Speeding is a dangerous driver behavior that is responsible for thousands of automobile crashes in Missouri each year. Driving too fast can make it difficult or impossible for a driver to react safely to changing roadway situations, such as a pedestrian crossing the road or a stopped vehicle. For many reasons, speeding significantly increases the odds of a car accident.
Increased Braking Distance
According to the latest statistics available from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, speeding was responsible for at least 10,080 injuries and 276 deaths in a single year. When a driver speeds, this increases the vehicle’s braking distance, meaning the car needs more time to come to a complete stop. This increases the odds of the driver crashing into other cars or roadway users.
A common example is a rear-end collision. If a vehicle operator drives at a reasonable speed, he or she will have time to notice and adapt to changing roadway situations. At a slower speed, the driver will have time to apply the brakes and stop prior to impact. A speeding driver, on the other hand, may not be able to stop in time to avoid crashing into another vehicle.
Less Vehicle Control
If a driver is speeding, he or she is at an increased risk of losing control of the motor vehicle. At high speeds, there is a greater potential for loss of control, such as the vehicle careening off the road or rolling over. What may be a safe maneuver at a reasonable speed, such as making a turn, can be dangerous when speeding. The average driver is unable to safely control a vehicle that is traveling at a high speed.
Higher Speeds = More Damage
When two vehicles collide, the kinetic energy of each vehicle is transmitted to the other car – and the occupants of that car. The higher the speed of the vehicle prior to impact, the more velocity and kinetic energy it will have. This means a high-speed vehicle will cause more damage than one traveling at a lower speed. Car accidents that involve speeding in Missouri are more likely to cause serious, catastrophic and fatal injuries, as well as extensive property damage.
Other Reckless Driver Behaviors
A driver who is willing to speed is also more likely to engage in other dangerous or reckless driver behaviors, such as drunk driving or driving distracted. Speeding often coincides with these dangerous driver behaviors. Speeding combined with other violated traffic laws exponentially increases the risk of a serious or deadly car accident. This type of negligent or reckless driver poses a threat to all others on the roadway, as he or she exhibits a careless disregard for their safety.
Reduced Protection in an Accident
A motor vehicle’s occupant protection equipment is less effective when the vehicle is traveling at high speeds. Seat belts and airbags may not be enough to protect a vehicle occupant from suffering serious harm in a high-speed crash. The very frame or structure of the motor vehicle may even collapse under the level of force exerted upon it in a high-speed crash. Injury severity can be increased since the vehicle’s built-in safety measures are unable to perform as they were designed to protect occupants.
Injured in an Accident Caused by Speeding? We Can Help
If you were injured in a car accident that was caused by a reckless or aggressive driver who was traveling too fast for conditions, a car accident attorney may be necessary for the claims process. The other driver’s car insurance company may try to deny the liability or fault of its policyholder and blame you for the crash, instead. You may need to hire an attorney to investigate the crash and collect evidence that proves the other driver was speeding at the time.
To speak to a Kansas City car accident lawyer about a recent car accident caused by speeding, contact Dickerson Oxton, LLC for a free consultation.