The Consequences of High Speed Auto Crashes
All car accidents have the potential to cause serious and often fatal injuries. Some crashes, however, are more likely to cause deadly accidents. In particular, high-speed crashes are significantly more likely to be fatal than collisions that occur at lower speeds.
If someone you love is killed in a high speed car accident, a Janesville wrongful death law firm can assist you in making a claim for compensation. You should be able to recover monetary damages caused by the death, if another driver was responsible for causing the collision to occur.
HIGHER SPEED LIMITS HAVE FATAL CONSEQUENCES
A recent article on Trucks.com demonstrates just how much of an impact the speed of vehicles has in terms of car accident fatality rates. According to the article, higher speed limits were a contributing factor in causing more than 33,000 deaths over a 20-year period of time. This data comes from an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) study.
Over two decades (beginning in 1993), 41 states have increased their speed limits. Since 2013, the trend has been towards increasing those limits dramatically. Unfortunately, the impact of rising speed limits has been an extra 33,000 people dying who likely wouldn’t have been killed in car accidents if the speed limits had been lower.
While there was an overall drop in fatality rates during the 20-year period included in the IIHS study, the fatality rate would have fallen much further if speed limits had not risen. Cars got significantly safer during the period which was studied, but crashes at higher speeds still remain much more likely to result in death.
Just in 2013 alone, there were 1,900 deaths which likely wouldn’t have happened if speed limits had stayed at 1993 levels instead of rising. In 2014, there were 9,262 speed-related fatalities, and speeding-related deaths accounted for 28 percent of all crash-related fatalities in the United States.
More than half of the total deaths which happened in 2014 happened on roads where the speed limit was lower than 55 MPH, but drivers were going too fast despite the low limits. This has made safety experts even more concerned about the trend towards rising speed limits, because most drivers will consider the posted maximum speed limit as their minimum speed, rather than their maximum speed.
Drivers, in other words, go faster than they are allowed — even if the speed limit is higher than it was in the past. This pushes drivers to drive ever-more quickly, thus increasing the chances a motorist will lose control of his car.
When a driver is going faster, the driver will have a longer stopping distance so is less likely to be able to avert an accident. The faster speeds also mean more momentum, which means the body is forced to absorb more impact when a crash happens. All of these factors help to explain why high speed accidents are so often fatal.
If a driver is exceeding a posted speed limit or is going too fast for road conditions, regardless of what the actual speed limit is, this can create a presumption that the speeding driver was negligent. This presumption of negligence makes it easier for victims of the collisions, or surviving family members of victims who were killed, to pursue a damage claim. A Janesville wrongful death law firm can help those who have been harmed or have lost loved ones due to speed-related accidents.
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