When the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a news release discussing the results of the new National Survey of Speeding Attitudes and Behavior, it solidified the fact that speeding is one of the most important issues to address when it comes to traffic safety. According to the release, nearly half of drivers surveyed say speeding is a problem on our nation's roads, and one in five drivers surveyed admitted, "I try to get where I am going as fast as I can." Speeding-related deaths nationwide account for nearly a third of all traffic fatalities each year, taking close to 10,000 lives.
Speeding, by definition, occurs when a driver exceeds the posted speed limit or drives too fast for current weather or road conditions. For example, the maximum speed limit on a South Carolina interstate highway is 70 miles per hour (mph). In heavy rain or fog, however, driving 70 mph may not be safe at all. Drivers should reduce their speed to accommodate weather, changes in traffic or poor road conditions.
Drivers who speed place themselves and anyone in their vehicle at risk. They also endanger the lives of other people on the road, including pedestrians and bicyclists. Speeding reduces maneuverability and greatly increases the amount of time it will take to come to a complete stop in the face of a roadway hazard, pedestrian or traffic signal. Speeding also increases the severity of any collision that does occur, creating a higher force of impact and therefore more damage to a vehicle and the people inside.
What is interesting about the NHTSA survey is that most drivers acknowledged the dangers of speeding and believed that speed limits should be obeyed -- and yet more than 25% admitted to speeding. About 80% of drivers agreed that obeying speed limits reduces the chances of a collision and makes it easier to avoid hazards on the road. 91% of drivers agreed that "everyone should obey the speed limits because it's the law." More than 25% of drivers surveyed admitted that speeding was something they did without thinking about it, and 16% believed that speeding was not dangerous for skilled drivers. 20% admitted to trying to get to their destinations as fast as possible.
Speeding is a national problem and drivers of all ages are culprits, though in this survey male drivers and drivers aged 16-20 years old admitted to speeding more than female drivers and older, more experienced drivers. Speeding-related collisions are estimated to cost society more than $40.4 billion each year. In 2011, speeding was considered a contributing factor in 30% of fatal traffic accidents.
It is important to understand the dangers speeding poses and to report reckless, aggressive and otherwise unsafe drivers. If you were injured in a car accident caused by a driver who was speeding, it is also important to know what rights you have and how to seek justice against this careless individual. George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers represents clients across South Carolina in personal injury lawsuits stemming from auto accidents. We have proudly served our community for more than 35 years and have recovered millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for our clients.
All accidents are not the same, and every case is different. If you want someone to explain how your specific factual and legal circumstances affect how much you could recover for medical bills, lost earnings and other expenses or losses you have suffered, please do not hesitate to call the South Carolina car accident legal team at our firm. We offer a free, comprehensive case review and can meet with you in person or discuss your case over the phone to see how we can help. Just call 800-401-3230 for a free consultation.
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