Speeding is one of those driving offenses that everyone knows they shouldn’t do but often do anyway. It may seem innocuous, especially if you don’t do it all the time, but it can have serious consequences. It only takes one car crash to change your life, or someone else’s, forever.
In 2018, the National Highway and Traffic Safety Association reported that more than 9,000 people died in car accidents where speed was a contributing factor. In one analysis conducted over a 20-year span, speed factored into a third of all fatal crashes. These numbers reveal both how dangerous speeding is and how often it proves fatal. Too many North Carolina families have lost loved ones to this dangerous practice. If you’re concerned about speeding while driving, it may help to understand the risks and facts around this common driving behavior.
The reasons for and risks of speeding
There are many different motivations for driving too fast, and you may recognize yourself or someone you know in many of them. Some of the most common explanations include being late or frustration with traffic. But, if you’ve ever felt as though a speeder didn’t care about others, sometimes that’s actually true. Some speeders even report that they drive too fast simply because they knew others around them didn’t personally know them and wouldn’t be able to pass judgement on them.
The ramifications for speeding are as plentiful as the reasons people do it. A speeding driver faces several increased risks, such as losing control of the car, the need for more stopping distance and the severity of a crash when one occurs. For those who insist that seatbelts or airbags will protect them, the increase in crash severity that speeding causes makes it less likely that protection equipment will do its job. Even from a practical standpoint, speeding increases a vehicle’s fuel usage, resulting in higher costs for the driver.
How to handle a speeder
If you encounter a speeding driver, there are ways for you to protect yourself and others around you. If you’re on a roadway with multiple lanes, you can move over into the right lane and allow a faster driver to pass you. Whenever possible, leave as much distance between your vehicle and theirs. If a speeding driver seems to be threatening you, don’t be afraid to call law enforcement for help.
Even with helpful suggestions like these, car accidents involving speeding drivers can still happen to you. If you or someone you care about has been the victim of an aggressive driver, you may want to pursue a personal injury or wrongful death claim against responsible parties. A knowledgeable attorney can help you determine if doing so is the right choice for you.