A new study on aggressive driving identified speeding as the riskiest driving behavior on the road. According to Insurance Journal, a study emerging from the University of Waterloo in Canada found that speeding was the strongest predictor leading to crashes compared to any other form of aggressive driving. Researchers of the study analyzed data provided from insurance companies in Texas and Ontario from over 28-million recorded trips. Speeding was the only behavior that consistently led to crashes and was the key differentiator when comparing trips where car accidents were present and those where they were not.
Speeding has always been considered dangerous, but this new study provides tangible proof that speeding leads to a higher rate of preventable accidents. Here’s what all Long Island and New York City drivers must be aware of to help reduce reckless speeding accidents and fatalities.
Why Speeding Is So Deadly
Nearly 30 percent of all fatal traffic accidents involve speeding. In 2017, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (N.H.T.S.A.) reported 9,717 speeding-related fatalities, most of which were entirely preventable.
Speeding is against the law for a reason. Some of the most serious consequences from speeding according to the N.H.T.S.A. include:
- Increased ability to lose control of your car;
- Reduced reaction time to road hazards;
- Reduced effectiveness of vehicle occupant protection equipment;
- Increased degree of crash severity and injuries;
- Increased fuel consumption; and
- Economic implications of speed-related accidents.
When a driver is traveling at excessive speeds, the number of road hazards and the severity of injuries significantly increase. The most dangerous conditions at moderate speeds can have catastrophic results when a driver is speeding. Some of these instances include:
- Inclement weather;
- Congested roads;
- Roads with increased speed limits (highways, thruways);
- Nighttime driving; and
- City streets with multiple modes of transportation and pedestrians.
Pedestrian accidents and bicycle accidents resulting from speeding vehicles can be particularly gruesome. These individuals have little protection to reduce the trauma their body experiences when struck by a car at high speed. Injuries sustained from these crashes are often fatal or result in permanent injuries and disabilities that alter someone’s life forever.
Injuries Related To Speeding Accidents
Internal and external injuries can be life-threatening in speeding accidents. When a speeding car crashes, the vehicle may come to a sudden stop, but everything inside continues to move with the same amount of force.
Flying objects, steering wheels, windows, and car doors can cause victims of a speeding-related car accident significant injuries upon impact. A public safety video released by a police department in New Zealand shows the devastating results a speeding crash can have on internal organs. The force of a crash causes your brain, heart, and other vital organs to crash inside of the body similar to crashing to an object within the vehicle. Even while wearing a seatbelt, this can lead to internal damage that becomes more severe the faster a car is traveling at the time of an accident.
Other serious injuries resulting from car accidents include:
- Brain Injuries;
- Spinal Cord Damage;
- Broken Bones;
- Ruptured Organs; and
- Internal Bleeding.
Why Do People Speed
Aside from emergency vehicles, who still have to drive with care to prevent accidents on the road, there is no good excuse for speeding. Yet, millions of Americans speed on our roadways every day, and most believe the behavior is justified to an extent.
The N.H.T.S.A. reports these are some of the most common reasons for why drivers speed, including:
- Running Late: The majority of drivers who speed are running behind or late for an obligation. Americans have become overwhelmed with busy schedules. It’s hard to find a driver on the road who is not rushing off to the next thing.
- Traffic: Aggressive drivers do not like to wait in traffic. They would rather speed in and out of lanes to avoid sitting on congested roads, even if it puts others at risk.
- Anonymity: Anonymity is a sense of detachment drivers can experience that makes frequent speeders very risky on the road. These drivers see vehicles and pedestrians as objects to move around on rather than people being put in danger by speeding.
- Disregard For the Law: Some drivers believe that speed limits are suggestions. Going at least 10 to 20 mph over the limit is normal and ‘no big deal.’
- Intoxicated: Drunk drivers may engage in speeding and not even realize it. Their judgment and ability to control a vehicle are severely impaired, which puts them at even more of a risk to others when traveling at accelerated speeds.
- Distracted: Drivers who are distracted may change speed limit zones without noticing. Unknowingly going from a 40 mile per hour town road down to a 25 mile per hour school zone without slowing down can prove disastrous in the case of an accident.
- Road Rage: Drivers experiencing road rage are the most terrifying and dangerous drivers to encounter. These individuals intentionally set out to harm others, and speeding is one of the most common behaviors they participate in.
The Four Worst Driving Behaviors
The University of Waterloo study did not just analyze speeding. Researchers identified four different types of aggressive driving leading to accidents that all New York City and Long Island drivers should be aware of, including:
- Speeding: Accelerating over the posted speed limit.
- Hard Breaking: When a driver slams their foot down on the break with excessive force.
- Hard Acceleration: When a driver slams their foot down on the gas with excessive force.
- Hard Cornering: When a driver turns around a corner quickly and forcefully, typically without slowing down.
All of these aggressive driving behaviors can be associated with speeding. Hard breaking typically occurs when a driver is going too fast to stop safely. A driver may then use hard acceleration to speed back up, and hard cornering to avoid slowing down into a turn.
What’s The Law
Speeding is illegal in New York State, and drivers who are caught can face hefty fines. According to the New York State Governors Traffic Safety Committee, these are the penalties for motorists caught speeding:
- Speed: up to 10 mph over
- Minimum Fee= $90
- Maximum Fee= $150
- Penalty Points: 3
- Speed: more than 10 mph over- less than 30 mph over
- Minimum Fee= $180
- Maximum Fee= $300
- Penalty Points: 4
- Speed: more than 30 mph over
- Minimum Fee= $360
- Maximum Fee= $600
- Penalty Points: 6 (30 mph), 8 (40 mph), 11 (more than 40 mph)
Avoid Speeding and Speeders
Speeding-related accidents are 100 percent preventable. You can help reduce speeding accidents in your community by slowing down on the road and encouraging others to do the same.
Unfortunately, not every motorist will adhere to the speed limit no matter how often you encourage them. If you notice a driver speeding around you on the road, do not engage. The N.H.T.S.A. suggests the following safety measures drivers should be taking to avoid collisions with aggressive drivers:
- Let aggressive drivers pass you if you are driving in the left lane;
- Drive far from speeding drivers to give them plenty of room to maneuver;
- Try to move over safely if a speeding driver is tailgating you;
- Do not try to compete with a speeding driver or go slower to make them slow down; and
- If you believe a driver is purposely trying to harass you, call the police for assistance.
New York City and Long Island Motor Vehicle Accident Attorneys
There is no good excuse for speeding and putting the lives of others at risk. If you or a loved one has been injured in a traffic accident caused by a reckless driver, our winning team is here to stand up your rights.
The attorneys of Siler & Ingber are committed to working with our clients to help them get the compensation they deserve. With a 98% success rate, we have the experience and the know-how to help our clients achieve a favorable outcome. Contact us today at 1-877-529-4343, or schedule an appointment online anytime. We never charge a fee unless we recover money for you.