Thousands of different activities can be hazardous or dangerous while driving a car, truck, or van in Chicago and across Illinois, including texting while driving, driving under the influence of alcohol, and failing to yield the right-of-way. When asked, most drivers acknowledge the risks of these activities and many state that they never engage in dangerous habits while behind the wheel. But of the thousands of potential threats by drivers, one is more common than the rest: overwhelmingly, drivers in the United States, including those in Chicago, admit to speeding on occasion.
The Hazards of Speeding while Driving
Speeding is defined as traveling in excess of a posted speed limit or driving too fast for conditions. While a single mile per hour over the limit is technically speeding, police officers and local officials generally focus on transit that exceeds the limit by multiple miles per hour as the greater the speed traveled above the limit, the more dangerous the activity is believed to be.
Speeding directly impacts driving in several ways. First, a speeding car requires a greater distance to slow or stop than a vehicle that is traveling at or below the speed limit. This means that speeders are more likely to cause and be involved in rear-end collisions, are more likely to run stop signs and red lights, and are less likely to maintain control in situations with heavy traffic.
Secondly, a speeding vehicle is more difficult to handle and control than a slower moving car. Bumps in the road, pot holes, and uneven road surfaces are all more threatening when a car is traveling fast. A slight correction in the position of the steering wheel means a greater change in road position as a vehicle’s speed increases.
Third, speeding also decreases a driver’s ability to quickly respond to a hazard in the road. Whether a vehicle in front of a speeding driver drops something from a truck bed or a pedestrian appears on a road’s surface, a typical driver will attempt to slow and stop, avoiding a crash. But a speeding driver will cover more of the road’s surface per second, bringing that driver closer to the hazard and decreasing the driver’s time to respond by adjusting his or her behavior.
Speeding is so common that numerous advocacy groups, state and federal agencies, and private enterprises track speeding and the resulting effects annually. These statistics are believed to be understated and under-reported because it is difficult to definitely conclude a vehicle’s speed prior to a crash. As a result, statistics are based on traffic tickets issued for exceeding the speed limit, tickets issued for traveling too fast for conditions, witness testimony, and the self-reporting of drivers.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that since 2003, speeding has been a factor in about one-third of all fatal traffic accidents. In 2012 alone, speeding was present in approximately 30 percent of the fatal accidents across the United States and factored into 10,219 deaths. In contrast, speeding was not believed to be a factor in 23,342 traffic deaths, or the remaining 70 percent. While most people associate highways, freeways, and expressways as the locations most likely to harbor speeding, statistics portray a different picture. Minor roads like city streets were the site of the majority of speeding-related accidents and speeding-related deaths in 2012, followed by expressways and interstates, and then other major roads.
On average, the National Safety Council reports that speeding causes more than 13,000 deaths every year and that speeding-related accidents cost Americans more than $40 billion annually. Speeding is particularly problematic in areas with short distance speed restrictions, like school zones and construction zones. In fact, some estimates put speeding to blame in more than 1 out of 4 accidents that take place in construction zones.
The average American speeding driver is male and male speeders are more likely to be involved in car accidents than females. Of males ages 15 through 20 who were involved in fatal collisions, 39 percent of them were speeding. Those these statistics may represent a “typical” speeder, it is important to remember that motorists who drive too fast can be found among every type of driver and that gender, age, and experience will never guarantee that a driver will operate within the speed limit.
Legal Relief after a Chicago Speeding Accident
Speeding does not pay. For every minute gained by speeding, Americans spend $76,000 in damages, whether they are injuries, property damages to vehicles, tickets, or other losses. Yet thousands of Chicago drivers admit to speeding every time they are behind the wheel.
When a speeding driver causes an accident that leaves you injured, you may feel lost and believe that no one is on your side. At Abels & Annes, P.C., we are here to make you realize that you have legal rights and that you may be entitled to relief. Our team of personal injury lawyers want to help you through every step in the process of your case from the time of your accident through a final outcome in your case.
At Abels & Annes, P.C., we believe that negligent drivers should have to pay for their actions and the damages they cause. We offer a free case consultation without any obligation to those who have been hurt and who call us toll free at (855) LAW-CHICAGO (529-2442) or locally at (312) 924-7575. We are standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year to take your call and give you answers whenever you need them. If you are too injured to travel to our offices but you prefer to meet with us in person, we also offer free in-home and in-hospital consultations.
At Abels & Annes, P.C., we never charge a fee unless we make a recovery on behalf of our clients and we fight for the best possible outcome in every case we handle. If you have been hurt in a car accident or if your loved one has been injured or killed, let us fight for you.
If you have been injured in a speeding accident, call us now at (855) LAW-CHICAGO or Contact Us online for a free case consultation.