Speed limits are not a sign of “The Man” keeping us down.
There are solid, sound engineering reasons for a speed limit that protects drivers, passengers, and vehicles on the millions of miles of roadway in America otherwise there would be even more speeding accidents. Public-safety officers have a duty to uphold those engineering standards and keep everyone safe as much as possible.
Speed limits are determined by weather conditions, daytime and nighttime hours, the quality of the road, traffic density and whether a road is curvy or straight, has hills or is flat. Signage introduces drivers to the speed limit over a stretch of road, and exceeding that speed limit increases the risk of accidents and injuries.
Speeding through Some Stats
How vital is speeding as a contributing factor in crashes? According to some 2015 data, 18 percent of all drivers involved in crashes were speeding at the time of the crash, and more than 1 in 4 deaths from auto-accident crashes were at the hands of at least one speeding driver.
Speeding, by the way, is noted in crash reports if it is determined through an investigation that a driver was exceeding the speed limit or was driving excessively fast for the weather and road conditions and that speed was deemed a contributing factor in the crash. So these statistics do not count any accidents in which speeding was present but was not deemed relevant or significant in a crash.
Not surprisingly, the highest percentage of speeding drivers in car accidents involving fatalities were between the ages of 16-24, as one-third of drivers were male and one-fifth were female. The numbers did drop significantly after age 24, but even the 25-34 age group had 27 percent of drivers as male and 15 percent female.
Also interesting was the data from 2015 that showed among those in fatal crashes, a higher percentage of the speeders had prior black marks on their records than those who were not speeding at the time of their crashes. The most noteworthy jump came in the category of drivers with a previous license suspension or revocation; 23 percent of those drivers were speeding at the time of their 2015 crash, while only 14 percent of the non-speeders had such a prior record.
The category of a prior black mark that was most prevalent among fatal-crash drivers in 2015 were those with prior speeding convictions. Twenty-six percent of those who were speeding in their fatal crash had a prior speeding ticket, while 20 percent of non-speeders had that citation on their record – in both cases the speeding citation was the highest percentage among the categories studied (including DUI, license suspension, and prior crash).
This means that if you have a prior speeding ticket, you are more likely to be involved in a fatal crash, even if you don’t speed at the time of your crash.
Time is Overrated
We all might be guilty of driving a little bit faster when we are late to work, school or some important meeting. But is it worth paying $250 in fines or getting in a crash that might injure or kill people?
Think about this math. If you live 40 miles away and your speed limit is 55 miles per hour and you drive 65 to save time, you will actually save 6.5 minutes.
If you do the same thing from 20 miles away, you save 3.4 minutes. From 10 miles away, you save 1.6 minutes. In the first example, a $250 speeding ticket means that saving 6.5 minutes actually would cost you more than $2,300 per hour.
We know time is money but is it worth that much to you? Can you make a $2,300 risk to be there on time, or might it be more cost-effective to just be a little late?
Defend Your Rights, Speedily
Car accidents are often a product of physics that don’t quite line up harmoniously. And with physics, much gets multiplied – it isn’t just the force of two cars at certain speeds gets added together; the force gets multiplied. An accident between a car going 25 mph and a brick wall that isn’t moving will have one level of force exerted on the car and any passengers or drivers; take that same 25-mph car and collide it with a second car going 25 mph and the force exerted won’t just double; it would be exponentially higher.
A change of just 10 mph- from a 55-mph speed limit to an excessive speed of 65 mph – can mean an exponential increase of risk in not only getting a citation but also to get into an auto accident that results in serious injury or death. Speed may be a factor in an auto accident, but it often may not be the only reason for a crash.
In these situations, it is always a good idea to hire a quality Memphis personal-injury attorney and conduct a thorough, independent accident investigation to determine how significant a factor speed would impact an accident. Whether you were speeding or were hit by a speeder, you are entitled to the same rights and have a right to defend yourself and your interests. You should make sure you are protected as quickly as possible. A speedy consultation will do wonders for your rights.