Speeding drivers cause a lot of auto accidents.
In fact, speed-related accidents are so common that the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that speeding was a top factor–contributing to 27 percent of total accidents–in the more than 35,000 auto accident deaths that occurred in a single year on U.S. roadways.
Speed limits may be bothersome at times, particularly when you are in a rush, but speed limits are in place for a reason: they save lives.
The faster a driver speeds, the less time the driver has to react. Road conditions and situations change moment to moment. Lowering the time available to react to these changes is corelated to increasing the likelihood of an accident.
Personal injuries are worse in car accidents at high speeds because forces on the human body are higher in a collision at high speeds.
- speeding makes accidents more likely; and
- speeding makes injuries from accidents more severe.
So, of course, excessive speeding is dangerous. No one really argues that with a straight face. Most people would probably agree that going 100 mph is foolishly dangerous and will very likely lead to a disastrous car accident.
But think again! if you think that speeding only means going excessively over the speed limit. Exceeding the speed limit by only five or ten miles per hour can make a life-or-death difference in a car crash. That is why traffic engineers as well as the Federal, Nevada State, and Las Vegas City governments have determined the maximum speeds allowable for safe travel on the roadways.
Imagine that a pedestrian walks out into a crosswalk. There is an approaching car that is traveling at 30 mph. If the driver brakes when the pedestrian is 45 feet away, there will be enough space to stop without hitting the pedestrian.
However, the situation changes dramatically if the approaching car is traveling at 35 mph, just 5 mph faster. This time, if the driver brakes when the pedestrian is 45 feet away, the car will be traveling at 18 mph when it hits the pedestrian, potentially causing major injuries or even wrongful death.
How much does speeding cost us?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) explains that speeding is one of the most preventable causes of accidents that takes one of the biggest tolls on society.
Speeding not only causes bodily injuries and death, and property damage, but the economic impact of speed-related incidents totals more than $40 billion per year.
Who speeds on the roadways?
The NHTSA further reports that those who are most likely to speed are young males, although young drivers in general are more guilty of speeding than are older drivers on the road.
In addition to age, another risk factor for speeding is the use of alcohol.
Drinking alcohol tends to lead to acts of speeding, especially when the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level is .08 percent or greater, .
Liability from a speeding-related accident
Speeding on roadways in Las Vegas is not only illegal when it is in direct violation of a posted speed limit sign, but it is also negligent.
Even if you are driving at the speed limit in a pouring rain storm, is it safe to do so, when other drivers have slowed their vehicles? Therefore, driving faster than road conditions allow is also negligent.
Negligence, or the failure to act with a reasonable degree of care, is a leading cause of vehicle-related accidents in Nevada.
When an accident would not have occurred but for the negligent actions of another driver, an injured party has the right to file a claim for damages and hold the at-fault party liable for the losses they have sustained.
How to avoid speeding-related accidents
First, think about why people might exceed the speed limit. Maybe they:
- are running late because they have not planned properly, and are in a hurry to get to where they’re going;
- are distracted and not paying attention to their speed;
- overestimate their driving skill, and think they can still drive safely even if they’re speeding.
- think it’s acceptable just this once because after all they’re not going to get caught; and
- simply don’t care about the rules of the road because they’re renegade and don’t think laws apply to them;
Finally, now that you have thought about it, don’t do like that and you will have improved your chances to avoid speeding-related accidents.
Follow the three-second rule
The three-second rule is a way to gauge the distance you have between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. It is one of the most effective ways to prevent accidents caused by not being able to stop fast enough when the car in front of you stops suddenly.
Some of us are more susceptible to the behavior of tailgating than others. This technique can help you keep a safer distance between vehicles if you are:
- While driving, select a fixed object on the side of the road in the distance.
- When the car in front of you passes the object, count off three seconds.
- The front of your vehicle should not reach the marker before you count three.
- If you pass the marker before you count three, back off and try again.
However, do not let yourself be distracted from driving by using the three-second rule. You don’t want to cause an accident by trying to avoid an accident.
Give yourself enough time
If you find yourself always running late, set your alarm for 30 minutes earlier.
Don’t procrastinate! Anticipate the unexpected and prepare your things in advance so that you can leave on schedule.
Do whatever you think you might need to do before you have to leave, to ensure that you will not run late.
If you do these things, you should have plenty of time to drive safely to your destination, and you’ll avoid all the dangers associated with exceeding the speed limit.
This is especially important if there is inclement weather. You’ll need a lot more driving time if it’s foggy, raining heavily, snowing, or there are icy roads. Any of these situations increase the incidence of accidents even when you’re not speeding.
So, does exceeding the speed limit by ten miles an hour really get you to your destination sooner?
Imagine that you’re traveling sixty miles to your destination, and the speed limit is 60 miles per hour. You will get there in about one hour.
If you travel above the speed limit, for example 80 mph, you will get there in about 45 minutes. You will have saved yourself about 15 minutes, but you’re risking your own life, the safety and lives of those in your vehicle, and the safety and lives of those who are driving on the road with you.
Gambling is a thing in Vegas, but is the remainder of your life worth gambling to win 15 extra minutes? Of course not!
We all know what it’s like to drive behind a slowpoke.
You may think that if you get really close, the slowpoke will speed up. However, we also know that’s rarely the case. Avoid reckless behavior and hang back.
Practicing patience with other drivers is essential to decreasing your chance of having an accident caused by speeding. If you frequently travel roads that challenge your patience, find a route that doesn’t.
Alternatively, change your mindset. Enjoy the ride, even if it’s going slower than you’d like.
Put on some music you enjoy, or listen to an audiobook as you drive. Just don’t get too wrapped up that you get distracted from driving.
If you can find ways to calm yourself while you drive, you’ll be an overall safer driver, no matter what speed you’re driving at.