How Does Speed Affect the Impact of a Car Crash?
Speed is a critical factor in motor vehicle collisions. There are two primary ways speed impacts car accidents. Firstly, speed increases the number of vehicle crashes. Secondly, speed makes crashes more severe.
Those who live in our area of Mississippi know that speeding is a major problem. Speeding is one of the top causes of car accidents in both Ocean Springs, MS and the nation as a whole. And when speed is a factor in a car accident, victims are much more likely to be seriously injured or killed.
Victims of speed-involved motor vehicle collisions may be able to recover financial compensation for their losses. If you were hurt or lost a loved one because of another driver’s reckless behind-the-wheel behavior, we may be able to help. The office of Corban Gunn, Attorney at Law fights for those whose lives were shattered by motorist negligence.
How does speed affect the impact of a car crash? We’ll look at why speeding causes more accidents—and what happens when you crash at high speed. If you have questions following an Ocean Springs car accident, schedule a free consultation with Corban Gunn, Attorney at Law to discuss your options for recovery.
Faster Driving Speeds Lead to More Car Accidents
Speeding doesn’t just mean driving above the posted speed limit. It also includes driving too fast for conditions. This could mean:
- Taking turns too quickly
- Aggressively tailgating to try to speed through traffic jams
- Driving fast in areas with high foot traffic, even if you’re operating your vehicle within the posted speed limit
- Not taking slippery or uneven road surfaces into account when you accelerate
- Driving faster than is safe when it’s raining, foggy, or visibility is decreased
The behaviors listed above are reckless. They fail to consider and make adjustments for potential risks. When a driver pays more attention to getting to their destination quickly than getting there safely, others may suffer the consequences.
A speeding driver is at high risk of causing an accident. Consider the following statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):
- Speeding has consistently been a factor in roughly one-third of all car crash deaths for more than 20 years.
- There were 9,478 speed-related car crash deaths in 2019 alone.
- The same year, 326,000 people were injured in speeding accidents.
- Drivers who speed and cause crashes are also more likely to be engaging in other risky behaviors—such as being intoxicated, not wearing a seat belt, or not carrying a valid driver’s license—at the time of the accident.
These thousands of injuries and deaths could have been prevented if a driver had operated their vehicle at a safer speed. There are countless excuses for speeding—you’re running late, you want to beat rush hour traffic, you lost track of the speedometer. But next time you think about stepping on the accelerator just a bit harder, ask yourself: Are any of these excuses worth risking someone’s life?
What Happens When You Crash at High Speed?
How does speed affect a car crash? High-speed crashes are more severe—and deadlier—than low-speed collisions. When a driver speeds, multiple hazards are heightened. Risks associated with speeding include:
- Loss of vehicle control
- Lowered effectiveness of seat belts, air bags, and other safety devices
- Higher fuel consumption and related costs
- Increased stopping distances
- Higher economic cost per crash
- Greater severity of injuries sustained
- Increased fatality rates
The higher the speed of the vehicles at the time of the collision, the more severe the impact. The likelihood of death or serious injury begins to increase significantly above 30 mph. Even the most road-safe vehicles have trouble holding up to the impact of a high-speed crash. The risk is even greater if the car was manufactured before many modern safety features were made standard. Older and poorly-maintained vehicles have little chance of withstanding a high-speed impact without significant structural damage.
However, vehicle damage is far less concerning than the damage that vehicle occupants can suffer. While automobile manufacturers continue to make improvements to the level of protection an auto body can afford the occupants inside, there is no way to guarantee complete safety. When two or more 3,000-pound machines collide with one another at 40, 50, 60, or even 70 mph, the results are often catastrophic. The human body is subject to extreme physical trauma in a high-speed collision, resulting in injuries such as:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Internal organ damage
- Broken bones
- Facial disfigurement
- Crushing injuries
- Loss of limb
- Nerve damage
- Internal bleeding
Speeding is even more dangerous to pedestrians. Data from the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that the faster the speed of the vehicle, the less likely a pedestrian is to survive if struck. Walkers struck by a car:
- Have a 90% chance of survival when the car is traveling 30 kph (18.6 mph) or below
- Have less than 50% chance of surviving an impact at 45 kph (roughly 28 mph)
- Have almost 0% chance of surviving an impact at 80 kph (almost 50 mph) or above
Legal Help for High-Speed Collision Victims
If a victim survives a high-speed crash, they could be facing a lifetime of medical care. Many people are deprived of their mobility or normal cognitive abilities. For some survivors of high-speed collisions, employment is no longer an option. This places an enormous burden on both the individual and their family members. If someone else’s negligence puts the family in this difficult position, it is only right that this negligent party takes responsibility for their actions.
Car accident lawyers work to protect auto crash victims from having their futures unjustly taken from them. At Corban Gunn, Attorney at Law, we believe that no one should suffer the consequences of another person’s wrongdoing. We support and protect car crash victims in Ocean Springs, MS and the surrounding areas. If you or a family member suffered severe injuries in a high-speed car crash, we can help defend your rights. We’ll work hard to make sure you have the financial resources to receive high-quality medical care as long as you need it.
Contact the office of Corban Gunn, Attorney at Law to schedule a free consultation today.
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