You already know speeding is against the law. But did you know it increases the risk of fatalities in a motor vehicle? Between 2005 and 2014, speeding was linked to 112,580 passenger vehicle highway crash fatalities, translating to 31% of all traffic fatalities in the country, says the National Transportation Safety Board. Not only does speeding increase the risk of being in a crash, it also increases the severity of crash injuries.
Speeding is when a driver exceeds the posted speed limit and drives too fast for the present conditions. This is one of the most common contributors to motor vehicle accidents in the United States. While many speed-related investigations involve large trucks and buses, even more are caused by passenger vehicles. In 2014, passenger vehicles comprised 77% of speeding vehicles involved in fatal crashes, and 78% of all speed-related fatalities involved a speeding passenger vehicle.
The situation is just as dire in California as the rest of the country, with a jump in fatal crashes being attributed in part to the fact that the Los Angeles Police Department is issuing far fewer speeding tickets today than ever before, according to the LA Times. In fact, the number of speeding tickets given out each year has plummeted from 100,000 in 2010 to 17,000 in 2015.
More and more accidents involving pedestrians are resulting in deaths. In 2016, pedestrian collisions increased 3% over 2015, while fatalities involving pedestrians skyrocketed 58% over the same period.
Experts say this is due in large part to higher vehicle speeds. A pedestrian has a 10% chance of dying if struck by a motor vehicle at 20 mph.
That number jumps up to 80% if the vehicle is going 40 mph.
Even though pedestrians comprise almost half of the fatalities in traffic collisions, they are involved in just 14% of total crashes. Traffic collisions overall are at more than 55,000 for 2016, a 7% increase from 2015, which increased 15% from 2014.
As part of the NTSB study referenced above, drivers reported that they understand speeding is a threat to their safety and that of others, but acknowledge it is common driver behavior that isn’t always enforced. However, following posted speed limits on highways, city roadways and in rural neighborhoods is the primary way to reduce speeding-related fatalities. Pay attention to car safety ratings that encourage consumers to purchase passenger vehicles that come with advanced safety systems.
The NTSB will continue to work with agencies such as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to better communicate with law enforcement officers and the public regarding the effectiveness of data-driven, high-visibility enforcement programs to reduce speeding.
Keep in mind as you get behind the wheel that DUI, texting and other forms of distracted driving can certainly be deadly, but speeding is on the rise as a top contributing factor to motor vehicle crashes and subsequent fatalities.
If you have been involved in a car accident in Los Angeles or anywhere in Southern California, you have options when it comes to seeking compensation for your injuries. Call the personal injury lawyers at the Power Legal Group right away at 800-323-POWER for your free initial consultation.