Car Accidents Caused by Speeding
The Prevalence of Speeding Accidents
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that speeding occurs in 33% of all fatal crashes. Driving fast is also the third leading contributing factor in traffic crashes. Not all of these types of accidents occur on highways, either. 40% of speeding cases occur on roads that have speed limits of less than 50 miles per hour, while 20% of speeding accidents occur on roads with speeding restrictions of 35 miles per hour or less. Male motorists between the ages of 15 and 24 are most at risk for speed-related accidents. The layout of roads is also a key factor in speeding-related deaths, with 40% of deadly speeding collisions occurring on curved sections of road.
Reasons Why Drivers Speed
There are several reasons why drivers speed:
- Being in a hurry
- Lack of concern for the safety of others
- Not paying attention to how fast they are going
- Not thinking that speeding restrictions pertain to them
- Not thinking their driving is dangerous
- Not thinking they will get caught by law enforcement while speeding
Drivers speed despite the many incentives to slow down, which include substantial fines, increased insurance costs, license suspension, and even the permanent loss of driving privileges.
Deaths Caused by Speeding Accidents
In 2015, 9557 people were killed in the United States in traffic accidents where speed was a contributing factor. This is up from just over 9200 the year prior. Sadly, the number of traffic deaths had been steadily dropping from 2007 until around 2014. This change is likely due to the increased use of cell phones while driving and overall driving population increase.
Speeding is Often A Contributing Factor to Accidents
There are many ways that speeding can cause or contribute to an accident. It may result in a driver not stopping for a red light or not having time to slow down when traffic comes to a sudden stop ahead of them. Additionally, many car accidents are a result of people failing to yield right-of-way while turning across traffic or at an intersection. Unfortunately, when a car is attempting to make a turn and an approaching vehicle is traveling at an excess speed, this makes the turning driver’s job of judging whether there is a sufficiently safe distance more difficult. Thus, speed may be the cause or one of many causes contributing to an accident.
How Your Speeding May Affect Your Case in Texas
Even when the other driver is cited by the police, if you were speeding, insurance adjusters will argue this against you as a way of avoiding responsibility. The fact that you were speeding does not mean that you cannot recover damages against another driver whose negligence contributed to the collision. It simply means that if the case goes to trial, a jury will weigh how much your speeding vs the other driver’s negligence was the cause. If they determine that your percentage was over 50%, you may not make any recovery. If the jury finds your portion of responsibility was less than 51%, then you recover that percentage of your damages for which the other driver is at fault.
Consult a Lawyer
If you find yourself in a situation where your speed is a contributing factor, but the other driver was cited for a greater contributing factor, you likely still have a viable case against the other driver. You should contact a car accident attorney for a free consultation today by calling Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. at 1-800-298-0111.
Paul Cannon has practiced personal injury trial law since 1995. He is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law (2005). He has earned recognition as a Super Lawyer by Thompson Reuters in 2017 & 2018, and as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers Association in 2017. He is a Shareholder, trial lawyer and online marketing manager at Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. His legal writings have been published by the Texas Bar Journal, Business.com, Lawyer.com HG Legal Resources, Lawfirms.com, and others. He has been asked to give education talks and media interviews on dog bite law.