Almost everyone who drives a car has done it. Some do it sparingly while others habitually do it every day. This is speeding. You can speed in one of two ways: by exceeding the posted speed limits, or by driving too fast for the conditions. If you’re lucky, both types of speeding can get you a speeding ticket. If you’re unlucky, they can cause a devastating accident.
People often regard speeding as a minor offense partly because it’s so easy to do and because car design does a good job of isolating drivers from the true danger of their situation. It makes them feel safe even though one small mistake or an unexpected traffic event can be just as deadly as driving their car off a cliff. For example, a car dropping off a cliff 120 feet high will hit the ground at 60 mph. This is a common highway speed. A collision with a solid object at such a speed on the highway will do a similar amount of damage.
In both cases, the destructive energy is the same. However, humans don’t have the same fear of speed as they do of heights.
Here are two reasons why Speed is dangerous:
Cars Are More Difficult to Control at High Speeds
Cars are able to accelerate, brake, and steer because of the traction between their tires and the pavement. The faster a car travels, the more force required to stop quickly or to turn sharply as is required when making last second maneuvers to avoid an accident.
Unfortunately, the traction provided by the tires and pavement remains about the same, whether moving at 5 mph or 80 mph. This is why cars spin out of control when their drivers attempt emergency maneuvers at extreme speeds. There isn’t enough traction to do what the driver wants. When driving on wet pavement, there is even less traction available, yet many people continue to drive as they would on dry pavement.
The Destructive Energy of Impact Increases with the Square of Your Speed
Doubling one’s speed quadruples the destructive energy that mangles a car when it hits a large tree or some other immovable object. It also quadruples the braking distance required to stop the car assuming anti-lock brakes are exerting the maximum possible traction between the tires and the pavement.
The faster you go, the greater the risk of injury or death from an accident. Higher speeds increase the likelihood that an impact with a pedestrian will be fatal. In addition to reducing your car’s braking and steering nimbleness, high speeds reduce the amount of time you have to recognize and react to a traffic emergency.
The saying that speed kills is true because of the reasons discussed above. If you or someone you love were injured because of the reckless or negligent actions of another motorist, seek the legal advice of an experienced car accident lawyer. There is no reason you should bear the cost of such an injury without fair compensation. Contact us at The Clardy Law Firm.