Explaining the Dangers of Speeding
Posted in Car accidents on November 2, 2023
Speeding injures and takes lives. We have incredible responsibilities when it comes to operating motor vehicles. These are vehicles that weigh thousands of pounds and can travel at high rates of speed, so any irresponsible behavior can lead to major injuries and property damage. Speeding is a leading cause of vehicle accident injuries and deaths year after year in Tennessee. Here, we want to examine some of the dangers associated with operating too fast for conditions.
Tennessee and Speeding
Information provided by the Tennessee Department of Transportation shows that crashes involving A speeding driver are four times more likely to cause a fatality than incidents involving a non-speeding driver. Another leading cause of injury and fatal accidents in Tennessee is drunk driving, and the dot shows that drunk drivers are four times more likely to speed than sober drivers.
The DOT also indicates that crashes at night are more likely to involve a speeding driver than those that occur during the daytime and that speeding drivers are twice as likely to be under the age of 25 than non-speeding drivers. Additionally, one in four speeding accidents occur during daytime in the rain.
The DOT does provide some interesting data regarding the first harmful events where speed was a factor in the incident. This includes:
- Striking a guardrail or fence – 32.9%
- Striking another motor vehicle on the same roadway – 32.9%
- Driving into a ditch – 10.3%
- Hitting a standing tree – 8.1%
- Overturning or rolling over – 6%
The National Safety Council indicates that speed is a major factor in traffic deaths and injuries. Driving too fast for certain conditions reduces the amount of time a driver has to react to changing roadway situations or dangerous conditions. In 2021, speeding was a factor in 29% of all traffic fatalities, according to the NSC. An average of 33 people a day lost their lives that year due to speeding-related incidents.
Why do People Speed?
Individuals may choose to operate at high rates of speed for a variety of reasons, including:
- Situational Dynamics. Various situational factors contribute to instances of speeding. Among these, the urgency of reaching a destination stands out as a major driver. However, the length of the trip and the driving environment also play crucial roles. For instance, some individuals admitted to speeding primarily during long trips with sparse traffic. Others confessed to exceeding speed limits when running behind schedule.
- Social Influences. Social pressure significantly impacts speeding behavior. Drivers often feel compelled to match the speed of surrounding traffic to avoid disrupting the flow. The fear of receiving a traffic ticket decreases when everyone is driving at an accelerated pace. Understanding the influence of social dynamics on speeding is essential for creating effective strategies to promote safe driving habits.
- Inattention Challenges. Distractions, such as traffic flow, pets in the vehicle, and playing music, contribute to drivers unknowingly surpassing speed limits. Inattention to driving speed becomes a key factor, and passengers can also serve as distractions. Recognizing these elements helps in devising targeted awareness campaigns to address the root causes of inattentive driving.
- Emotional Satisfaction. Some drivers admit to speeding for the thrill it brings. The enjoyment of driving fast, especially in sports cars, is a significant motivator for certain individuals. This category of thrill-seeking drivers may also exhibit more aggressive behavior on the road.
Catastrophic Injuries Can Occur
Unfortunately, as the data indicates, catastrophic injuries are much more likely when drivers operate at higher speeds. The force of an impact of a speeding vehicle often leads to:
- Spinal cord trauma with paralysis
- Severe internal injuries or bleeding
- Crush injuries or amputations
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Major lacerations or puncture wounds
- Significant scarring and disfigurement
- Severe burn injuries
Severe accidents caused by speeding can also lead to crash victims sustaining long-term emotional and psychological injuries. This includes symptoms of PTSD that can last for quite some time after the incident occurs.
Is Compensation Available?
Individuals who sustain injuries and property damage caused by a speeding driver in Tennessee may be able to recover compensation for their losses. These claims are complicated, and there will need to be a thorough investigation into the incident in order to determine liability. In many cases, speeding is hard to determine, but there certainly are ways to uncover whether or not another driver was operating over the speed limit or too fast for conditions.
If a law enforcement officer does not cite a driver for speeding when they complete an accident report, other types of evidence can be gathered to determine how the incident occurred. Your attorney can work to obtain vehicle black box data that can show vehicle diagnostics leading up to the moment before the crash occurred. Additionally, there may be statements from my witnesses or video surveillance footage available to corroborate allegations of speeding.
Individuals who are successful with their claim against another driver may be able to recover the following types of compensation:
- Coverage of all emergency medical expenses related to the incident
- Compensation for ongoing medical treatment needed
- Lost wage replacement if a person is unable to work
- Property damage expenses
- Out-of-pocket expenses associated with the injury and the aftermath
- Rental vehicle coverage
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering damages
- Loss of enjoyment of life damages
There is no set amount of compensation paid to Tennessee car accident victims for claims against speeding drivers. There are various factors that could influence a settlement or jury verdict amount, and your attorney can work with you and trusted economic experts to adequately calculate your total losses.
Call a Car Accident Lawyer for Help
If you or somebody you love has been injured in a vehicle accident caused by a speeding driver in Tennessee, please reach out to an attorney as soon as possible. Car accident claims are challenging, even if another party was clearly liable for the incident. It is not uncommon for insurance carriers to vigorously push back against having to pay out compensation. When you have a skilled Tennessee car accident lawyer by your side, you will have an advocate ready to help you with every aspect of the claim. An attorney will investigate the incident, open negotiations with insurance carriers, and even fully prepare your claim for trial if necessary.