It certainly shouldn’t be news to anyone that one of the most frequent causes of automobile accidents is traveling at an excessive rate of speed. But speeding also increases the likelihood of crash victims suffering more severe injuries, many of which prove fatal either at the scene or shortly thereafter. And these horrific outcomes don’t discriminate between the speeding driver responsible and the innocents in another vehicle or even their own passengers. When it comes to this reckless behavior everyone’s life is equally at risk.
Why speeding makes crashes deadlier
In 2018 alone automobile accidents caused by speeding cost approximately 9,300 people their lives, and for the past 20 years, has been linked to about one-third of all traffic fatalities. However, multiple studies have found it isn’t only the rate of speed at the time of a collision that determines the severity of the victims’ injuries, but also the differences in mass between the vehicles involved in the accident. The smaller vehicle will absorb more of the kinetic energy released on impact than the larger, so the collision will affect those riding within that vehicle more.
For example, if a truck collides with a four-door sedan (regardless of which vehicle is speeding at the time), the occupants of the sedan are the ones likeliest to suffer significant and potentially fatal injuries. The greater the differential in size between vehicles, the worse the passengers of the lighter, smaller vehicle will fare.
The negative outcomes of an accident in which speed is a factor increase along with the rate of speed. Simply put, the faster a driver is going at the time, the worse the crash and subsequent injuries. The large amount of kinetic energy generated by speeding instantly releases tremendous force upon the vehicle and those within upon collision, which in turn creates intense heat, crushes metal, and wreaks havoc on vulnerable human bodies.
So, how do you protect yourself and your passengers from being injured or killed in an accident with a speeding driver? One step you can take proactively is choose a motor vehicle that has been designed with safety in mind. A solid, well-constructed car with features like crumple zones, multiple airbags, active rollover protection, and more will increase your chances of surviving a collision with a larger vehicle at any speed.
Once you’re on the road, it’s all about avoidance. If someone is tailgating you, move over and let them pass. If you spot a driver speeding or zigzagging through traffic, give them as wide a berth as possible. And if you are able to do so safely (i.e., handsfree or by having a passenger use the phone), call 9-1-1 to report speeders, vehicles that appear to be racing one another, or otherwise aggressive drivers who might be putting you and others on the road in danger.
When speeding causes an accident, contact a Los Angeles automobile lawyer
Call Los Angeles car accident attorney Scott J. Corwin if a speeding driver seriously injures you or someone you love. Scott will research your case and make sure you receive the justice you deserve. You can reach his office at 800-946-9440.