Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers Secure Justice for Victims of Negligent Drivers
Speeding is a Major Factor in Serious Crashes
People who drive recklessly and exceed posted speed limits can be as much of a threat as drunk drivers. In fact, speeding is the leading cause of traffic fatalities. The faster a person drives, the more likely a car accident will occur.
Speeding decreases drivers’ abilities to control their vehicles and lessens the effectiveness of seat belts, car seats, and safety features. It also causes more severe injuries to the drivers and passengers involved in car accidents.
Why Is Speeding So Dangerous?
There are many reasons why speeding is so dangerous and often causes fatal car accidents, including:
- Drivers have less time to react and slow down to avoid collisions when speeding.
- Speeding drivers have a smaller amount of space to avoid a collision when traveling at a higher rate of speed.
- The force of a speeding vehicle crashing is greater than vehicles traveling at a slower speed. As a result, injuries sustained in such accidents are more severe and often cause death.
- Speeding increases the risk of losing control of the vehicle.
- Speeding can lead to other unsafe driving habits. Studies show that speeding drivers are more likely to engage in other risky driving patterns, such as running red lights, dangerous lane changing, and tailgating.
- Speeding affects economics. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, car accidents cost approximately $1 trillion a year. This includes an estimated $594 billion in harm from loss of life and the pain and decreased quality of life due to injuries.
- Speeding damages personal finances. When a driver gets caught speeding, the financial penalties can be harsh. First-time offenses start at several hundred dollars and can go higher, depending on how far above the speed limit the driver was going. Repeated speeding offenses can result in more severe penalties, including loss of license.
- Speeding is harmful to the environment. Driving at high speeds requires drivers to use more fuel, putting more carbon emissions into the atmosphere.
What Causes Drivers to Speed?
Driving at higher speeds puts everyone on the road at risk. Research shows that drivers tend to speed for the following reasons:
- Many drivers ignore how fast they are going. Often, they do not even realize what their odometers are showing.
- Traffic congestion may also lead to aggressive driving, as people become frustrated and angry at the situation.
- Many drivers travel too fast because they are late for meetings, work, school, and other obligations.
- Being enclosed in a vehicle also makes drivers’ identities unknown to others, and this anonymity leads them to misbehave without as much fear of being caught.
- Some drivers do not understand the reality of the dangers of speeding. Younger drivers are included in this group due to their lack of experience.
- Certain drivers enjoy the thrill of driving at high speeds.
What Are Common Speed-Related Injuries?
Speed-related accident crashes can be life-threatening or fatal. They can lead to severe injuries to virtually any part of the body. The following are the most common injuries seen in speed-related accidents:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs): Car accidents are the leading cause of TBIs. A TBI is caused by a blow to the head.
- Spinal cord injuries: The impact of a crash and torque on the body can cause long-term damage, such as spinal cord injuries. This damage can result in partial or total paralysis below the point of the injury. Types of paralysis include quadriplegia, tetraplegia, and paraplegia.
- Back injuries: Back injuries are a very common result of car accidents. Keep in mind that back injuries may be delayed after a car accident. The pain and effects of a back injury can be severe and long-term.
- Internal injuries: When a car crash forces the body into another object or the body is hit by flying debris, damage to internal organs can occur. This type of injury also can cause internal bleeding, which requires emergency medical treatment.
- Broken bones and fractures: Broken ribs, arms, wrists, legs, ankles, and even pelvis injuries happen in car accidents. The severity of these injuries ranges from simple breaks that require a cast to more severe fractures that may require surgery.
- Burn injuries: A vehicle can catch fire after a crash, and skin may come into contact with hot fluids, surfaces, steam, or chemicals. As a result, the vehicle’s occupants can suffer burns that vary in severity. Severe burns may require skin grafting and surgery.
- Facial injuries and scars: Facial injuries and scars from car accidents can be caused by broken glass or impact with the steering wheel, dashboard, a deployed airbag, side windows, car seat, or any hard surface. Facial injuries can be disfiguring and may require corrective surgery.
- Neck injuries: Whiplash is the common name for damage to the neck’s soft tissues. Muscle, ligament, and tendon injuries to the neck can cause severe pain even in accidents when the driver speeds as low as 15 miles per hour, with or without a seat belt. Severe disc injury and cervical dislocation can also occur from motor vehicle accidents.
- Knee injuries: Knees can be easily injured in car accidents if they smash into any part of the vehicle. Injuries range from bruises to multiple types of fractures. Also, the cartilage in the knee can tear if the knee is turned or twisted abruptly in a crash.
- Foot and ankle injuries: Foot and ankle strains, sprains, fractures, and injuries to the toes are common in car accidents. One reason for this is that it is a natural response for vehicle occupants to press or brace their feet down hard in the middle of an accident as if they are trying to brake. In some cases, feet and toes may be severed in a serious car crash.
- Shoulder injuries: Shoulder injuries can occur from force absorption after bracing your hands against a steering wheel or dashboard during a car crash. The impact of the collision causes the shoulder to lock after receiving excessive force.
- Wrist and hand injuries: Broken hands and wrists are common in car accidents. Distal radius fracture is the common term for a fractured wrist from a car crash. Depending on the severity of the fracture, this type of injury may require surgery.
- Lacerations and bruising: Flying debris, broken glass, and torn sheet metal can cause severe lacerations to various body parts. Bruises are also caused by flying debris or by the impact of the body against any object in the vehicle. A common term known as “road rash” is abrasion caused by friction from being dragged or skidding on concrete or pavement. These injuries are not as severe as others, but they are painful and take time to recover from.
- Limb loss and amputation: During a car crash, appendages such as arms, legs, fingers, or toes can be severed. They can also be damaged severely enough to require surgical amputation. These kinds of injuries can have permanent disabling effects on the person.
- PTSD: Car accident injuries can be more than just physical. There might be emotional and mental consequences as well. PTSD is not uncommon after a severe event such as a car accident, disrupting your life and usual routine. You may be able to recover from emotional suffering and mental health treatment after a car accident.
How Can I Prevent a Speed-Related Accident?
Keep in mind that going even a few miles over the limit can be dangerous, especially in hazardous weather conditions, heavy traffic, or near construction. Remember that the time saved with speeding is minimal, regardless of how often you drive or how far you travel.
Some ways you can prevent a speed-related accident include:
- Take advantage of cruise control. If your car is equipped with cruise control, it can be a way to help you reduce your chances of speeding. Cruise control lets you set how fast your vehicle can travel, but you still need to watch the road closely and reset the controls when needed.
- Leave early. If you always rush to get to your destination, give yourself extra time for travel. This may help you feel less pressure and resist the urge to speed as you drive.
- Stay on top of the weather and traffic. It can be advantageous to check local weather and traffic reports before leaving for your destination. This way, you can determine how weather and traffic conditions might affect your schedule and how much time you should allow.
- Drive slightly below the speed limit. If you are a driver concerned with inadvertently going above the speed limit, you may travel approximately five miles per hour below it while keeping up with traffic flow. Remember that you must still comply with other traffic regulations and keep your car moving close to the speed limit, as driving too slowly can also be dangerous.
- Remember the consequences of speeding. The best way to prevent a speed-related accident is to understand the ramifications of speeding and prioritize safety anytime you get behind the wheel. It only takes a second to cause a fatal car accident when speeding. There are financial consequences, including damage to vehicles, speeding tickets, fines, penalties, and increases in your insurance premium.
What Should I Do if I See a Driver Speeding?
When encountering any unsafe driver, it is always important to remain calm and level-headed. If you see someone speeding, give that driver plenty of room. It is not a contest to see who can drive faster; speeding drivers are dangerous and should be avoided. It is advisable to allow them to pass by slowing down a bit or changing lanes. Speeding drivers often tailgate, so moving over as soon as it is safe is essential.
When speeding drivers lose control of their vehicles, they often swerve into other lanes, medians, or oncoming traffic. In some cases, speeding SUVs and trucks cause rollovers. Speeding drivers should be reported to the police, especially if driving aggressively.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and local law enforcement agencies target speeders with radar and laser and sometimes follow cars. Speed cameras can also be effective, but most states do not employ them on highways, and this is where people drive the fastest. The NTSB also reports that states that have increased their highway speed limits have experienced additional speeding-related deaths.
What Types of Evidence Can Be Used in Speed-Related Accidents?
Many people may not realize the different types of solid evidence a car accident scene can reveal. Car accident lawyers and investigators know what to look for to learn what might have caused the crash. Some examples of evidence that can be used in speed-related accidents include:
- Eyewitness statements: If credible witnesses testify that they saw the at-fault party speeding when the collision occurred, it can add strong support to your claim.
- Police reports: Police officers are trained to investigate accident scenes, observe evidence, and make statements. Their reports often contain diagrams, note of vehicle damage, and other relevant information about the accident, such as if the other driver got a ticket for speeding.
- Surveillance camera footage: In some cases, drivers can obtain traffic or dashcam footage that shows the at-fault party was speeding at the time of impact.
- Event data recorder (EDR): Also known as a vehicle’s “black box,” EDRs record much about what that vehicle’s driver was doing before the car crash. It can determine how fast the car was going and when the driver applied the brakes. It should be noted that not every vehicle has an EDR.
- Vehicle damage: The speed a vehicle goes when it crashes makes a difference in the level of injury to a vehicle’s occupants and the amount of damage to the car. Vehicle damage tells a lot about the speed at which a vehicle was hit and how fast the other vehicle that caused the collision could have been going.
- Collision ratings: Manufacturers have collision ratings for their vehicles, which detail the expected damage to a car at different speeds. These details give investigators even more information about the rate a car might have been going before colliding with the other.
- Road debris: When cars collide, pieces of the vehicles often get knocked off and fly into the road. The distance the road debris goes can be revealing if left undisturbed. The higher rates result in more force at impact, which causes vehicle parts to travel farther distances.
- Fresh skid marks: The faster a vehicle goes, the longer it takes to stop after applying the brakes fully. Fresh skid marks help accident investigators learn more about how fast a car was going before a crash. Longer and deeper skid marks indicate a vehicle was speeding because it took them longer to stop.
Why Should I Hire a Car Accident Lawyer?
Car accidents caused by speeding might seem straightforward regarding who is to blame. Speed-related accidents often become much more complicated than many people anticipate. Hiring a Philadelphia car accident lawyer can help in many ways, including:
- An experienced Philadelphia car accident lawyer will help move the case along efficiently and quickly.
- Trying to recover compensation after a car accident can be complex. A lawyer will determine how much can be obtained, considering medical bills, physical therapy and counseling, current and future lost wages, pain and suffering, and punitive damages.
- You will be assured that the accident site will be investigated properly, police and medical records examined, witnesses interviewed, and experts consulted.
- Hiring a Philadelphia car accident lawyer to take over your case will also allow you to focus on recovering from any physical and emotional trauma. Any time insurance companies, lawyers for other parties, drivers, or representatives request phone contact, your lawyer will handle all of those calls. Your lawyer will also take care of any necessary correspondence and other paperwork, which can become overwhelming after a car accident.
- It is also crucial to remember that insurance policy claims are often filed after a car accident. This can be confusing, especially if you need to file multiple types of claims after a car accident. Hiring an experienced lawyer who knows the proper procedures after a car accident is advantageous. This includes requesting all necessary paperwork, filing all possible claims, being aware of the statute of limitations, and understanding insurance policy coverage to get maximum compensation.
Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Protect Clients Injured in Speed-Related Accidents Across the Region
Even if you make safe decisions while driving, you cannot predict the behavior of other motorists. If a speeding driver has injured you, one of our seasoned Philadelphia car accident lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC will use every legal tool available to build a strong case for you. Call us at 215-569-8488 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, Abington, and Media, Pennsylvania, and Wilmington, Delaware, we serve clients throughout the surrounding areas.