Serious injuries occur because a driver speed (2024)

Excessive Speed Causes Serious Injuries

  • Posted on: June 16, 2021

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports serve asanother unfortunate reminder of how often excessive speed causes serious accidents. For some, this may seem like common sense but when you look at the data on how speed corresponds not only with more serious injuries but also more accidents, it is eye-opening.


  • Excessive Speed Causes Serious Injuries
  • Know the Risk: Speeding and Car Crashes
  • Causes of Road Accidents
  • Why speed driving is dangerous?
  • What is the most commonly practiced and dangerous driving behavior?
  • What is the percentage of distracted drivers operating their vehicles?
  • What is the best advice for cell phone use?

In this article, our Oakland, CA auto accident lawyers highlight the dangers of excessive speed.

Know the Risk: Speeding and Car Crashes

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that speedingis one of the primary dangers on American roadways. Based on its more recent evaluation of traffic data (2018), NHTSA estimates that speed is a factor in more than 1 in 3 serious motor vehicle collisions in the United States. Nearly 10,000 people are killed in excessive speed accidents each year. Many tens of thousands more suffer severe harm. Speeding increases risk in two separate ways:

Excessive Speed Causes More Accidents: When drivers speed, they are more likely tobe involved in a crash. The reason for this is not surprising: As a vehicle’s speed increases, the driver’s margin of error decreases. A driver who might have three seconds of time to react to a sudden safety hazard at 50 miles per hour may have just a fraction of a second to react when going 80 miles per hour.
Excessive Speed Causes Serious Injuries: Beyond increasing the risk that a crash will occur, speed also increases the risk that the crash will be especially severe.The faster a vehicle is traveling, the more likely an occupant is to be catastrophically injured or killed in a resulting crash. The risk is not necessarily linear. A driver who gets into a crash going at 85 miles per hour may be far more likely to suffer serious injuries than a driver who gets into a crash going 55 miles per hour.

In addition, the NHTSA released a report recently showing U.S. roads are noticeably more dangerous in the COVID era than they were before. For all road users,the number of people who died who tested positive for alcohol went from 21.3 percent before March 16 to 26.9 percent during the COVID-19 public health emergency (NHTSA’s data collection for this study ended in mid-July 2020).

The presence of cannabinoids went from 21.4 to 31.2 percent. Opioids? From 7.6 to 12.9 percent. Overall, vehicle drivers showed “significantly higher overall drug prevalence during the public health emergency with 64.7 percent testing positive for at least one activedrug compared to 50.8 percent before the public health emergency began,” NHTSA said. When broken down by sex, males were more likely to have positive results in any of these three categories than females. Also, positive rates were higher on weekends than on weekdays.

A driver who is speeding or under the influence is putting themselves, their passengers, and other people at serious risk. Speeding is negligence. If you were hurt in a crash with a motorist who was going at an excessive rateof speed, you can hold them legally liable for your injuries, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.

Get Help From a Car Accident Lawyer in Oakland

At Bracamontes & Vlasak, our Oakland auto accident lawyers fight for justice and compensation for victims and their families. We know how to handle insurance adjusters. If you or your family member was injuredin a speed-related crash, our law firm is more than ready to help. Contact us now to arrange your free consultation. We represent car accident victims in Oakland, Alameda County, and throughout the wider San Francisco Bay region.

Serious injuries occur because a driver speed (1)

Causes of Road Accidents

Serious injuries occur because a driver speed (2)

Road accident is most unwanted thing to happen to a road user, though they happen quite often. The most unfortunate thing is that we don't learn from our mistakes on road. Most of the road users are quite well aware of the general rules and safety measures while using roads but it is only the laxity on part of road users, which causeaccidents and crashes. Main cause of accidents and crashes are due to human errors. We are elaborating some of the common behaviour of humans which results in accident.

1.Over Speeding
2.Drunken Driving
3.Distractions to Driver
4.Red Light Jumping
5.Avoiding Safety Gears like Seat belts and Helmets
6.Non-adherence to lane driving and overtaking in a wrong manner

Various national and international researches have found these as most common behavior of Roaddrivers, which leads to accidents.

Serious injuries occur because a driver speed (3)

Over Speeding:

Most of the fatal accidents occur due to over speeding. It is a natural psyche of humans to excel. If given a chance man is sure to achieve infinity in speed. But when we are sharing the road with other users we will always remain behind some or other vehicle. Increase in speed multiplies the risk of accident and severity ofinjury during accident. Faster vehicles are more prone to accident than the slower one and the severity of accident will also be more in case of faster the severity of accident will also be more in case of faster vehicles. Higher the speed, greater the risk. At high speed the vehicle needs greater distance to stop i.e. braking distance. A slower vehicle comes to halt immediately while faster one takes long way to stop and also skids a long distance due to law of notion. A vehicle moving on highspeed will have greater impact during the crash and hence will cause more injuries. The ability to judge the forthcoming events also gets reduced while driving at faster speed which causes error in judgment and finally a crash.

Serious injuries occur because a driver speed (4)

Drunken Driving:

Consumption of alcohol to celebrate any occasion is common. But when mixed with driving it turns celebration into amisfortune. Alcohol reduces concentration. It decreases reaction time of a human body. Limbs take more to react to the instructions of brain. It hampers vision due to dizziness. Alcohol dampens fear and incite humans to take risks. All these factors while driving cause accidents and many a times it proves fatal. For every increase of 0.05 blood alcohol concentration, the risk of accident doubles. Apart from alcohol many drugs, medicines also affect the skills and concentration necessary fordriving. First of all, we recommend not to consume alcohol. But if you feel your merrymaking is not complete without booze, do not drive under the influence of alcohol. Ask a teetotaler friend to drop you home.

Serious injuries occur because a driver speed (5)

Distraction to Driver:

Though distraction while driving could be minor but it can cause major accidents.

Distractions could be outside or inside thevehicle. The major distraction now a days is talking on mobile phone while driving. Act of talking on phone occupies major portion of brain and the smaller part handles the driving skills. This division of brain hampers reaction time and ability of judgement. This becomes one of the reasons of crashes. One should not attend to telephone calls while driving. If the call is urgent one should pull out beside the road and attend the call. Some of the distractions on road are:

1.Adjustingmirrors while driving
2.Stereo/Radio in vehicle
3.Animals on the road
4.Banners and billboards.

The driver should not be distracted due to these things and reduce speed to remain safe during diversions and other kind of outside distractions.

Serious injuries occur because a driver speed (6)

Red Light jumping:

It is a common sight at road intersections that vehicles cross without caring for the light.The main motive behind Red light jumping is saving time. The common conception is that stopping at red signal is wastage of time and fuel. Studies have shown that traffic signals followed properly by all drivers saves time and commuters reach destination safely and timely. A red light jumper not only jeopardizes his life but also the safety of other road users. This act by one driver incites other driver to attempt it and finally causes chaos at crossing. This chaos at intersection is the maincause of traffic jams. Eventually everybody gets late to their destinations. It has also been seen that the red light jumper crosses the intersection with greater speed to avoid crash and challan but it hampers his ability to judge the ongoing traffic and quite often crashes.

Serious injuries occur because a driver speed (7)

Avoiding Safety Gears like seat belts and helmets:

Use of seat belt in four-wheeler isnow mandatory and not wearing seat belt invites penalty, same in the case of helmets for two wheeler drivers. Wearing seat belts and helmet has been brought under law after proven studies that these two things reduce the severity of injury during accidents. Wearing seat belts and helmets doubles the chances of survival in a serious accident. Safety Gears keep you intact and safe in case of accidents. Two wheeler deaths have been drastically reduced after use of helmet has been made mandatory.One should use safety gears of prescribed standard and tie them properly for optimum safety.

Detrimental effects of traffic on environment

1. Safety 2. Noise 3. Land Consumption 4. Air Pollution 5. Degrading the Aesthetics

How different factors of Roads contribute in Accidents:

Drivers: Over-speeding, rash driving, violation of rules, failure to understand signs, fatigue, alcohol.
Pedestrian: Carelessness,illiteracy, crossing at wrong places moving on carriageway, Jaywalkers.
Passengers: Projecting their body outside vehicle, by talking to drivers, alighting and boarding vehicle from wrong side travelling on footboards, catching a running bus etc.
Vehicles: Failure of brakes or steering, tyre burst, insufficient headlights, overloading, projecting loads.
Road Conditions: Potholes, damaged road, eroded road merging of rural roads withhighways, diversions, illegal speed breakers.
Weather conditions: Fog, snow, heavy rainfall, wind storms, hail storms.

Preventive measures for accidents:

  1. Education and awareness about road safety
  2. Strict Enforcement of Law
  3. Engineering:
    (a) Vehicle design (b) Road infrastructure

Direct Consequences of Accidents:

1 Fatality (Death) 2. Injury 3. Property Damage

Courtesy:-Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, Government of India

Why speed driving is dangerous?

Dangers of SpeedingIn 2020, speeding was a contributing factor in 29% of all traffic fatalities. Speed also affects your safety even when you are driving at the speed limit but too fast for road conditions, such as during bad weather, when a road is under repair, or in an area at night that isn't well lit.

What is the most commonly practiced and dangerous driving behavior?

Speeding: Everyone knows this one: speeding is an obvious way to drive dangerously. It's also a good way to end up dead on the road, as speed is a contributing factor in 26% of all fatal crashes. Speed can also make crashes more dangerous, increasing the impact and potential for injury or death.

What is the percentage of distracted drivers operating their vehicles?

However, when you compare the number of distracted driving accidents in total to the overall number of crashes, distracted driving has remained a steady contributor, causing between 14% to 17% of all crashes.

What is the best advice for cell phone use?

Prioritize Safety.

Use a safer device. ... .

Get more information. ... .

Most monitoring requires physical access to the phone. ... .

CAUTION: Making changes will often alert the other person. ... .

Reset Phone & Accounts..

Replace your current phone..

Serious injuries occur because a driver speed (2024)


Serious injuries occur because a driver speed? ›

Since there is less reaction and stopping time at higher speeds, cars will collide at higher speeds. Also, speeding can increase the risk of losing control of the car either before or during a crash.

What percentage of accidents are caused by speed? ›

Dangers of Speeding

For more than two decades, speeding has been involved in approximately one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities. In 2021, speeding was a contributing factor in 29% of all traffic fatalities.

Why speeding is bad? ›

Higher Speeds Mean Deadlier Crashes

At high speed, the same crash could be permanently disabling or deadly. In some cases, the difference in severity of a crash is a matter of the angle and point of impact. Speeding increases your chances of losing control of your vehicle as you try to avoid an obstacle.

What is the most common cause of most collisions? ›

Speeding Patterns Among Drivers

As the most common cause of fatal collisions, speeding has garnered attention from federal and state agencies and organizations that study different aspects of speeding. In recent years, the NHTSA has identified speeding patterns among drivers.

How does too much speed affect steering? ›

Turning the steering wheel harshly, abruptly or just too much for the vehicle's speed versus the available grip will exceed the front tyres' traction, forcing the nose of the car to slide wide across the road surface in understeer.

Is speed the number one cause of accidents? ›

Risk Factors Associated With Speeding

Because speeding is the most common cause of fatal accidents, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) devotes ample resources to study why people speed. Heavy traffic.

Do most accidents occur at high speeds? ›

The leading causes of car accidents in California are speeding, distracted driving, impaired driving, and unsafe lane changes. Speeding is the most commonly cited cause of accidents, accounting for around one-third of crashes.

What does speeding increase the risk of? ›

The impact of speeding on crash risk

Driving over the speed limit: increases your chances of being involved in a crash. means you have less time to react to avoid a crash. takes longer to stop the vehicle to avoid a crash.

Does going fast in a car damage it? ›

When you drive too fast, the strain on your vehicle's axles, CV joints, and drive shafts can cause them to break. CV joints are the most common cause of failure in a car. Although they're less likely than axles to fail due to excessive strain when you're speeding, they're still susceptible to damage.

Is speeding ever justified? ›

It depends on whether the state you're driving in has absolute or presumed speeding laws. Most states have absolute laws, where the speed limit is the limit, and if you were going 61 mph in a 60 mph zone, a ticket is justified.

Which type of collision can cause the most serious injuries Why? ›

Head-On Collisions

By far the deadliest accident type is the head-on collision. Head-on collisions consider both vehicle's speed at the time of the crash, which means even an accident at lower speeds can be catastrophic.

Which type of collision is most severe? ›

One of the most dangerous types of car accidents is a head-on collision. Because these crashes involve the full force of both vehicles colliding head-on, they have the potential to cause significant damage and even death.

What causes the most fatal or serious injury collisions? ›

Automobile Right of Way violations is the top factor for fatal and serious injury collisions.

Why does my steering feel heavy at high speed? ›

Under inflated tyres reduce the grip between the road surface and the tyres, which causes steering to become heavier and less cooperative. Power steering fluid – lack of steering fluid can also be a common cause of heavy steering – reducing the pressure in the system. So, keep an eye out for a leak!

What is the most likely cause of heavy steering? ›

Heavy steering refers to when the steering wheel of your vehicle becomes stiff, making it difficult to turn. This can be caused by a number of things, such as tyre pressure, lack of fluid oil and tyre alignment.

Can a car be too heavy to drive? ›

Generally, a vehicle's maximum capacity will be around 800 pounds. If you look on the panel of the drivers side door, there should be a sticker which gives the maximum capacity for your vehicle specifically.

At what speed do most fatal accidents occur? ›

A person hit by a car traveling at 35 miles per hour is five times more likely to die than a person hit by a car traveling at 20 miles per hour. The risk of death at every speed is higher for older pedestrians and pedestrians hit by trucks and other large vehicles.

Why does high speed increase the risk of collision? ›

High speeds make a crash more likely because it takes longer to stop or slow down. They also make collisions more deadly because crash energy increases exponentially as speeds go up. Raising speed limits leads to more deaths.

Why do people drive so fast? ›

Inattention. Drivers often exceed the speed limit simply because they're not paying attention to their driving speed. Factors such as traffic flow, driving a powerful vehicle, and playing music were cited as contributors to speeding.

What is the killing speed in a car? ›

The “kill your speed” message originates with the estimate that “the chance of a pedestrian [or cyclist, presumably] being seriously injured or killed if struck by a car is 45% at 30 mph and 5% at 20 mph”.

Why do slow drivers cause more accidents? ›

Constant Braking

When other drivers approach the slower driver, they expect them to be driving the speed limit. As they get closer, the slower speed might force other drivers to slam on their brake because of the slower vehicle. This erratic decision to brake can cause others to brake, leading to a severe crash.

Can you survive an 80 mph crash? ›

Surviving a car crash at 80 mph is possible, but unlikely. Some people can survive a car crash at 80 mph, while some will not be so lucky. The Insurance Information Institute lists speeding as the leading cause of car accident fatalities, costing over 8,000 lives in 2018.

What are some interesting facts about speeding? ›

Speeding tickets bring a substantial amount of revenue for cities. 35% of speeding-related accidents happen on minor roads. Drivers can get a speeding ticket for tailgating. Speeding tickets may be handed out to drivers who illegally use carpool lanes.

What is over speeding? ›

: speed greater than normal or rated speed.

What is a risk factor in driving? ›

Distraction while driving, including from using cell phones and texting. Driving at excessive speeds, close following, and other risky driving. 4. Drinking and driving.

Is it safer to drive fast or slow? ›

Driving slower than the surrounding traffic is more likely to cause an accident than speeding, according to research. Driving too slowly can make other drivers around you constantly brake and speed up. It can be frustrating for other drivers, cause confusion and could lead to an accident.

Is going 100 mph bad for your car? ›

They tend to have adequate cooling system on top of a well-designed suspension capable of driving well over 100 mph for extended period of times. However, generally, if your car is well-maintained, in good condition, 100 mph is nothing particularly out there.

Does going over speed bumps fast hurt your car? ›

Traveling too fast over a speed bump is similar to hitting a pothole at high speed. The jolt you feel afterward can cause significant problems with your vehicle alignment, springs, shocks, struts, and/or ball joints. It can even change your tire pressure or cause a tire to blow out.

Who is most likely to be speeding? ›

Teens are more likely than older drivers to speed and to allow shorter distances from the front of one vehicle to the front of the next.

Is speeding a sin Catholic? ›

No, driving over the speed limit is not a mortal sin. It would not be considered serious matter in the moral life.

What is the most fatal car crash? ›

1. Off-The-Road Crash. By far the most deadly type of car accident is when a vehicle veers off the roadway and crashes into another object, such as a telephone pole or a concrete pylon. These accidents are easily the most deadly, making up a tragic 32% of all fatal car accidents.

Which accident will be more damaging? ›

Head on collisions

They're far more dangerous due to the laws of physics involved; unlike instances where one car crashes into a stationary object, in head-on collisions the force of the crash is doubled when both vehicles are travelling at speed towards each other.

What body parts are hit first in a collision? ›

For people riding on the struck side of the car, severe injuries are most commonly delivered to person's neck, followed by the head, chest, legs, and abdomen/pelvis. For car occupants riding on the non-struck side of the car, head injuries are most common, followed by chest injuries.

How are most people hurt in a collision? ›

Whiplash is the most common type of injury from car accidents. In contrast, minor injuries like strains, sprains, tissue damage, and bruises account for half of the injuries brought to the ER, while broken bones account for less than 5% of injuries but lead to half of the hospitalizations.

What type of car crashes the most? ›

The 25 Vehicles That Have Been Involved in the Most Fatal Car Accidents
1Chevrolet Silverado8,777
2Ford F-1507,502
3Honda Accord5,368
4Toyota Camry5,023
21 more rows

Who has the greatest accident potential? ›

Who is most likely to get into
  • Teenagers. Crash Risk is especially high for 16-and-17-year-olds. ...
  • Seniors. Older drivers over age 75 are more likely to die in crashes than middle-age motorists. ...
  • Newly licensed drivers. Young or old, inexperienced drivers have simply logged less time on the roads. ...
  • Males.

Do fast or slow drivers cause more accidents? ›

Isn't slower always safer? A. No, federal and state studies have consistently shown that the drivers most likely to get into accidents in traffic are those traveling significantly below the average speed.

In which type of collision are serious injury and death more likely? ›

Serious injury and death are much more likely to occur in head-on collisions compared to the other types previously mentioned. There is usually more than one collision in a motor vehicle crash.

Is speed the second leading cause of collisions? ›

Speeding is the second most common cause of road crashes in the United States, causing nearly 55 percent of all motor vehicle collisions and over 9,000 deaths each year.

Why is my car steering shaking at high speed? ›

If you find that your steering wheel shakes at high speeds or is shaking when you brake, you're probably wondering what to do when your steering wheel shakes and what it means. Most of the time, a shaky steering wheel is caused by unbalanced or misaligned wheels.

Why does my steering wheel shake when I accelerate high speed? ›

A common cause of steering wheel vibration, this is usually felt at higher speeds, and becomes progressively worse the faster the vehicle gets. On a positive note, it is also relatively easy to fix. Simply perform a wheel balance and check each tyre for any damage and wear.

What are the 3 things that can cause hard steering? ›

Top Six Causes of Hard Steering Wheel and Solutions
  • Tire Pressure. Surprisingly, bad air pressure could be a cause for steering wheel hard to turn. ...
  • Bad Steering Rack. ...
  • Damaged Serpentine Belt. ...
  • Fluid Leakage. ...
  • Pump Malfunction. ...
  • Thick Fluid. ...
  • Check air pressure of your car tires. ...
  • Check power steering condition and fluid level.
Dec 5, 2020

What is the most common steering failure? ›

1. Low Power Steering Fluid. Low power steering fluid is one of the most common issues that you'll have as a driver. Your car will need its power steering fluid topped-up every once in a while, to ensure that the hydraulic power steering system continues to function smoothly.

What is the most common kind of steering failure? ›

The most likely cause of steering failure is a loss of power steering. This can happen if a hydraulic pipe breaks or is cut by debris from the road.

What happens if too much power steering? ›

Power steering fluid overfilling has just one direct effect: leakage, resulting in a cluttered engine compartment. Foaming may occur from time to time, which might contribute to premature component wear. When you start your engine, the hydraulic fluid in your power steering fluid turns to hydraulic force.

What weight is considered heavy for a car? ›

Average compact car weight - 2,600 to 3,000 pounds. Average midsize car weight - 3,300 pounds. Average large car weight - 4,400 pounds.

What is considered heavy driving? ›

It can include heavy loads that include the hauling of cargo, a full vehicle of passengers or towing a trailer. Severe driving can also include travel on rough or mountainous roads or through dusty or salty environments, as well as the aforementioned extreme hot or cold weather or in extremely humid conditions.

Is a heavier car safer than a lighter car? ›

A lighter vehicle will always be at a disadvantage in a collision with a heavier vehicle.

Do 80% of all accidents occur at 40 mph or less? ›

More than 80% of all collisions occur less than 40 miles per hour. Most death-causing collisions occur within 25 miles of the victim's home.

What causes more accidents slow or fast? ›

Isn't slower always safer? A. No, federal and state studies have consistently shown that the drivers most likely to get into accidents in traffic are those traveling significantly below the average speed.

How much do speed-related crashes cost every person in the United States? ›

Speed-related crashes are associated with 10,192 fatalities, 498,000 nonfatal injuries, and $46 billion in economic costs in 2019, accounting for 14% of all economic costs. Speed-related crashes cost an average of $141 for every person in the United States.

How does a crash at 60 mph compared to a crash at 30 mph? ›

Pedestrian Accidents

If a pedestrian is struck by a car traveling at 20 mph has only a 5% chance of being killed, but a pedestrian struck by a car traveling at 30 mph has a 45% chance of being killed. That risk rises to about 100% at 60 mph.

What are 90% of accidents caused by? ›

Several other studies have produced similar results, and every study that we know of shows that the percentage of car accidents that are caused by human error is at least 90%.

What causes at least 80% of all vehicle collisions? ›

Driving Distractions Study

According to a study released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), 80 percent of collisions and 65 percent of near collisions involve some form of driver distraction.

Is speed responsible for over ____% of all fatal crashes? ›

Speeding is a Factor in at Least 25 Percent of Fatal Traffic Accidents.

What are the three leading causes of accidents? ›

The 12 Most Common Causes of Car Accidents
  • Distracted Driving. Undoubtedly, distracted driving is the number one cause of car accidents. ...
  • Speeding. ...
  • Drunk Driving. ...
  • Reckless Driving. ...
  • Inclement Weather. ...
  • Running Intersections. ...
  • Teenagers. ...
  • Night Driving.
Mar 2, 2022

Does the car going faster get more damage? ›

The faster you drive, the greater the impact or striking power of your vehicle. The laws of physics determine that the force of impact increases with the square of the increase in speed.

What are the odds of surviving a 70 mph car crash? ›

While getting hit by a car going 15 mph only carries a 1.8% chance of death, getting hit by a car going 70 mph increases the mortality rate to 75.3%. Most people know that driving at high speeds is dangerous, but even they may be surprised that relatively average speeds can result in pedestrian deaths.

Which body parts are hit first during a collision? ›

First Collision: Vehicle
  • Back and Head injuries. Drivers are susceptible to head injuries due to hitting the steering wheel, roof, windshield. ...
  • Neck injuries. ...
  • Facial injuries. ...
  • Collarbone. ...
  • Lower extremity injuries.
Oct 29, 2020

Can you survive a 75 mph crash? ›

High Risk of Death: More Than 70 MPH

A motor vehicle traveling over 70 MPH is a fatal car accident near certainty if it crashes with another vehicle or any other object. At that speed, there is almost no time for reactions, very little chance to regain control, and a huge amount of force that few people could survive.

How much force can a human withstand in a car crash? ›

Whilst the factors responsible for the concussion are complex, it is generally accepted that the human brain can withstand crash impact forces of 300–400 G without either concussion or skull fracture, provided that there is no local deformation of the skull to inflict direct injury.


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