who do not. You can also be sure the insurance company will attempt to deny or devalue the claim. An experienced attorney knows how to counter attempts by the insurance company to avoid paying compensation.
Why Speeding Can be so Dangerous
Speeding can increase your risk of a crash for few reasons:
Speeding Affects a Driver’s Reaction Time
The speed at which driver react to a dangerous situation is directly impacted by the speed at which they are traveling. The faster a driver goes, the further he or she will travel before any corrective action happens. Speeding often results in following other vehicles too closely. If the driver in front stops suddenly, the speeding driver has not allowed sufficient time or space to brake and avoid an accident.
Speeding Limits a Drivers Ability to Brake
To determine how far your vehicle will keep traveling after you apply the brakes, you can do this simple calculation: if you are traveling 75 miles per hour, add 7 and that is the number of feet you need to come to a complete stop.
However, these numbers do not even take into consideration:
- The size and weight of your vehicle
- The general state of your brakes and your car
- Weather and road conditions
- Impaired by drugs or alcohol
- Whether you are also distracted by something else, such as talking on your phone or to a passenger in your car
Call Our Law Firm for Legal Help You Can Trust
Car crashes can leave victims with devastating, life-altering injuries. If you were injured in a collision caused by a speeding or reckless driver, we are prepared to help.
Our firm has represented injured victims throughout Maryland, and we have recovered more than $130 million in compensation on their behalf. Learning if you may have a case costs you nothing, and there is no obligation to take legal action. However, if you have a case and you decided to move forward, there are zero costs up front or while we work on your case. We do not get paid unless you do.