Factors in a Speed Related Accident

A lot of drivers seem to think that it is important to get from Point A to Point B as quickly as possible, but it can actually be quite dangerous. Speeding drivers cause thousands of injuries in Minnesota each and every year. This puts you and everyone you love at risk for a speed related accident.

Speeding can be deadly too. In 2018 alone, speed factored into 26% of all accident fatalities. That is about 9,000 deaths and many mourning families left behind to pick up the pieces.

Why is speeding a bad thing?

Arriving at your destination a little quicker might not seem all that bad, especially if you are in a time crunch. The problem is that higher speeds contribute to a higher number of accidents. This is because speeding:

  • Decreases reaction time
  • Increases time needed to stop
  • Makes evasive maneuvering more dangerous
  • Increases crash energy

The problem is getting worse too. Research shows that speeding has been on the rise for over a decade. In 2007, a relatively small percentage of drivers regularly exceeded the speed limit. In 2018, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety conducted a survey and found that around 50% of all drivers admitted to driving at least 15 mph over the speed limit while traveling on the freeway. Another 40% said they had driven at least 10 mph over the limit in residential areas.

What about speed variance?

Some people contend that speed variance — drivers traveling at different speeds — is the real problem. Proponents of this idea believe that limits should be raised to match those who are driving faster. They believe that this would bring speeding drivers in line with the law and get everyone moving at the same speed.

Unfortunately, raising speed limits is not effective at reducing speed variance. It is true that when speed limits go up, the drivers who were previously following the law then speed up to match the new limit. The problem is that the speeding drivers do not adhere to the new limit. Instead, they simply drive even faster than before.

Speed limits are on the rise

Even though states can set their own speed limits, past federal law restricted their highway funds unless they adopted maximum speed limits of just 55 mph. Congress eased those limits a little in 1987 when it permitted speed limits on rural interstates to go as high as 65 mph. The National Highway System Designation Act of 1995 changed all of that. Now states can establish their own speed limits without concern about highway funds, with many states boasting limits as high as 70, 75 and even 80 mph.

Recovering from a speed related accident is a physically, emotionally and financially draining experience. Fortunately, you do not have to face this difficult period by yourself. Working closely with an experienced attorney can make the process of successfully navigating a personal injury claim easier, as you will know that you have a knowledgeable advocate on your side.

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