The Relationship Between Speed and Serious Accidents in Georgia


April 02, 2011

There are over six million accidents in the U.S. annually, which result in over three million people suffering injuries and another 40,000 being killed. The variety of factors that may contribute to serious auto accidents may include inattentive drivers, alcohol impairment and a multitude of other unsafe driving practices. However, speed is arguably the single most dangerous driving practice. While it may not surprise many to know that excessive speed increases both the number and seriousness of auto accidents, most would be surprised to know that extreme differences in speed between motorists on a roadway also substantially increase the risk.

In effect, this means driving too slow also increases the danger to drivers, especially where a significant number of drivers are moving at a high rate of speed. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), speeding is a contributing factor in 31% of all fatal car crashes or more than 12,000 speeding-related deaths per year. These accidents also exact a significant economic toll on society accounting for over $28 billion in lost resources.

If you have been injured or your loved one has suffered wrongful death in an accident with a speeding driver, the experienced auto accident lawyers at Montlick and Associates will help you obtain fair compensation for your loss. Our knowledgeable and experienced Georgia car accident attorneys work hard for our clients because we want the very best for them, and we want to be recognized as the best personal injury law firm in Georgia. We have been zealously advocating for the right of injury victims throughout Georgia for over 27 years.

The relationship between excessive speed and auto accidents is linked to basic limitations of human response to stimuli. It takes a person between .15 and .3 seconds after we observe a hazard to respond. If a vehicle is traveling at a speed of 30 mph, the vehicle travels 9 feet in the time it takes a driver to see a hazard and mentally process the information so that the driver can then start braking. At sixty miles per hour, the same vehicle would travel 20 feet before the driver realizes that he or she needs to apply the brakes.

Ironically, people do not feel the same general disapproval toward speeding that they do toward drunk driving, despite the fact both behaviors have a similar impact on one’s driving. In fact, a survey of drivers revealed that ninety percent of all drivers speed at some point, and 75% of drivers concede that they violate the speed limit on a regular basis. Most people do not have this same indifference toward the dangers associated with drunk driving as one study found that half of all Americans believe that drunk driving laws do not go far enough in terms of imposing penalties. Sadly, drunk drivers and speeders pose similar risks in terms of the likelihood of causing a serious auto accident. Both behaviors slow response time in terms of how long a driver has to perform evasive maneuvers or apply the brakes. As speed increases, the time a driver needs to apply the brakes increases exponentially. While it takes 100 feet to stop at forty miles per hour, it takes four times that long to stop at eighty miles per hour. One Australian study that compared the braking times between drunk drivers and drivers who are speeding found that speeding had more impact on stopping distance than being impaired by alcohol.

Speeding leads to serious injuries and higher fatality rates. Increased speed means the force of collision is greater and the vehicle being struck absorbs much more impact. Greater impact means a higher probability of catastrophic injuries including traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, internal organ damage and other types of injuries that may have permanent debilitating effects on one’s mental and physical functioning.

While most people acknowledge the danger of extreme high rates of speed, there are other speed-related factors that contribute to many Georgia auto accidents. Some roadways are more dangerous even if a driver operates a vehicle at a lower rate of speed. The posted speed limit on roadways, which are narrow, curvy, hilly or otherwise treacherous may be substantially lower than highway speeds. Exceeding the speed limit on this type of road by even five miles an hour over the speed limit can greatly increase the risk of being involved in a serious auto accident. Roads may also be poorly designed so that there are wide variances in the speed between vehicles on the roadway. Extreme speed differential between vehicles can be as dangerous as high speeds. In fact, data from one study found that the fastest and slowest 5 percent of all drivers have an increased accident risk over the other 90 percent of drivers. These roadways are even more dangerous when they are wet or icy from adverse weather.

If you have been injured by a driver who is speeding or otherwise driving at a speed that is unsafe, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Montlick and Associates has been helping those injured by speeding motorists seek compensation for their injuries and loss throughout Georgia for over 27 years. Our experienced Atlanta auto accident attorneys will strive to get the best results possible in your case. Montlick and Associates is available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Auto Accidents

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Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.