According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics, at least one-third of all traffic fatalities involve speeding. Speeding causes the death of approximately 13,000 people each year in the United States. Pennsylvania had the third highest number of speeding-related fatalities in 2011 – 615 deaths. New Jersey had 174 speed- related deaths in that same year.
While people of all ages engage in speeding, statistics show that young males are the most at risk for suffering a fatality involving speeding. Speeding happens on every type of roadway – from interstate highways to small country lanes. Although the use of speed enforcement camera systems has increased in an attempt to reduce speeding nationwide, there does not seem any end in sight to this reckless and potentially fatal driving behavior.
Categories of Speeding
Driving Above Posted Speed Limits
Most people recognize that driving a vehicle above the posted speed limit is speeding. Even if a driver is only temporarily increasing their speed above a posted speed limit to pass another vehicle, speeding occurs. When drivers operate their vehicles above the posted speed limits, they are typically acting recklessly and increasing the risk for a fatal car accident.
Driving Above Posted Speed Advisories
Speed advisories are recommended maximum speed amounts for specific stretches of road or highway. Some speed advisories warn drivers of dangerous curves in the road. Other types of speed advisories warn of sudden declines, changes in road width or blind spots on certain parts of a roadway. When drivers fail to follow a posted speed advisory, they are driving carelessly and increase their likelihood to lose control of their vehicles and cause an auto accident.
Driving at Unsafe Speeds for the Road Conditions
Road conditions can change for a variety of reasons including dangerous weather conditions (snow, sleet, or rain that causes wet and slick roads), increased traffic congestion, debris (including animals) finding their way onto the roadway, poorly maintained roads, construction and sun glare. These types of circumstances often require that drivers adjust their rate of speed. Adjusting speed limits that result from a change in road conditions are also called variable speed limits. When drivers fail to drive at a safe speed during certain road conditions, they are speeding.
Both organized and unorganized illegal road racing occurs throughout the country. Racing at excessive speeds is dangerous not only for driver but for all other vehicles on the road. When drivers engage in illegal road racing, they are speeding.
Alcohol/Drug Related Speeding
In 2011, 42% of speeding drivers had blood alcohol levels over the legal limit and 35% of motorcycle fatal crashes involved alcohol or drug use.
Evasive speeding refers to driving at increased speeds in order to outrun another vehicle usually involving law enforcement such as a police chase. Often evasive speeding occurs along with running red lights, another particularly dangerous driving activity.
Speeding Drivers Face Consequences
Drivers who speed can face severe consequences:
- Liability for personal injuries caused by their speeding, as well as property damage (including damage to other vehicles);
- Possible conviction for moving traffic violations which can result in substantial fines, loss of their driving license and even jail time; and
- Additional charges for aggressive driving or alcohol or drug-related offenses.
When a driver’s speeding causes a car accident or collision, that driver is acting negligently which could make the driver liable for any and all resulting injuries. In terms of the financial impact of speeding, the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration estimates that speeding costs over $40 billion annually for American drivers.
Speeding Accidents Often Result in Catastrophic Injuries
Speeding decreases reaction times which can lead to high impact collisions involving an increased amount of force on the body. Some of the most common injuries suffered by individuals who are injured in car accidents involving speeding include:
- Back and spinal cord injuries, including paralysis
- Broken bones
- Damage to internal organs
- Severe lacerations
- Traumatic brain injuries
Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at Geoffrey B. Gompers & Associates Represent Victims of Speeding Accidents in PA & NJ
If you or your loved one has been injured as result of a speeding-related car accident, compensation may be available to cover the costs of past and future medical treatment, loss of wages and pain and suffering. The experienced Philadelphia car accident lawyers at Geoffrey B. Gompers & Associates assist individuals injured in car accidents and their families with all stages of car accident litigation, from investigation of the car accident, negotiation with insurance companies, the identification of other potentially responsible parties and trial.
Our offices are conveniently located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Voorhees, New Jersey we serve clients throughout both states. Philadelphia car accident lawyers at Geoffrey B. Gompers & Associates serve injured car accident victims throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Call us today to schedule a free confidential consultation at 215-567-6600 or contact us online.