Speeding drivers still cause accidents – How cities are fighting back
An experienced North Carolina car accident lawyer explains what you need to know
Speeding continues to be one of the leading causes of car accidents around the country. In North Carolina, for example, speeding causes 434 fatalities on average each year. That’s 30.7% of all traffic fatalities on average annually in North Carolina, according to statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Nationwide, the numbers are not much better. Roughly 26% of all motor vehicle fatalities occur due to speeding drivers, according to the NHTSA. Each year, the economic impact of speeding accidents (medical bills, lost income, vehicle repairs, etc.) adds up to an estimated $52 billion, according to the NHTSA.
In response, some cities and states are fighting back. Instead of simply accepting speeding as a way of life, some cities and states have taken steps to reduce speeding and hopefully save lives. So what’s being done? Why does speeding remain such a problem on our roads? Below, you can learn more and better understand how a lawyer can help you if you’ve been injured in a bad car accident caused by a speeding driver.
Why speeding remains a problem on our roads
If drivers seem to be going faster than ever, it’s not just your imagination. Drivers are speeding and driving faster than ever. Last year, in particular, reports of speed-related accidents and fatalities increased dramatically nationwide, even though there were fewer drivers on the road due to stay-at-home orders, according to The Washington Post.
So why do people drive so fast? What causes drivers to speed? The NHTSA has identified four common reasons why drivers speed, which the federal agency describes as a form of aggressive driving. The four reasons why include:
- Traffic. In numerous studies, drivers who speed often say they do so in response to being stuck in traffic. The second the road opens up and traffic clears, many drivers respond by driving excessively fast, especially on highways.
- Running late. Many drivers confess that they drive fast because they’re running late for work, an appointment, getting together with family or friends, and many other reasons.
- Anonymity. A lot of drivers feel insulated from the outside world when they’re driving a motor vehicle. Because other motorists can’t see them and drivers often cannot see each other, some go faster than they should or otherwise drive recklessly.
- Disregard for others and the law. Some drivers sadly don’t care if their speeding causes accidents or anxiety for other people on the road. For these aggressive drivers, speeding and breaking other traffic laws is normal behavior.
What communities and states are doing to combat speeding drivers
In response to speeding drivers, some communities have taken aggressive steps to reduce speeding on the road and hopefully cut down on the number of speed-related motor vehicle accidents, according to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal. Such steps taken by cities and states nationwide include:
- Minnesota State Police have issued 23% more speeding tickets so far this year compared to the same time period last year. This is due to a dramatic increase in speeding fatalities earlier this year compared to the same time period last year.
- Traffic cameras in Chicago were recently adjusted to issue speed camera tickets to drivers exceeding the speed limit by 6 mph instead of 10 mph due to a 45% increase in traffic fatalities in 2020.
- New York City lowered the speed limit on nine crash-prone roads by 5 mph due to an 11% increase in traffic fatalities in 2020 compared to 2019.
These are just a few examples of some of the steps being taken by certain cities and states to combat speeding drivers and make our roads safer for everyone. Even so, speeding accidents remain a serious problem. That’s why it’s important to know how to respond if you or a loved one has been injured in a bad car accident caused by a speeding driver. And in many cases, the best thing you can do is hire an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
How a lawyer can help you after your crash
There are many different ways an attorney can help you, including:
- Conduct an in-depth investigation into your accident, including reviewing:
- The official accident report filled out by the investigating police officer. (Does your report indicate how fast the driver was going at the time of the accident?)
- Accident debris (or photographs of accident debris) or skid marks on the road at the crash site. Such evidence can often indicate how fast the driver was going at the time of the crash.
- Eyewitness statements and interviewing them as well. If someone saw the other driver speeding, such statements can be powerful pieces of evidence.
- Consult with accident-reconstruction experts, who can provide in-depth analysis of your accident.
- Deal directly with the at-fault driver’s insurance company on your behalf, including negotiating a better settlement offer in many cases.
- Filing a lawsuit on your behalf. This is especially important if the at-fault driver’s insurance company refuses to cooperate and denies your injury claim.
Accident-related expenses can add up fast after an accident caused by a speeding driver. Knowing what to do afterward can be overwhelming as well. That’s why it’s critical that you talk to a lawyer who knows the law. You need one who understands how the legal system works in your state.
Attorney Richard Flexner of The Law Offices of Richard Flexner in Wilmington, North Carolina can assist you with your speeding accident. He has the knowledge, the resources, and the skills to build a strong, compelling legal case. Learn more about how he can help you. Contact us and schedule a free case evaluation at our law firm. We represent injury victims and their families throughout North Carolina.