Why Driving Fast is So Dangerous
“Don’t drive too fast!” Our Delray Beach personal injury lawyers at Aronberg, Aronberg & Green are sure that you have heard that phrase, or a variation of it, many times since you started driving. The fact that speeding is dangerous is widely recognized as obvious. But why, exactly, is that the case? In this blog post, we will explore some (but certainly not all) of the reasons why driving too fast makes the task of driving so dangerous. We believe that if you understand the actual risks of driving too fast, you’ll be less inclined to do so. We will explore why Driving Fast is So Dangerous.
What is Too Fast
First, let’s address what constitutes “driving too fast.” Of course it includes speeding, i.e. driving above the posted speed limit. But driving too fast also includes driving too fast for current road conditions. In other words, if the speed limit on a given highway is 65 MPH, it might be perfectly safe to drive 65 MPH on a clear, dry day with minimal traffic and good visibility. But on that same road, on a rainy, wet night with low visibility and significant auto congestion, it would likely not be safe to travel at a rate of 65 MPH. In other words, conditions matter. As our team of lawyers understand, simply not driving above the speed limit might be insufficient—sometimes it is not even safe to travel at the posted speed limit.
Risks of Driving Too Fast
Now, onto the risks of driving too fast. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (the NHTSA, a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation), a primary consequence of speeding is the greater potential for loss of vehicle control. When one is travelling at a high rate of speed, it becomes more difficult for a driver to execute turns, gear changes, etc. With reduced control over the vehicle, a driver is more vulnerable to winding up in an otherwise avoidable auto accident.
Our lawyers know that the NHTSA also warns that speeding increases stopping distances. That means that when one is travelling at a high rate of speed, it takes longer for that driver to stop his or her vehicle after recognizing a roadway danger than it would have taken the driver had the vehicle not been traveling as fast.
Lastly, and because of these consequences of driving too fast, our trial lawyers and the NHTSA know that speeding can increase the degree of crash severity. This might seem straightforward, but it’s important to remember: the faster you’re going, the more severe a crash will be. That means that injuries will likely be worse (perhaps even fatal), property damage will probably be more extensive, and the psychological trauma resulting from the incident will most likely be harder to deal with.
In terms of the correlation between high speed and severity of injuries, consider the following, from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety: “[t]he average risk of death for a pedestrian reaches 10% at an impact speed of 23 mph, 25% at 32 mph, 50% at 42 mph, 75% at 50 mph, and 90% at 58 mph.” Our personal injury lawyers understand that this means that if a pedestrian is hit by a car travelling at just 23 MPH, their risk of death is just 10%; however, if the car was travelling at 58 MPH, their risk of death increases nine-fold to 90%.
According to the NHTSA, in 2015, there were 9,557 speeding-related fatalities. Our attorneys hope that the next time you get behind the wheel of a vehicle, you remember how dangerous driving fast can be—and why. Please drive carefully.
If you have any questions about the risks associated with driving too fast, or if you have any question about any other personal injury issue, please contact our Delray Beach personal injury lawyers at Aronberg, Aronberg & Green. To schedule a free consultation, please call 561-266-9191. With offices in Delray Beach, Boca Raton and Wellington, we are ready and able to assist you.