How Speed Contributes to the Severity of Car Crashes

driver speeding on the roadExceeding the speed limit gives drivers less time to make vital decisions that could prevent a crash. Speeding also contributes to the severity of car crashes – faster car accidents are likely to be more dangerous.

Were you involved in a crash caused by a speeding driver? If so, we are here to help.

Galloway Jefcoat’s auto accident attorneys in Lafayette are experienced and have a proven track record. Call our firm to schedule a free consultation. We are ready to help you seek full compensation for your damages, with no upfront costs to pay.

Call (377) 984-8020 to discuss your legal situation today.

Louisiana’s Speed Limit Laws

Drivers are required to obey posted limits. State law says no person should exceed 70 miles per hour (mph) on an interstate or controlled access highway. It is illegal to exceed 55 mph on any highway and 65 mph on any multi-lane divided highway.

However, drivers may need to adjust their speed for other reasons. For instance, drivers should slow down in bad weather and when there is heavier traffic. When roads are slippery, drivers are more likely to hydroplane and skid out of control, which is why they should slow down.

If you tend to drive close behind the driver in front of you, it could be a sign that you are either speeding or driving aggressively. In either situation, you are violating Louisiana traffic laws and could be ticketed. Drivers who speed or break other traffic laws can be held liable for the medical costs and other damages that result.

To maintain a safe following difference, you should apply the three-second rule. Count one thousand, two thousand, three thousand. If you pass a fixed object less than three seconds before the vehicle in front of you does, you are driving too fast.

Car Accidents That Are More Dangerous at High Speed

T-bone car accidents are more severe when one or both drivers are traveling at high speed. Often, the at-fault driver in this type of collision is speeding because he or she is running through a red light.

These types accidents also tend to be more dangerous when drivers are speeding:

  • Rollover crashes
  • Head-on collisions
  • Hit-and-run accidents
  • Single-vehicle accidents
  • Off-road collisions

What Common Injuries Are Caused by High-Speed Car Accidents?

High-speed car crashes often cause severe or catastrophic injuries. Vehicles speeding within a close distance of other vehicles may cause more destruction.

Common injuries from a high-speed impact collision may include:

  • Concussions
  • Whiplash
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Brain swelling
  • Spine damages
  • Bleeding
  • Other head and neck injuries
  • Fractures
  • Death

Are Larger Cars Safer in a Speeding Car Crash?

A speeding SUV may cause more damage to other vehicles due to its greater size and weight. This may be particularly true in rear-end or head-on collisions.

The height of an SUV may also be a factor in the severity of damage to other cars. However, those inside the SUV may be better protected from injury than those in smaller vehicles.

That said, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, larger vehicles are not as big of a threat to small cars as they used to be. In recent years, automakers have reduced the amount of energy that can be absorbed by their SUVs. Before, SUVs bumpers were strong enough to absorb a crash, causing more damage to smaller cars.

Safely Sharing the Road With Speeding and Aggressive Drivers

People who tailgate other cars are often considered aggressive drivers. If you notice that someone behind you is driving too close to you, maneuver into another lane to give them space.

Other signs that someone is an aggressive driver may include:

  • Continually changing lanes
  • Refusing to yield the right of way
  • Yelling at other drivers and displaying hostile body language
  • Ignoring traffic signals
  • Cutting off other drivers

Young men between the ages of 15 and 20 are highly likely to speed. Parents should take the time to speak to their teenagers or young adults about safe habits to implement while they are driving.

A driver cannot control the actions of other drivers. However, it is best to stay alert so that you can watch out for aggressive, speeding drivers. If you feel like you are in an unsafe scenario with a speeding driver, call 9-1-1.

Why Does the Speed Limit Vary on Different Roads?

Lawmakers intentionally set different speed limits to increase the safety of drivers and pedestrians. In residential neighborhoods, for instance, speed limits are lower because more pedestrians and bicyclists are on the road. In school zones and work areas, lowering speed limits helps to keep workers and children safe.

Speed limits in residential areas are usually 25 to 35 mph. Exceeding the speed limit in these areas can result in vehicles hitting pedestrians or bicyclists.

There are practical tips you can take to reduce the risk of a collision in a residential area:

  • Look at your review mirror when backing out of driveways and parking lots.
  • Do not park in bicycle lanes.
  • Be ready to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.
  • Keep an eye out for pedestrians crossing the street.

Highways have higher speed limits due to having more lanes and no sidewalks. In general, there are fewer pedestrians and bicyclists on busy highways.

Road engineers and traffic investigators help determine the appropriate speed limit, based on their examination of the following:

  • Traffic volume
  • Crash history
  • Curves
  • Hazardous locations

If multiple car accidents occur in a particular area, it might encourage a speed limit change to increase safety. Drivers are also likely to notice slower speed limits on curvy roads when exiting highways or driving in residential areas.

As drivers transition from streets to residential areas, it is important to remain aware of the different speed limits. It is very easy for drivers to get familiar with an area or route they take every day and operate on autopilot. However, it is vital to adjust your driving speed based on the location.

Steps Drivers Can Take To Prevent Speeding

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), speeding was a contributing factor in 29 percent of traffic fatalities. Drivers who speed risk their safety as well as the safety of others sharing the road.

To help prevent speeding, drivers should leave their homes on time and use other methods, such as:

  • Using cruise control
  • Identifying speeding triggers (anger, stress, etc.)
  • Practicing calming meditation before you start driving

Driving to get from one destination to another is just one of many daily tasks. However, while drivers are on the road, they should focus on the road and limit distractions that hinder their ability to operate a vehicle.

Contact Galloway Jefcoat to Discuss Your Auto Accident Case

Car crash victims should not attempt to manage a case on their own. The experienced attorneys at our firm are prepared to handle your claim and help you obtain a settlement without any upfront fees.

Galloway Jefcoat has advocated for clients for many years in Lafayette and the surrounding areas. We only receive a fee if you receive compensation.

Call (337)-987-8020 to discuss more details.