Since the first Ford rolled off the assembly line, automobiles have only gotten faster. That Model A’s top speed was approximately 28 miles-per-hour (MPH) in the early 1900s. By 1969, Dodge had developed the Charger Daytona, the first car to exceed 200 MPH. Since then, it has been full speed ahead in the auto industry, as the various manufacturers continue to develop increasingly faster vehicles.
On the surface, this seems to fly in the face of logic, given that the majority of roads in the United States have speed limits of 65 MPH. The Federal Highway Administration continues to require these limits for safety purposes, pointing to speed as a factor in approximately a third of all fatal crashes. So why do automobile manufacturers continue to build cars that well exceed these limits of law and safety?
Automobiles Built for Speed, Reliability, and Safety
One argument we have seen is that cars built for speed tend to be more reliable, because they must be constructed with more durable engines and other components. The idea is that these are likelier to last longer than if the car was built to travel at average speeds, reducing maintenance and fuel costs while extending the life of the vehicle. However, this should not be taken an endorsement for drivers to go sailing past marked speed limits—rather that the car and its parts will last even longer if you drive it at appropriate speeds, which are usually well-below its capabilities.
Regarding safety, faster cars are able to accelerate quickly to help you avoid an emergency, such as swerving around a deer that dashes across the road. They are also typically constructed with brakes capable of slowing/stopping very quickly even if you were traveling at a high rate of speed. Again, these features are most effective when you drive at or close to the speed limit. If you are speeding along at 100 MPH, the likelihood that you will be capable of reacting in time to employ the enhanced steering, braking, and other features of your faster vehicle and successfully avoid a crash will be significantly reduced.
Talk to a Car Accident Lawyer after a Speed-Related Crash
Just because your car is capable of exceeding the speed limit by 20, 40, or more miles-per-hour should not be taken as encouragement or permission to do so. Speeding injures and kills hundreds of drivers and passengers in Los Angeles annually, and thousands more throughout California and the United States. If a reckless speeding driver caused your car accident, please contact Scott J. Corwin, A Professional Law Corporation, for assistance holding them accountable for your injuries and other damages.
Contact our office today by calling (310) 683-2300 or filling out the online contact form to discuss the details of your case and learn more about how we can help you. We offer free consultations, so there’s no reason not to reach out to someone from our team right away.