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Speeding: A Leading Cause of Accident Fatalities

Driving Over the Speed Limit Causes 26 Percent of all Fatal Accidents

Fatal accidents on the roadways occur for a variety of reasons. However, certain driving behaviors more commonly cause accidents than others. Driving at excessive speeds is not only a major contributor to car collisions, but also a leading cause of accident fatalities.

However, one of the most unfortunate aspects of speeding accidents is that they are entirely preventable. No driver is a stranger to speeding, and many drivers choose to speed on a daily basis. Nonetheless, speeding is a negligent and reckless driving behavior that causes thousands of deaths every year. To fully grasp how disastrous speeding can be, motorists need to understand the consequences of driving at excessive speeds.

Speeding Results in Serious Consequences

In just one year, speeding killed approximately 9,378 people and was a factor in 26 percent of all traffic fatalities. That year, speeding accounted for an average of 25 deaths each day.

Drivers who regularly speed often don’t think twice about these severe consequences their behavior may cause. Individuals frequently speed when running late for work, or an event, or picking up their child. Because people have busy lives, reaching a destination as quickly as possible has become a necessity and a habit. Drivers often believe that their act of speeding is harmless. However, speed limits are methodically calculated for one reason: to protect all drivers on the roadways. The choice to ignore posted speed limits can have serious consequences.

In fact, speeding is reported as the most common driver-related factor leading to car accident fatalities. Speeding is more than just breaking the law; it’s about creating hazardous circumstances for those around you.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, speeding increases danger on the roadways in the following ways:

  • Speeding significantly increases a driver’s potential to lose control of the vehicle, which can lead to collisions causing extensive damage.
  • Speeding increases the severity of a crash, which leads to more serious and even life-threatening injuries.
  • Speeding reduces the effectiveness of vehicle safety features intended to protect occupants.
  • Speeding increases the distance a vehicle travels from the time a driver detects a hazard to the time the driver reacts.
  • Overall, speeding increases the costs of driving.

For example:

  • Regularly driving at excessive speeds increases a driver’s gasoline costs.
  • Speed-related accidents typically have significant costs resulting from extensive property damage and serious injuries. Serious injuries typically have higher medical bills and a longer recovery time, which can lead to more days missed from work.

Speeding Related Accidents Cause Severe Injuries

Speed-related accidents typically cause catastrophic property damage. As a result, vehicle occupants commonly suffer severe and life-threatening injuries. Traveling at excessive speeds necessarily increases the impact of the collision, as well as the severity of the resulting injuries.

A study performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety confirms the relationship between crash severity and vehicle speed. Of course, there is a wide range of injuries that victims of speed-related accidents may incur.

However, some of the most severe injuries include:

  • Head injuries: A head injury includes damage to your skull, scalp, or brain. Head injuries can range in severity from a mild concussion to a traumatic brain injury (TBI). The consequences of head trauma vary greatly. Severe TBIs are often caused by a sudden blow to the skull. Depending on the extent of brain damage, victims may experience an extended stay in intensive care, lifelong physical and mental limitations, or paralysis. In the most serious cases, injured victims are permanently disabled.
  • Spinal cord injuries: Spinal cord injuries occur when the spinal cord or spinal nerves become damaged. Spinal cord injuries may cause loss of mobility, sensation, or other bodily functions and, in some cases, even death.
  • Organ injuries and internal bleeding: Vehicle occupants involved in high-speed collisions frequently suffer serious internal injuries. The impact caused by a collision involving speeding may damage occupants’ bodies. The force of the impact may lead to the penetration or crushing of internal organs. When organs are damaged, victims may experience life-threatening internal bleeding. Internal bleeding requires immediate medical attention; otherwise, the risk of death is extremely high.

What Factors Affect Speed

Even though every single motor vehicle driver on the road has the potential to speed, some factors influence a driver’s speed more than others. These factors must be considered when trying to manage the adverse effects that come with speeding.

  • Road quality: The road layout and the surface quality play a contributing factor in many individuals’ decisions to speed.
  • Vehicle options: The amount of power a vehicle’s engine creates and the maximum speed it allows can affect the driver’s rate of speed.
  • Traffic conditions: Traffic density and composition play a significant factor in an individual’s decision to speed. Traffic is often the most cited cause of aggressive driving. Aggressive driving often results in not only speeding, but changing lanes more frequently, and reacting dangerously to other drivers that create obstacles.
  • Environmental conditions: Weather should play a significant factor in how fast drivers choose to drive.
  • Driver factors: A driver’s gender or age, the number of passengers in the motor vehicle, and alcohol consumption can affect the decision to speed.
  • Those with a disregard for the law: People may speed frequently, but rarely drive aggressively. However, for others, aggressive driving is normal, everyday behavior. Road rage is becoming more and more common as drivers are driving more miles than ever before.

Contact a Lawyer to Get the Help You Need

Personal Injury lawyer

David Brauns, Car Accident Attorney

Speeding-related accidents often have devastating results. Accidents causing severe injuries or fatalities can create emotional and financial burdens for victims and their families.

If you were in a speeding-related accident or have lost a loved one as a result of a fatal car accident, the right car accident lawyer can make sure your case gets the attention and the dedication it deserves.


Brauns Law, P.C.
3175 Satellite Boulevard, Bldg 600
Suite 330
Duluth, GA 30096
(404) 205-8614

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