Many car accidents are due, at least in part, to speeding. Speeding in a car is dangerous due to the increased risks it poses to both the driver and other road users. Excessive speed reduces a driver’s ability to react to changing road conditions, increases the severity of crashes, and diminishes the effectiveness of safety measures.
Why Is Speeding So Dangerous?
Here are some reasons why speeding is considered hazardous:
Reduced Reaction Time: Driving at high speeds reduces the driver’s ability to react to unexpected situations. A shorter reaction time can lead to collisions that might have been avoidable at lower speeds.
Increased Stopping Distance: Higher speeds result in longer stopping distances. A speeding vehicle requires more time and distance to come to a complete stop, which can lead to rear-end collisions or inability to avoid obstacles.
Limited Maneuverability: Speeding reduces a driver’s ability to steer effectively and make precise maneuvers. This can result in overcorrections, loss of control, and collisions.
Less Effective Safety Measures: Safety features such as airbags, seatbelts, and crumple zones are designed to work optimally at certain speeds. Speeding can reduce the effectiveness of these measures during a crash.
Increased Impact Force: The force of impact increases exponentially with speed. This means that even a small increase in speed can lead to significantly higher impact forces in a collision, causing more severe injuries and damage.
Risk of Rollovers: Speeding, especially in curves or on slippery surfaces, can increase the risk of a vehicle rolling over. Vehicles with a higher center of gravity, such as SUVs and trucks, are particularly susceptible.
Reduced Visibility: At higher speeds, the driver’s field of vision narrows, and they have less time to perceive and react to hazards, such as pedestrians or obstacles.
Danger to Pedestrians and Cyclists: Speeding reduces a driver’s ability to detect and respond to pedestrians or cyclists, increasing the risk of accidents involving vulnerable road users.
Increased Severity of Injuries: Crashes at higher speeds lead to more severe injuries. The force involved can cause traumatic injuries to occupants and increase the risk of fatalities.
What Injuries Can Result From a High-Speed Crash?
High-speed crashes can result in a wide range of severe and potentially life-threatening injuries due to the significant forces involved in the collision. Some common injuries that can result from high-speed crashes include:
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI): High-speed crashes can cause the head to strike the steering wheel, dashboard, or other objects, leading to concussions, contusions, or more severe traumatic brain injuries. These injuries can have long-lasting effects on cognitive and physical function.
Spinal Cord Injuries: The impact of a high-speed crash can lead to vertebral fractures, spinal cord compression, or damage to the spinal cord itself. Spinal cord injuries can result in partial or complete paralysis, affecting motor and sensory functions below the injury site.
Multiple Fractures: The force of impact can cause multiple bone fractures, including fractures of the limbs, ribs, pelvis, and skull. Compound fractures, where bones break through the skin, can also occur.
Internal Organ Injuries: High-speed collisions can cause organs to be compressed against the body’s skeletal structures, leading to internal injuries such as ruptured organs, internal bleeding, and damage to the lungs, liver, spleen, and kidneys.
Chest and Abdominal Injuries: The chest and abdominal regions can be injured by the impact of the steering wheel or seatbelt. Injuries can include broken ribs, punctured lungs, and damage to internal organs.
Whiplash and Neck Injuries: The rapid deceleration that occurs during a high-speed crash can cause the head to jerk violently, leading to whiplash injuries, cervical spine injuries, and muscle strains in the neck.
Facial and Eye Injuries: High-speed impacts can result in facial fractures, lacerations, and injuries to the eyes. Airbag deployment can also cause facial injuries.
Amputations: Severe high-speed collisions can lead to traumatic amputations of limbs or extremities due to the force of impact or crushing injuries.
Burn Injuries: If a high-speed crash results in a vehicle fire, occupants can suffer from burns due to contact with hot surfaces, flames, or chemical reactions.
Psychological Trauma: Beyond physical injuries, high-speed crashes can lead to psychological trauma, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression.
Fatalities: Unfortunately, high-speed crashes have a higher likelihood of resulting in fatalities due to the extreme forces involved and the severity of injuries sustained.
For these reasons, there are speed limits in place. The speed limit on a road is determined through a combination of factors that consider safety, traffic flow, road design, and other considerations. The process of setting speed limits involves transportation authorities and experts who analyze these factors to establish appropriate and safe speed limits for different types of roads.
If you’ve been hit by a driver who was going well above the posted speed limit and suffered injuries and property damage as a result, an accident law firm can fight for you to get the financial compensation you deserve.