The Connection Between Speeding and Fatal Accidents

Speeding and Fatal Accidents

How many among us have caught ourselves speeding? You are likely lying if you say you have never put the pedal to the metal when you left late and have to make up time. Maybe you are not paying attention to the speed limit, or it suddenly drops through a more congested area. 

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety in 2021 found that half of drivers said they had sped on a freeway by at least 15 mph in the past month.

Speed limits are set after a state or local agency completes engineering studies to determine the safest maximum speed through an area. The speed limit is not an arbitrary number but is determined to be the safest maximum speed to travel. 

When exceeding the speed limit, you are not only violating the law, opening yourself up to a fine, or revoking your safe driver discounts, but you are also risking additional injuries if you are in a crash.

Speeding and Fatal Accidents 

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) understands that more deaths result when speed limits are raised. The safety group claims that in 2021, more than 12,000 individuals died when they were involved in a speed-related crash. That number represents nearly one-third of crash fatalities that year. Even a modest increase in speed brings more crash energy to a collision.

The year 2021 was the third consecutive year with an increase in speed-related fatalities.

Statistics show that drivers who speed tend to be male and younger. It’s not surprising then that 20 percent of males killed in a fatal crash were speeding at the time of the accident, compared to 13 percent of female drivers.

There is undoubtedly a connection between speeding and fatal accidents for several reasons.

The Danger of Speeding

Speeding contributes to fatal crashes in a number of ways.

  • A high speed makes it harder to react to another car and slow down.
  • A higher speed results in more crash energy, the velocity brought by two vehicles colliding, increasing the distance needed to stop a car before the crash. 
  • Speeding increases the potential that an evasive steering maneuver will result in losing control of the car.
  • A higher speed compromises the reliance on the crash compartment to keep the passengers safe.
  • The risk of a fatality or a severe injury is directly related to the speed at the time of the crash.
  • Speed safety cameras reduce fatal accidents by anywhere from 20 to 47 percent. 
  • Some vehicles are equipped with intelligent speed assistance (ISA) technology that informs the driver about the posted speed limit. 

Besides speeding, other causes of fatal accidents include driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, driving distracted, likely from a cell phone, driving while tired, and a failure to wear seat belts.

Fatal Car Accidents in Alabama

Attorney Chip Nix understands that people might speed and display aggressive driving habits for many reasons. However, no matter the reason, even a legitimate one, it should not affect your claim for financial compensation. 

In the case of a fatal accident, a wrongful death claim may be filed on behalf of the estate of the lost family member. The only remedy you can bring for a death claim is punitive damages intended to punish the defendant. Alabama law is intended to deter the conduct of the defendant in the future rather than the plaintiffs’ losses, such as pain and suffering or financial loss.

In some cases, police may bring criminal charges against a driver if he is speeding. That charge can include vehicular manslaughter and can run concurrently with a personal injury claim. 

Make sure you contact the Montgomery office of personal injury attorney Chip Nix right after the accident so he can help preserve the evidence you will need to make your claim. It will be necessary for a personal representative to file a wrongful death claim. Attorney Nix will inform you who that representative can be, often depending on the decedent’s age. His decades of experience will help you understand how the damages resulting from a wrongful death claim can be awarded to the family.

Montgomery Wrongful Death Accident attorney Chip Nix has the experience and compassion to represent your interests in a fatal auto accident. Call his Montgomery office at (334) 279-7770 for a complimentary consultation to better understand your options at this difficult time. 




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