How Speed Impacts the Rate of Deadly Car Accidents in DFW

Whether people are racing to get to work on time or driving too fast through an ice patch, speeding is universally recognized as the greatest risk factor for automobile accidents.

In 2019, speeding killed 9,478 people nationwide according to the most recent figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In Texas alone, there have been 1,426 deaths on Texas roads so far this year, with speed as a major contributing factor.

As Carrollton car accident lawyers, we help victims deal with the devastating consequences of high-speed car crashes. In this article, we’ll break down how high speeds impact the severity of car accidents and what you should do if you’re involved in a wreck.

How Speed Impacts the Rate of Deadly Car Accidents in DFW

Speeding Affects Car Accidents and Injuries

“Speed Kills.” While it may be a worn-out cliche, it’s highly accurate. With every increase of 10 mph on the speedometer over 50 mph, the risk of dying in a crash doubles.

In addition, speed increases the risk of serious injuries, damages to vehicles and makes the road more dangerous.

Higher Speeds Means a Greater Loss of Control

Speeding makes it harder to control a vehicle, especially when approaching a curve. It’s harder to negotiate curves safely as speed increases because of centrifugal force. The curves pull at your car, and the faster the vehicle is moving, the more difficult it is to navigate through the curve without straying into the other lane.

Speeding also diminishes a driver’s reaction time, which means less control for evasive maneuvers during unexpected circumstances. The faster you’re moving, the less time your brain can react if a deer, pedestrian, or another vehicle suddenly appears before you. As a result, speeding drivers may be more likely to accidentally swerve into oncoming traffic or nearby barriers to avoid the obstacle in front of them.

Even if you’re following the speed limit, you may be driving too fast for the road conditions. Bad weather, ice patches, construction zones, or poorly lit areas at night can reduce your ability to control the vehicle.

Speed Increases Stopping Distance and Time

The faster you drive, the more time and distance it takes to stop the vehicle. This means that even if you can see an object ahead, you may not have enough time or space to stop in time before the collision.
Stopping distance is calculated using reaction time, speed, and braking distance. Studies have shown that it takes the average driver 1.5 and 4 seconds to perceive a need to hit the brakes.

A car going at a moderate speed of 30 mph requires 75 feet to come to a complete stop; this includes the distance traveled for just one second reaction time and assumes the road conditions are perfect.

When an obstacle is thrown into the equation, speeding can mean the difference between life and death.

For example, if a child crosses the road 75 feet in front of a car traveling at 30 mph, the driver can stop just before hitting the child. However, if the car’s speed is 40 mph or more, the child will be hit by the car, and there will be little chance of survival.

High Speeds Reduce the Effectiveness of Vehicle Safety Features

Seat belts and airbags protect drivers from death or severe injury by reducing the force of impact. Even the body of vehicles is designed with crushing abilities to absorb some of the energy of a crash.

However, this protective equipment can only do so much.

Higher speeds cause more destructive force during an accident and make the equipment less effective. If you are traveling too fast and collide with another vehicle or object, these safety features may not protect you from harm.

Higher Speeds Cause More Severe Injuries

Accidents at high speeds are more often fatal and cause more severe injuries since high-velocity objects collide with greater force.

In the best-case scenario, you might get whiplash, break a bone, or hit your head on the steering wheel. In the worst-case scenario, a high-speed collision can cause brain damage or debilitating spine injuries— or kill you on the spot.

What to Do After a High-Speed Crash

After a car accident, the first thing you should do is focus on safety. Move your vehicle out of traffic if possible, and check yourself and any passengers for injuries. 

Call 911

You should call 9-1-1 after an accident to get law enforcement officers and emergency medical services to the scene.

A police officer will protect the accident scene, file a report, take witness statements, and may issue a speeding citation to the offender. This evidence can help if you file an insurance claim or lawsuit against the negligent party.

Gather Evidence for Your Case

An officer will gather evidence at the crash scene, but if possible, you should gather your own evidence, such as:

  • Photos and videos
  • Witness statements and contact information
  • Responding officer’s information
  • The other driver’s information

Hire An Attorney

Call a legal professional if you or a loved one suffered an injury after a car accident. Some injuries are immediately apparent, while others may take days for you to notice the symptoms.

Do not entertain any settlement offers from the other driver’s insurance company until you’ve contacted a lawyer and have been thoroughly evaluated by a medical professional.
The insurance company’s goal is to pay out the lowest settlement amount as quickly as possible. If you accept a low offer and a severe injury manifests later, you will likely not have enough funds to cover your medical treatment.

An experienced car accident attorney will gather evidence and negotiate with insurance companies so you can recover adequate compensation for your losses, including:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Reduced future earnings
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish this needs a bullet point
  • Property damage
How Speed Impacts the Rate of Deadly Car Accidents in DFW

If You're Injured, Get Help From Carrollton Car Accident Lawyers at The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare

Car accidents can be devastating physically, emotionally, and financially. If you’re the victim of a high-speed collision, contact The Law Offices of Tim O’ Hare.

Our Carrollton car accident lawyers have 20 years of experience helping car crash victims get back on the road to recovery. We’ll work with your doctors, gather evidence, and negotiate with the other driver’s insurance company to ensure you get the settlement you deserve. Schedule a free consultation with our car accident attorneys today.