According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 4,346 speeding-related fatalities in the state of California in 2012. Of those, 435 were motorcycle fatalities. According to NHTSA, speed is a factor in about one out of three fatal crashes in the United States. The agency defines an automobile accident as speeding-related if the driver was charged with a speeding-related offense or if a police officer indicates that racing, driving too fast for the conditions or exceeding the posted speed limit contributed to the accident.
Why People Speed
Surveys conducted have found that although people name speeding as a threat to their safety when other drivers around them are exceeding the speed limit, the majority admitted that they also speed when driving. There are all types of reasons why people speed including:
They’re in a rush to get to where they’re going – Many of us today are in a hurry to finish all the tasks we have to attend to on a daily basis. One of the main reasons drivers speed is because they’re simply in a hurry to get to where they’re going. We’ve all been in traffic with the type of driver who will tail-gate and speed past other vehicles. That driver may even become visibly angry because other vehicles are in their way. This type of erratic driving is extremely hazardous as it all too often ends horribly wherein innocent victims become injured or killed.
They are not paying attention to their driving – With all the on-board technology cars, trucks and motorcycles have today, it should come as no surprise that many drivers speed because they’re preoccupied with something else or are simply not paying attention. It’s easy for a negligent driver to speed when he/she is talking to someone, fidgeting, eating, smoking or even daydreaming while driving.
They don’t take traffic regulations seriously or don’t think the laws pertain to them – Some drivers speed because they think the speed limits set on roadways are too low. For instance, a driver may think that a 3pm to 5pm 25 mile per hour speed limit posted on a road near a school is ridiculously slow. This type of driver may slow down monetarily to see if there are any pedestrians nearby. If he/she thinks it’s “all clear”, they’ll accelerate through the area at an unlawfully high rate of speed.
There’s always drivers on the road who just don’t think speed limits pertain to them. For example, an older individual who’s been driving for many years may feel that posted speed limits are for younger drivers lacking experience. This type of driver arrogance often results in speed-related traffic accidents as well as vehicle-pedestrian accidents.
They don’t think their driving behavior/habits are dangerous – Many drivers who’ve been on the road for several years think that due to their experience behind the wheel, that even if they do speed, nothing bad will happen. This is an example of careless driving which is one of the main causes of serious roadway accidents in California and the rest of the country.
They don’t think they’ll be caught – Many drivers who disregard posted speed limits do so because they think there’s a very low chance of them being caught. This type of driving is very common on rural roadways. Some of the most deadly automobile accidents take place on rural roads where speed played a factor.
Without a doubt, speeding on California roadways is a problem today as it has been for years. In spite of state laws and law enforcement doing what it can to keep our roads safe, there are always going to be drivers who will drive at excessive speed, putting others at high risk for injury and even death. Sadly, scores of people of all ages are seriously injured and killed in speeding-related accidents each year.
Who is Most at Risk for Excessive Speed Behind the Wheel?
It’s been proven many times that male drivers speed more often than females. This means that men are at higher risk for being involved in speeding-related accidents than are women. New drivers with little or no driving experience are also at high risk of being involved in speeding-related collisions. An inexperienced driver who is speeding often lacks the skills needed to regain control of their vehicle if it were to spin out of control or swerve. Many inexperienced drivers don’t know how to properly come to sudden stops at normal speeds let alone at high speeds. Motorcycle riders are more likely to become injured in speeding-related accidents than are passengers in cars and trucks because there’s nothing between them and the asphalt.
What Can Happen When Drivers Speed
Among the most common things that can happen when drivers speed include:
Lives are lost. The highest price we pay for speeding-related car crashes are human lives. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), there have been major improvements in the use of seat belts and in the reduction of alcohol-impaired driving in fatal crashes since the mid 1980s. However and very unfortunately, similar progress has not been made in the area of speed-related fatalities. Today, 29 percent of all fatal crashes in the US are speeding-related.
People are seriously injured. Victims of speeding-related auto accidents suffer a variety of injuries ranging from minor cuts and bruises to severe, life-changing injuries like partial or full paralysis. California personal injury attorneys help injured victims get the compensation they need for all types of serious injuries each year. If you’ve been injured in a speeding-related accident caused by someone else, you should speak to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible because you may be eligible to receive compensation for what has happened to you.
Construction zone crashes and fatalities. According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), there were more than 87,600 crashes in work zones in 2010. Of those accidents, speeding was a factor in 31 percent. Both motorists and construction workers are at risk of being involved in work zone accidents. When a speeding driver causes an accident in a construction zone, he or she may be held liable for any injuries suffered by others as well as deaths. Many wrongful death lawsuits are brought in the US due to speeding drivers who disregard construction zone speed limits. Losing a loved one is hard enough but losing someone you love due to a driver speeding is nothing less than devastating.
Unsafe school zones. Many drivers disobey school zone speed limits. Speeding is a serious problem in school zones as there are many people (students, teachers, parents and visitors) moving about near streets and roadways. The speed limit in California in school zones is 25 miles per hour unless otherwise posted. Some school zones have speed limits as low as 15 miles per hour. School speed limits are put into effect for two main reasons: Youngsters tend to dart into streets and very young children don’t have the ability to judge speed and distance in order to cross streets safely. Unfortunately, many children are struck by vehicles while crossing streets and roadways near schools. When a child is hit by a car, the speed of the vehicle is a major contributing factor in just how severe the injuries are.
Economic costs. Crashes in the United States related to excessive speed cost society over $40 billion each year, according to NHTSA. A speeding driver may think that the money taken from his wallet to pay a ticket is the only price he pays for driving too fast. However, there are some hidden costs associated with speeding including rising insurance premiums and paying more at the pump due to pressing the accelerator too hard. Rising gas prices are always related to our society’s great dependence upon gasoline to fuel our cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles, boats and recreational vehicles. In other words, the more we use gas, the more we tend to be charged for it.