Speeding poses a grave danger to you and others on the road, which is why speed limits should be acknowledged and adhered to. It may seem like it’s okay to speed on the open road when no one is around, but anytime you go above the speed limit, you are inviting potential danger. For the past two decades, speeding has played a vital role in one-third of all motor fatalities. In 2018, there were 9,378 speeding-related deaths. It’s better to get to your destination late and safe than not at all.
Speeding is consistently one of the most prevalent causes of accidents and fatalities on the road. To fully understand the danger of a speeding car accident, the following statistics will illuminate the true danger of speeding.
Speeding accidents occur throughout the United States; in California, however, they are far more common. As one of the largest areas in the state, if you speed your chance of getting in an accident is highly increased. If you’ve been in an accident due to the speeding of another driver, you could recover for all of your losses. At Jenn Liakos Law, we have an experienced team of personal injury attorneys who are ready to fight for you.
-Speed-related accidents cost the United States an average of $40.4 billion every year in damages, lawsuits, medical expenses, and more.
-Speed played a role in 31% of U.S. teen deaths on the road.
-Speeding by just 10 mph over the speed limit increases the risk of a crash by 9.1%.
-Despite the dangers, drivers report speeding at least 10 mph over the speed limit more than half of the time they’re on the road.
As a general rule, make sure to stay within the speed limit at all times - even if the road ahead of you is empty and open and it doesn’t seem dangerous. These statistics shed light on the danger of even a small increase in speed.
Defensive Driving to Avoid Speeding Drivers
Even if you always drive within the speed limit, other drivers on the road are likely to speed. If you notice a car speeding up to near you in your rearview mirror, flash your lights to notify the other cars around you. If it whizzes past you, consider calling the police and reporting the car’s make, model, and license plate so a nearby officer can catch them. Every minute that a car drives at dangerous speeds is a minute that a serious accident could occur.
Defensive driving is critical because of the nature of speeding accidents. Those involved typically don’t have enough time to react because the other car is going so fast. Keep your eyes on the road at all times, and frequently check your rearview mirror to make sure you’re aware of possible speeders.
In addition to these defensive driving techniques, observe the following safety precautions to protect yourself on the road.
Always wear a seatbelt. Those who do not wear seatbelts are 30% more likely to be ejected from a car during a crash. Because a speeding car accident creates high velocity and great force upon collision, car ejection is common and quite deadly. Wearing a seatbelt also decreases the risk of fatality by 45% and the risk of serious injury by 50%. Even if you are just driving down the road, always put on a seatbelt. Make this your most important habit.
Make sure your seat and mirrors are adjusted. Especially if you share a car with someone else, make sure to check your seat and your mirrors the moment you get into the car. Mirrors may have shifted since the last time you drove it, and it’s important to do a safety check before you hit the road. If your mirrors are in the correct positions, you’ll have greater visibility of what’s going on around your car.
Keep an eye on street signs and speeding limits. Unless your car has a built-in feature that tells you the speed limit on the road you are currently on, make sure to look for all speed limit signs. All roads have different rules, but speed limits are set for a reason. The length of the road, winds and turns, and number of lanes are all considered when posting speed limits. . Remember that every speed limit has been carefully calculated according to what will keep you and other drivers the safest.
Although you won’t get pulled over if you go 5 mph above the speed limit, it’s important to stay as close to the limit as possible. That said, don’t go too slow, either. Driving too slowly can also present a danger if far faster drivers are around you. If you find it difficult to stay exactly at a certain speed limit while on a road trip or a long drive down the freeway, engage cruise control. If you prefer to drive slowly, always drive in the far-right lane.
Remove all distractions. Finally, distractions such as cell phones, the radio, and eating or drinking can momentarily distract you from your surroundings. It is frequently during these distractions that accidents occur. The combination of negligence between you and the speeding driver can be a recipe for disaster. The more focused you are on the road and your surroundings, the less likely you are to get in an accident. Turn off the phone, stay on one radio station or playlist, and only take a sip of your coffee when you’re at a red light.
Other Tips to Avoid Speeding
Slow down when merging onto a new road.
Whenever you are turning onto a new road, take caution before you see the speed limit. Additionally, if you are merging off a major highway, slow down significantly before you enter a city area. Use the highway’s offramp to slow down to 40-50 mph, and be prepared to slow down even more once you merge onto the road.
Treat limits as a maximum.
Remember that limits mean you should not go above the speed limit. However, many treat speed limits as a suggested speed. Err on the side of a few mph under the speed limit so that there is never a risk of speeding above it.
Go slow in pedestrian heavy areas, town centers, and residential areas.
Make sure to slow down substantially in areas that have plenty of pedestrians. Residential areas typically have a speed limit of 20-25 mph. This may seem incredibly low, but it greatly reduces the risk of striking a pedestrian, a biker, or a child playing in the street. Observe this same slow, attentive driving around any residential-like area: schools (even outside pickup and dropoff hours) or shopping centers. When in doubt, always go slow.
Give yourself plenty of time on the road.
Finally, remove any temptation to drive quickly by removing the threat of being late. Many drivers speed when they’re running late to something important. Avoid all of it by planning ahead before you get on the road. Remind yourself that it’s better to be late than to get into a deadly accident because you were speeding.
Jenn puts the compassion, kindness and work ethic she learned growing up in the Midwest to work for you.
Jenn was born and raised in the small farming community of St. Johns, Michigan. After law school, she craved a change and moved to Los Angeles, where she has practiced law for the past twenty years. Jenn knew from growing up with two brothers that life isn’t always fair: sometimes you get outnumbered, but that doesn’t mean you get out-smarted. It is with that mentality that she has made it her mission to be the most prepared person in the room – maximizing her ability to zealously represent her clients regardless of who she is up against.
Published by Jenn Liakos