Even though there are many factors which contributed to the 3,531 traffic deaths and 17,011 serious injuries in Texas in 2016, the main factors were consistently – and have been for many years – driving under the influence and speeding.
Speeding is illegal and viewed as careless and reckless driving. Accidents caused by speeding drivers are preventable. Texans who were injured and the relatives of lost family members killed in an accident with a speeding motorist deserve to be fairly compensated for their losses.
Statistics Surrounding Speeding and the Accidents it Causes
A breakdown by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2013 revealed the following facts about speeding drivers who caused fatal vehicle accidents:
- 34% were motorcycle riders
- 21% were passenger car drivers
- 18% were light-truck (1.5 ton or less) drivers
- 8% were commercial truck drivers
- About one-third of male drivers age 15 to 24 involved in fatal crashes were speeding
- 42% of all speeding drivers in fatal crashes had blood-alcohol concentrations (BACs) of .08% or higher
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), speeding is worse on freeways. Its research shows the percentage of traffic exceeding posted speed limits on them has increased since 2009 from 48% to 72%.
It also reveals that speed increases the risk of crashes and crash injuries in three ways:
- It increases the distance vehicles travel from the moment a driver sees an emergency and reacts.
- The distance needed to stop a vehicle once the driver starts to brake is longer.
- The energy expended in the impact of a crash exponentially increases. When impact speed increases from 40 to 60 mph (a 50% increase), the energy that needs to be managed increases by 125%.
When taking into account that 125% deadly force increase, it’s not hard to grasp that at high speeds, a vehicle crash can increase the force of impact so severely that even the safest vehicle cannot protect the driver and passengers. Airbags and safety belts can no longer protect the occupants, and severe injuries and deaths are virtually inevitable.
The severe injuries that can result from accidents caused by a speeding driver can include some or all of the following:
- Head injuries and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Crush injuries which damage internal organs
Investigations of Your Speeding Accident Injuries
When you are injured or have lost a loved one in a car accident caused by a speeding driver, it is all but certain that the driver, their insurance company, or both will contest your right to be compensated for your losses.
Finding evidence in order to build a case against this driver is not as difficult as it was just a few years ago. New data management capabilities built into most vehicles and the preponderance of traffic cameras and other tools allow Houston speeding accident and injury attorneys to identify speeding as a cause or contributing factor to a car accident that caused injuries or a wrongful death.
Measuring the length of skid marks and physical examination of damage to vehicles can also help determine vehicle speed. A lot of newer cars have an event data recorder (EDR). It monitors and saves information like wheel speed and engine RPM and can then be downloaded after a crash. Think of a passenger-vehicle EDR like you would a flight data recorder found on airliners. In some cases, red-light cameras at intersections, traffic cameras, and even nearby security systems can record crashes, and the images may be retrieved to help determine vehicles’ speed.
It is important to begin the investigation as soon as possible after an accident. A lot of the physical evidence can quickly disappear. The negligent driver might rapidly have his car junked to destroy evidence. Under such circumstances, it is not unusual for us at the accident and injury law office of Terry Bryant to obtain a court order to preserve a damaged vehicle and its EDR data. We may also work with law enforcement as they conduct a parallel criminal investigation of the negligent driver.
When the evidence demonstrates that speed contributed to your accident and injuries, we can help you hold the at-fault driver liable for your injuries and other losses, which include:
- Medical expenses, current and future
- Loss of past and future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Physical impairment
- Wrongful death damages
- Punitive damages, if appropriate
How Our Houston Speeding Accident Lawyers Can Help
It’s wrong to immediately assume your injures were caused by a speeding motorist; but if you’ve been injured in a car accident, there is a good chance that speeding may have been involved. If you or a loved one has been in a Texas speeding accident, our Houston car wreck attorneys are ready to help you. Contact the accident and injury law office of Terry Bryant today to schedule a free initial consultation about your car accident and legal rights.
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