The beautiful Florida weather makes driving with the top down on your convertible a most pleasant experience. Driving on a clear sunny day can brighten your spirits and give you a carefree sense of freedom. However, when that carefree state is accompanied by speeding down the highway, the results could turn deadly fast.
Some vehicles ride so smoothly the speed creeps up before you know it. You may be sailing along at what seems to be a comfortable pace only to glance at your speedometer and find you are ten or more miles over the speed limit. All it takes is something like an unexpected movement from another vehicle, an animal on the road or a blowout to set a tragedy in motion.
A True Safety and Economic Issue
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Highway Loss Data Institute (IIHS HLDI), 27% of motor vehicle fatalities occurred in speed-related accidents. 10% of property-damage-only accidents occur as a result of speed. Annually, the cost of speed-related crashes is around $52 billion.
Safety equipment, such as seat belts and air bags, can be rendered practically useless in high-speed accidents because the forces present in a high-speed collision are so great that occupants cannot be kept at less than severe injury levels.
The Dynamics of Speeding
The devices meant to protect vehicle occupants are created keeping certain ranges of crash forces in mind. These devices are not just limited to those within a vehicle, such as restraint systems and airbags. They also include roadway hardware. Crash cushions, guard rails, and barriers can withstand only so much force before they fail. As speed increases, so does the likelihood safety measures will not be sufficient to protect the occupants.
Speeding makes it more difficult, if not impossible, to stop between the time a driver realizes there is an emergency and the driver’s reaction. The distance required to stop the vehicle is also increased at higher speeds. What many people may not be aware of is that speeding increases the crash energy exponentially. Regarding crash energy, IIHS HLDI states, “For example, when impact speed increases from 40 to 60 mph (a 50 percent increase), the energy that needs to be managed increases by 125 percent.”
Slow Down and Live
Speed limits are posted for a reason. Driving the speed limit can save lives. As speed increases, so does the risk of severe injury and death. It isn’t worth the risk. In many cases, the person who speeds past you is the same person you will meet at the next red light. Speeding to get to your destination won’t save enough time to put your life or the life of another person in jeopardy.
Traffic accidents are one of the basic causes of personal injury cases. At Frohlich, Gordon & Beason, P.A., we work to provide the best care for our personal injury clients. Serving residents of Port Charlotte, North Port, and Englewood, we give you the legal help you need for the best outcome. Contact us for your free initial consultation.