Driving Too Fast Can Increase Your Vehicle Accident Risk
Since 1997, about 11% of drivers who were stopped by police were pulled over because they were speeding. This figure has remained steady over the last 22 years, which means that attitudes toward speeding have changed very little. However, driving at a high rate of speed can increase your risk of getting into a serious vehicle accident.
Your Stopping Distance Increases at Higher Speeds
The faster your vehicle is traveling, the more time it will take to come to a stop. Therefore, you will need to stay farther behind any vehicles in front of yours if you want to follow them safely. However, you are more likely to follow other cars too closely when exceeding the speed limit or otherwise traveling too fast for road conditions.
The odds are greater that you will be involved in a vehicle accident if you can’t go around another car if it stops or slows down. Ideally, you will stay at least two car lengths away from any other vehicle on the highway, and it is a good idea to stay even farther away from larger trucks because they tend to need more room to maneuver on the road.
You Could Lose Control of Your Vehicle When Roads Are Bad
Rain, snow or ice can make roads slippery and harder to maintain control on. This can be especially true if your tires are old or your brakes haven’t been inspected or changed in several months. When roads become wet or slippery, your tires have a harder time maintaining their connection with the asphalt.
Ultimately, it becomes more difficult to push away the water or snow that the tires come into contact with. If you are driving too fast for road conditions, the odds are greater that the car will start to spin or skid. In some cases, the vehicle may skid off the road or into a ditch. It is also possible that your vehicle will slide into a median or into other lanes of traffic.
You’ll Have Less Time to React
The faster that your vehicle is traveling, the less time that you will be able to take evasive action. Remember, your vehicle will travel about 100 yards in just five seconds while traveling at 55 miles per hour. Therefore, you would cover more than a football field in a matter of seconds if you were driving at 75 or 80 miles per hour.
Depending on the circumstances of a collision, there may not even be enough time to slow down or take any meaningful action to reduce the severity of the impact. For instance, if traffic on the highway suddenly came to a stop because of an accident or a police checkpoint, you may not be able to stop your own vehicle safely.
Your Risk of Injury in a Vehicle Accident is Greater at Higher Speeds
If your vehicle collides with a person, object or vehicle at 40 miles per hour, there is a chance that you could suffer permanent injuries. There is also a chance that you could die on impact or eventually succumb to your injuries. However, reducing your speed to 30 miles per hour may make it possible to walk away from an accident or eventually recover from your injuries.
At slower speeds, there is a chance that no one will be hurt in an accident, so it is generally in your best interest to drive at a speed that is reasonable for road conditions even if it is below the posted speed limit. An accident lawyer may be able to help if you have been involved in a collision even if you are partially responsible for causing it.
If you need an accident lawyer, the folks at RAM Law may be able to provide legal assistance. You can call our office in New Brunswick at (732) 247-3600 or our office in Somerville at (908) 448-2560 to get more information. Alternatively, feel free to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch with our professional legal counselors.