Dangers of Speeding and Injury Accidents
Most of us exercise a lot of caution when we drive on the roadways. However, traffic delays, the hassle of getting our family ready to start the work and school day, or losing track of time can all result in someone putting a bit more pressure on their gas pedal when they need to get someplace at a specific time.
Speeding along any roadway puts everyone on the road in jeopardy. People traveling too fast on a wet road, ignoring speed signs in school zones, or taking aggressive actions on multi-lane roads can cause auto accidents.
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Arizona Speeding Accident Statistics
There were 98,778 roadway accidents in one recent year. During these accidents, there were 41,350 injuries. When you dig into the statistics further, speed played a factor in 29,995 accidents and resulted in nearly half of all reported injuries and 231 fatalities.
These figures are alarming for anyone who is on the roadway. If you or a family member was one of the victims of a speeding accident, chances are you suffered a severe injury. When two vehicles collide, even at low speeds, there is always a chance of a driver or passenger suffering an injury. When one driver is driving too fast, the chances of a serious injury increase significantly.
Serious Consequences of Speeding
In Arizona, the speed limit on many highways is 75 miles per hour. That also means a vehicle requires more time to come to a complete stop than if the driver traveled slower. The faster the vehicle travels, the more room it needs to stop. A driver traveling 70 miles per hour requires 245 feet of braking distance, while a driver traveling 80 miles per hour requires 320 feet of braking distance.
Besides being against the law and taking a long time to come to a stop, a speeding driver also faces other challenges, including:
- Can lose control of their vehicle easier
- Reduces the effectiveness of seatbelts and airbags
- Can cause severe injury if they strike another vehicle
- Likely to increase their fuel costs
Drivers convicted of speeding in Arizona will also have three points assessed against their driving record. When someone accumulates eight points in a single 12-month period, they could lose their license for up to one year and face other penalties.
What Encourages Drivers to Speed
Speeding is an action that can cost drivers steep fines, and repeated violations of speed limits can result in a license suspension. With these potentials, people often wonder what encourages a driver to speed on the roadways.
Some of the reasons why people travel over posted speed limits include:
- Traffic conditions – Few things frustrate us more than traffic jams. This often causes drivers to exhibit aggressive driving habits, including speeding. These drivers often feel that others on the road are stopping them from getting to their destination, and they will do anything to get around the traffic.
- Running late – Let’s face it, we all have had days when we just lose track of time. When someone tries to stick to a schedule, drivers often feel they can make up time by driving faster than the speed limit, especially if traffic is light.
- Sense of detachment – Drivers enjoy a certain sense of anonymity. After all, most of us are unaware of the people sharing the road with us; therefore, we feel we are under no obligation to act as if we are going to see them at any time in the future.
Drivers who approach getting from one location to another with these thoughts in their minds seldom think about the danger they are creating. In addition to other drivers, they endanger pedestrians and bicyclists.
Speeding Accidents and Victim Injuries
When someone survives a speeding accident, they are likely to suffer a serious injury that can take weeks to recover from.
Some of the common accidents resulting from speeding and the outcomes a victim can suffer include:
- Head-on crashes – Brain injuries, whiplash, broken bones, and severe lacerations are some of the most common injuries. A victim could suffer a back or spinal cord injury in a head-on collision. These accidents happen when a driver crosses over a dividing line. The potential for fatality in these types of accidents is common.
- T-Bone crashes – Occur when another vehicle strikes a car from the side. These crashes can cause severe head, neck, and back injuries. Victims may also suffer a broken pelvis, abdominal injuries, and injuries to their chest, including broken ribs.
- Rear-end crashes – One of the most common injuries facing these victims is whiplash. However, when a driver travels slower than the car that strikes them, they can often suffer serious head trauma, injuries to the back and neck, and other serious injuries.
Victims of all roadway accidents can suffer life-altering injuries. Unfortunately, a speeding driver can wreak havoc.
Victims of speeding accidents may include:
- Other drivers – When a speeding vehicle strikes another car, it can injure the driver and their passengers.
- Pedestrians – If a speeding vehicle loses control, it can strike a pedestrian. Drivers operating at unsafe speeds may also not have the time to stop when a pedestrian is crossing the street. In some cases, a car that the speeding vehicle hit might then strike a pedestrian.
- Motorcyclists – Motorcycles offer their operators very little protection. There are more than 120,000 motorcycles registered in Arizona.
- Bicyclists – Arizona weather is ideal for getting around on a bicycle to see the sites, get some exercise, or simply enjoy the great weather. However, if a speeding driver strikes a bicyclist, they could suffer life-altering injuries or lose their life.
No one should suffer the financial losses associated with an accident when they are not at fault. A car accident lawyer who can help gather evidence to show the at-fault driver was speeding and caused a crash can help victims file a claim for their losses.
Gathering Proof of a Speeding Accident
One of the challenges a victim of a speeding accident will face is proving who is responsible for the accident. To file a successful claim, one must first prove that the driver who struck the car was responsible.
The elements of establishing liability are straightforward:
- The driver owed the victim a duty of care – Every driver is responsible for operating their vehicle safely. Speeding is a violation of that responsibility.
- The driver failed to uphold the duty of care – A speeding driver fails to preserve the duty of care.
- As a result of that failure, the victim suffered an injury – A victim should seek medical care following an injury to show they suffered an injury in an auto accident.
- As a result of the injury, the victim suffered a loss – An injury generally means you will be unable to return to work until the doctor clears you for employment which is a demonstrable loss.
You must address these issues to establish proof. Your car accident lawyer can help you obtain police reports and witness statements, and you will provide receipts showing your expenses related to the injury you suffered in a speeding accident.
Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer Following a Speeding Accident
Often victims of car accidents wonder if it is worth hiring a car accident lawyer. The fact is that there are several reasons why it makes sense to hire an attorney to deal with a claim after an accident in which the victim was not at fault.
Some of the reasons include:
- Experience with insurers – A car accident attorney knows how to deal with insurance agencies. Insurers have adjusters working for them who will take every legal measure to minimize a claim submitted by an injured driver. An attorney knows how to respond to inquiries, make sure their client does not sign any documents which allow the adjuster to obtain information that is irrelevant to the claim, and can protect their client’s rights.
- Experience negotiating – Most of us never have to negotiate with anyone working against us. While an insurer is attempting to minimize the amount of compensation a victim is asking for, the victim attempts to make sure they do not suffer financially because of a bad decision made by another driver. An attorney adept at negotiating settlements on behalf of accident victims will be prepared to work with the insurer to fight for the maximum compensation a victim deserves.
- Collection of evidence – Numerous pieces of evidence can bolster your claim, including witness statements, police reports, and in some cases, surveillance tapes. An attorney can access this information and, if needed, issue legal documents compelling the information from the source.
- Preparation for legal case – Most accident injury cases do not require a court hearing—insurers typically settle before a court date. Nevertheless, an attorney must prepare to take your case to court if the need arises.
As you can see, having an attorney advocating on your behalf after an accident can be very beneficial. Most of us do not know how to deal with insurance companies after we make a claim. Unfortunately, most insurers know this, and they will take advantage of two facts: the first that you do not understand the laws that protect you, and second that you are in a position that is putting your family in financial jeopardy.
Expenses Following a Speeding Accident Injury
While you are out of work recovering from your injuries, you receive less pay. Stress comes in many forms. You stress over your injury and a slow recovery, and dealing with insurance companies can add to your anxiety. These are other reasons to hire an attorney to deal with the insurer for you.
One primary reason accident victims don’t seek legal advice is the cost.
However, here are some things you should know about lawyers who work with accident victims:
- Free consultations – Arizona personal injury lawyers typically offer a free consultation for any accident victim. During this consultation, they will hear from you regarding the accident, your injury, and your financial losses.
- Case evaluation – An experienced attorney will evaluate your case and advise you on what legal options you have to collect for your injuries. While no attorney can guarantee a successful outcome, when you work with someone with a proven track record of success, you will know that you have someone willing to fight hard for their clients.
- Retaining an attorney – An accident injury attorney will likely take your case on a contingency fee basis. You will not pay any money out of pocket and they will not collect their legal fees unless they can secure a settlement for you. You may need to pay other fees, but the attorney will advise you of those fees when you sign a retainer agreement.
If you have suffered an injury because a driver was speeding on the roadway and you just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, you can hold them responsible for their careless action. Contact a car accident lawyer today to discover your legal rights and options.