Speeding is common—we’ve all likely done it at some point. You’re late for work in the morning or trying to get to the post office before it closes, or you just lose track of how fast you’re driving and before you know it your speed has crept up 10, 15 or 20 miles per hour above the speed limit. However, there’s good reason for speed limits—the faster your car is moving through physical space, the more difficult it is to avoid a collision and maintain control of your vehicle. Here are some statistics about speeding car accidents.
Speeding Facts and Statistics
Indeed, speeding is a leading cause of accidents in the U.S. In 2012, there were a total of 33,561 traffic fatalities across the country, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT); 30 percent of those (10,219) were related to speeding.
In 2012, there were a total of 956 total traffic-related fatalities in Illinois – 40 percent of those (387) were related to speeding—a significantly higher percentage than the national average.
Driving too fast is a problem for many reasons. Among them:
- Speeding makes it more difficult to react to hazards.
- Traveling at excess speed makes it difficult to stop in enough time to prevent a collision.
- Speeding increases the chances of losing control of the vehicle, especially around curves and when roads are slick from ice, rain, snow or sleet.
- Speeding increases the likelihood of severe injury in a collision.
Alcohol and Speeding
Alcohol is also frequently a factor in speeding-related car accidents. In 2012, 42 percent of fatal crashes involved speeding drivers with blood alcohol concentrations of .08g/dL (the legal limit in Illinois). Alcohol impairs judgment which can and does lead people to drive well over the speed limit.
While driving five or 10 miles over the speed limit may not significantly increase a person’s risk of collision, depending on the circumstances (e.g. driving on a rural highway with few cars), excessive speeding is never a good idea. What constitutes excessive speeding?
While speed laws vary from one state to another, generally speaking, the faster a person drives over the speed limit, the higher the likely penalties. Some states treat excessive speeding as reckless driving—a separate offense that could result in significant penalties.
Almost without exception, driving 100 miles per hour or more is considered excessive and will result in fines, points on a person’s driver’s license (between 2 and 4, depending on the state), mandatory driver’s education and possibly the license suspension and/or jail time.
If You’ve Been Involved in a Speeding Car Accident
Pain from an auto accident-related injury—especially when it’s related to whiplash or soft-tissue injuries—often doesn’t surface until later. If you’ve been in a speeding car accident, it’s important to consult an attorney with experience dealing with personal injury claims as soon as possible.
The expert attorneys at Marc J. Shuman & Associates, LTD. have decades of combined experience helping Chicago residents get the compensation they deserve for their injuries. Contact us today for a free consultation.