Despite decades of public service announcements about the dangers of speeding, the problem is alive and well today. A common reason for this is that it’s easy to do and doesn’t feel dangerous. Cars have powerful engines and have very smooth and quiet rides. When sitting on comfortable upholstery and surrounded by music, it’s easy to forget that a wrong movement of the hand on the steering wheel can kill the occupants of the car. People also speed because of attitudes shaped by common myths. Here are three of them:
My Car Will Protect Me in an Accident
It is true that today’s cars are far safer than those of past decades. They have better bumpers and energy absorbing crumple zones. The occupants of cars benefit from airbags and seatbelts (if they wear them).
However, there are many types of accidents in which these safety features do little good. If a car goes off the road and down an embankment, which often occurs on rural roads, the airbags, bumpers, seatbelts, and crumple zones won’t help if a rollover crushes the roof onto the occupants.
These safety features also won’t help when a car collides into the side of a tractor-trailer. There are no guards that will stop a car from riding under the trailer. When this happens, the trailer shears off the top half of the car along with its occupants. If a car slams into another car at a high speed, the seatbelt and airbags won’t protect the occupants from loose objects such as tools or laptops that are flying at them at 65 mph.
Driving Faster Gets You to Your Destination Sooner
In urban situations, this is mostly false. Traffic lights and other cars will impede your progress. It’s extremely difficult to maintain a consistent high speed no matter how aggressively you drive. However, the consequences of a car accident during the times you are speeding can be severe. The destructive energy of a collision with a solid object goes up with the square of your speed.
On interstate highways with light traffic, you can maintain a consistent high speed. However, the time saved is small. For example, if you commute 30 miles, driving 75 mph instead of 65 mph will only save you 3.7 minutes. This is hardly worth the risk or the extra fuel. Saving any appreciable time requires long travel distances. In the previous example, you would have to travel 500 miles to save about an hour of time.
If You Drive the Speed Limit, You Aren’t Speeding
Speed limits are established for ideal road conditions. When roads are wet, or slippery with ice or snow, your braking distance increases because of the reduced tire traction with the road. If you get into an accident in slippery road conditions while driving at the posted speed limit, your speed will be a contributing factor when establishing fault.
Contact us at Hogan Injury for legal services regarding an injury suffered in a car accident. We will fight to get the compensation you need and deserve.