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Understanding the Dangers of Speeding-Related Car Accidents

The McClellan Law Firm

Speeding is one of the most dangerous – and frequent – examples of driver wrongdoing on our roadways. According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately one-third of all traffic fatalities in the nation are speeding-related, meaning a driver received a speeding citation or a law enforcement officer noted that racing, excessive speed or driving too fast for conditions contributed to the accident.

Speeding doesn't only include driving faster than the posted speed limit. It also includes driving too fast for current road, weather or traffic conditions. Drivers should adjust their speed when necessary to maintain their safety on slick roads, heavy traffic and in adverse weather. Drivers who exceed speed limits and do not slow down for rain or other necessary conditions place themselves and everyone else in the area in danger.

According to the NHTSA, "Speeding is one of the most prevalent factors contributing to traffic crashes and at a tremendous cost." In 2012, for example, 30% of fatal traffic collisions were considered speeding-related. The agency estimates the economic cost of speeding-involved collisions to be about $40.4 billion annually.

Why is speeding so dangerous? First and foremost, it places a driver at an increased risk of being involved in or causing a collision by impacting his or her ability to safely operate a vehicle. At high speeds, it takes longer for a vehicle to slow down and come to a complete stop. Steering can also be affected, and it can be far more difficult to safely maneuver a vehicle that is traveling at a speed that is too fast for the type of road or current conditions at hand. Speeding takes away precious moments that could be used to safely stop a vehicle in the presence of an obstacle in the road, pedestrian or change in traffic.

Speeding also increases the force of impact in a collision. The faster a vehicle is traveling at the time of impact, the greater the force and the more significant the damage inflicted upon a vehicle and its occupants. A vehicle may literally crumple in on itself or may roll over multiple times in a high-speed collision, causing occupants to suffer catastrophic or fatal injuries.

What You Can Do

If you are driving and notice someone who is speeding or driving in an otherwise erratic or dangerous manner, call 911 and report this. Getting the driver off the road could prevent a serious accident and save others from injury. You can also take action by observing posted speed limits and reducing your speed during rain and other poor weather, heavy traffic and poor road conditions. Increasing your following distance and increasing your awareness of potential hazards in poor conditions can also help you avoid a collision.

If you are injured in a car accident, motorcycle accident or truck accident in spite of your precautions, call a San Diego personal injury lawyer at The McClellan Law Firm. We offer legal counsel to clients throughout San Diego County who have been injured in speeding-related accidents and all other types of traffic collisions.

With our experience in this field, we can work to investigate the exact cause of an accident to determine fault – and then pursue maximum financial compensation to help our client with medical expenses, property damage, lost earnings, future loss of earnings, emotional trauma and all other losses, expenses or injuries associated with the accident. Call today to learn more about how we can help you.