Speeding kills. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), speeding killed 9,378 people in 2018. When you speed, you have less control of your vehicle, and your vehicle won’t be as good at protecting you in the event of a crash. Additionally, the faster you’re going, the longer it will take you to respond to hazards.
Accidents that involve speeding are also more severe. For more than 2 decades, speeding has been involved in about 1/3 of traffic fatalities, and in 2017, speeding was a contributing factor in 26% of fatal motor vehicle accidents.
Is Speeding Ever Okay?
If you are facing an emergency or need to take evasive action to avoid a car accident, you can drive over the speed limit. If you are not in immediate danger, however, you should not speed. In many emergencies, you can keep yourself safe by calling 911. If you need to transport someone to the hospital, consider calling an ambulance instead.
Although speeding may be necessary in dire situations, it is never “safe.” A roadway with perfect conditions and no obstacles can become dangerous in a matter of seconds. What will you do if you are going 90 mph and a deer runs across the road? What if you do not notice a vehicle with its lights off on the side of the road? Even under ideal conditions, you shouldn’t take a curve while exceeding the recommended speed limit.
Reasons People Speed
Running late is never a good reason to speed, no matter how important your next appointment may be. Schedule extra time and drive safely, or use a hands-free device to let whoever is waiting on you know you are running late. Remember, you’ll be even more late if you get into a car accident, and you’re always better off late than dead.
Another reason people speed is because of traffic. Traffic leads to frustration and brings out the worst in people, inspiring speeding and other aggressive driving behaviors. Weaving in and out of traffic, tailgating, or getting angry at someone who you feel impedes your progress won’t help you get where you’re going faster, but it will put everyone on the road at risk.
When you’re on the road, try to be respectful of others and always follow the rules of the road and adhere to traffic signals.
No matter how invincible you feel, you can always get pulled over, or worse, get in a life-threatening traffic accident.
More Than Just the Speed Limit
Speeding can mean more than exceeding a posted speed limit. While you should follow the speed limit whenever possible, sometimes you will have to adjust your speed to traffic and weather conditions. You may need to drive slower than normal in the snow, and if traffic isn’t moving very fast, you shouldn’t be either. You should always be mindful of construction zones, too, as these locations may have lower speed limits than normal, and you can face increased consequences if a law enforcement officer catches you speeding.
Even if no one is around, you may also need to slow down for certain road conditions. If the roads are bad or you have trouble seeing, even driving the speed limit could be considered speeding. Slow down and be extra careful at night or in bad weather.
What If Someone Is Speeding Near Me?
Chances are, you will encounter a speeding driver on the roadway at some point in your driving career. If you’re in the left lane and someone wants to pass, move over and let them by. Wherever you are, give speeding drivers plenty of space and stay out of their way as much as possible.
If someone is tailgating you, don’t engage with them and never use your brakes to try and get revenge. Instead, pull over as soon as it is safe to do so, and let the speeding driver pass. On mountain roads or places where it is difficult to pass, you can usually find “pull out” zones to keep yourself safe.
Anytime you believe a driver is following or harassing you, call the police or drive to the nearest police station, fire station, or hospital.
At Douglas, Leonard & Garvey, P.C., we know how quickly a speeding driver can cause an accident. If you aren’t able to get out of the way, don’t beat yourself up about it, and do hold the at-fault driver accountable for their unsafe behavior.
When you get injured or lose someone important to you because of the negligent actions of another, we can help you file a car accident lawsuit to get the compensation you deserve.
Call us at (603) 288-1403 or contact us online for a free consultation with our team of experienced trial lawyers.
We look forward to putting 140+ years of combined experience on your side and helping you through this difficult time.