According to figures published by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Highway Loss Data Institute, roughly 29 percent of all fatality crashes involved excessive speed on the part of one or more drivers. While most motorists consider speeding as driving over the posted speed limit, it also encompasses driving too fast for road conditions. For those who have been involved in a speed-related collision, consulting with a Friendswood auto accident attorney can ensure the most positive outcome and the highest possible compensation for injuries and damages. The Right Speed for Road Conditions Posted speed limits are designed to reflect the maximum safe speed during ideal weather conditions. Rain, snow and ice can significantly reduce the ability of vehicles to stop and to maneuver effectively on the road. In 2014, the Texas Department of Transportation (TDoT) recorded accidents related to speed in two categories:
- An estimated 24,172 accidents statewide involved drivers who were operating their vehicles under the posted speed limit but too fast for road conditions.
- An additional 3,160 accidents were attributed to driving over the posted speed limit.
TDoT figures indicate that 729 of the fatality accidents that occurred in 2014 were at least partially caused by excessive speed on the part of one or more drivers. Adjusting speed downward can significantly reduce the likelihood of a serious accident in inclement weather conditions. Serious Economic Consequences The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that speed-related accidents cost our society upwards of $40 billion each year. This figure includes the income and productivity lost by drivers killed in these crashes, the medical expenses and long-term therapy required by injured patients and the property damage generally associated with speed-related accidents. Young male drivers are statistically most likely to be involved in high-speed collisions. Because of their youth, the economic impact of their deaths is far greater than that of older individuals who might be involved in similar accidents. Alcohol and Speeding: A Fatal Combination Driving under the influence of alcohol also plays a major role in fatality accidents involving speeding. According to 2012 figures released by the NHTSA, 42 percent of drivers involved in fatal high-speed car crashes were found to have blood alcohol concentrations of .08 or higher. Only 16 percent of drivers who were not speeding at the time of a fatal crash were legally drunk at the time of the incident. More Than the Price of a Ticket For drivers in Texas, the real cost of speeding can add up to much more than the occasional ticket. Insurance rates can increase significantly for as long as three years after the citation; additionally, points may be assessed for each moving violation. For drivers who accumulate six points in a single year, a surcharge of $100 payable to the Department of Public Safety will be required for the first six points. Each point after that will be assessed a surcharge of $25 per point. Habitual speeding can quickly add up to significant added costs for drivers and could, in some cases, result in the loss of driving privileges in the state of Texas. If you or someone you know has been involved in a speed-related accident, retaining the services of an experienced Friendswood car crash lawyer can be a good first step toward ensuring fair compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering and other damages caused by these incidents. Your Friendswood personal injury attorney can provide the legal guidance needed to document the circumstances of the accident and to even the playing field in negotiations with insurance companies. If a fair settlement cannot be reached, your lawyer can represent your case to make sure that you achieve the best possible outcome and that negligent drivers are held responsible for their actions in a court of law.