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Speeding a Factor in Nearly 30% of Traffic Fatalities, Study Reports

Front side view of black luxury sedan in turn, speeding.

A recent study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety sheds light on the dangers of speeding, which consistently leads to a significant number of fatal car accidents.

The study examined the impact of speed limits on car accidents nationwide, analyzing before-and-after data on a dozen roadways with raised or lowered speed limits.

Dr. David Yang, the president and executive director of the AAA Foundation, emphasized the need for caution when considering changes to speed limits, as there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the safety implications involved.

Raising speed limits results in more car accidents

The study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety examined car accident rates on 12 highways across the nation. Half of these highways had higher speed limits, while the other half had lower speed limits.

The findings were definitive: highways with higher speed limits experienced more car accidents, whereas those with lower speed limits had fewer car accidents.

Surprisingly, the study also revealed that changing speed limits had minimal impact on travel times for all 12 highways, as reported by the AAA Foundation.

Speed-related crashes are a major problem

Speeding-related accidents have experienced a significant surge in recent years, with particularly alarming statistics in the past two years.

In 2021, car accident fatalities nationwide increased by 10.5 percent compared to the previous year, reaching a staggering 12,330 deaths, as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported.

Notably, nearly 29 percent of all car accident deaths were attributed to speeding drivers. The following year, the numbers remained distressing, with over 42,700 car accident fatalities recorded in 2022 and approximately 27 percent, equivalent to nearly 11,500 deaths, resulting from fatal car accidents caused by speeding drivers.

How common is speeding in Texas?

Speeding emerged as the primary cause of car accidents throughout Texas in 2021, as the Texas Department of Transportation reported.

The state witnessed a staggering 163,756 accidents attributed to speeding drivers, leading to a distressing toll of 6,493 serious injuries, according to KVUE News.

That year marked a somber milestone, setting a record for the highest number of fatal car accidents caused by speeding drivers in the past decade.

In 2021 alone, Texas experienced 1,568 car accident deaths attributed to speeding drivers, the highest death toll recorded since 2012, per NHTSA accident data.

Reasons why speeding is dangerous

Speeding drastically increases the danger and fatality rates of car accidents due to several critical reasons:

Reduced Reaction Time

When drivers exceed the speed limit, they have significantly less time to react to sudden changes in traffic or road conditions. A shorter reaction time can lead to a higher likelihood of collisions and a reduced ability to avoid accidents altogether.

Enhanced Impact Force

Speeding drivers cause collisions with greater force, leading to more severe injuries. The higher the speed, the more energy is transferred upon impact, making accidents more devastating for all parties involved.

Compound Risk

Speeding drivers often engage in other hazardous behaviors, such as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or using mobile devices while driving. This dangerous combination of speeding and other distractions increases the risk of accidents, further compromising road safety.

Reduced Maneuverability

Speeding reduces a driver's ability to navigate curves, bends, and unexpected obstacles, making it harder to maintain control of the vehicle. As a result, speeding drivers may veer off the road, lose control, or roll over, leading to devastating consequences.

Limited Visibility

At high speeds, drivers have less time to process information and identify potential hazards on the road. This reduced visibility can result in delayed reactions or missed opportunities to avoid accidents.

Increased Stopping Distance

Speeding drivers require more time and distance to come to a complete stop. When confronted with sudden obstacles or traffic congestion, the inability to stop in time can lead to rear-end collisions or multi-vehicle pile-ups.

Aggressive Driving Behavior

Speeding is often associated with aggressive driving behaviors, such as tailgating and weaving in and out of traffic lanes. These behaviors escalate the likelihood of road rage incidents and further contribute to accidents.

Hoover Rogers Law fights for crash victims

If you've been injured in a car accident, Hoover Rogers Law, LLP is here to stand up for you and fight for the compensation you deserve. Car accidents are seldom straightforward, and insurance companies often try to offer lowball settlements that do not cover your losses fully. Their goal is to save money, not ensure you are made whole after an accident.

Our experienced car accident attorneys understand the complexities of these cases and take a determined stand on behalf of accident victims in the Wichita Falls and Lawton area. We are not afraid to go to court if necessary to secure the maximum compensation you deserve.

While you focus on healing and being with your loved ones, we handle the insurance companies, thoroughly investigate your accident, and aggressively advocate for your best interests. To find out how we can help with your potential legal case, contact us today for a free injury case consultation.

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