Here in Missouri, speed was a contributing factor in 286 fatal accidents
and 6,546 injury crashes in 2012 alone. These accidents resulted in 320
deaths and over 9,700 people injured. According to the Missouri Highway
Patrol, exceeding the speed limit or driving too fast for roadway conditions
is a leading cause of serious car accidents throughout the state. As Cape
car accident lawyers, we know first-hand that speeding can prove to be a dangerous,
often deadly mistake.
In 1995, the National Highway System Designation Act repealed the national
maximum speed limit, which cleared the way for individual states to determine
their own speed limits. In the 17 years that followed, 35 states - including
Missouri - increased their maximum speed limit to 70 miles per hour. Studies
have shown that increased speed limits don't necessarily cause a higher
number of car accidents - but they definitely produce more serious crashes.
According to the
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), speed can affect car accidents - and their resulting injuries
- in three basic ways:
- Speeding vehicles travel a greater distance in the time between the moment
a driver recognizes an emergency and the moment the driver reacts to that
- Speeding vehicles require more time and space to stop following the moment
a driver hits the brakes.
- Speeding vehicles create more crash energy. When a collision occurs, the
crash energy created must be managed by the vehicles involved, their restraint
systems, and roadway fixtures like crash barriers. The greater the speed,
the greater the crash energy produced: for example, if impact speed increases
from 40 miles per hour to 60 miles per hour, the crash energy also increases
- by a staggering 125%. Thus, when crashes occur at high speeds, the crash
energy can be too severe "that the vehicle structure cannot withstand
the force of the crash and maintain survival space in the occupant compartment."
When a collision involves a car and a pedestrian instead of two vehicles,
the effect of impact speed is even more directly tied to the level of injury.
A study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety determined that the average risk of severe injury in a pedestrian collision
increases dramatically with impact speed:
• If impact speed is 16 mph, the pedestrian injury risk is 10%.
• If impact speed is 31 mph, the pedestrian injury risk is 50%.
• If impact speed is 39 mph, the pedestrian injury risk is 75%.
• If impact speed is 46 mph, the pedestrian injury risk is 90%.
As Cape Girardeau personal injury lawyers, we'd like to encourage drivers
in southeast Missouri to be mindful of the dangers associated with speed
- especially when certain roadway conditions (like construction work,
bad weather, or congested traffic) are a factor. Remember that your safety
- and the safety of the other motorists traveling near you - is of the
utmost importance. Slow down, be patient, and focus on arriving safely
at your destination - even if it takes it little longer than you'd like.
At Aaron Sachs and Associates, our car accident lawyers represent car accident
victims in Cape Girardeau, Missouri and throughout the surrounding areas,
including Jackson, Delta, Gordonville, Oak Ridge, Whitewater, Poplar Bluff,
Marble Hill, Sikeston, New Madrid and Scott City. If you or a loved one
has been injured in a crash caused by another driver's negligence,
our firm may be able to assist you. Our attorneys work on a contingent
fee basis, and we offer a free initial consultation to discuss your case.
For more information, please call our office toll-free at 1-888-777-AUTO, or
visit our website.
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