Car accidents can result in many different types of injuries ranging from burns from gasoline or flames, to crushing injuries or wounds from projectiles. Every crash is different, but one thing is true: The speed at which you travel has a lot to do with how serious your injuries will be.
Speeding killed approximately 10,111 people in 2016, which is over half of all traffic fatalities. Speeding is extremely dangerous, creating a risk for:
- Losing control of a vehicle
- Reducing how effective occupant protection equipment is
- Increasing fuel consumption
- Increasing stopping distance
- Increasing crash severity
Why do people choose to speed when it's obviously dangerous?
There are a few reasons why people choose to speed despite the risks. Those reasons include:
- Believing that they can speed without being held accountable or recognized
- Running late for work, school or events and feeling that they have to drive aggressively to make up for lost time
- Traffic congestion, which may lead to aggressive driving behavior as people attempt to make progress rapidly despite the driving conditions
Why is speeding dangerous for crashes?
Speeding even a few miles per hour faster than the limit begins to increase your risk of injuries significantly.
Here are a few examples to consider. First, imagine you're traveling at 25 mph. You hit a lamp post, but it's only enough to dent your bumper and damage the front end of your vehicle. Now, imagine you increase your speed by 10 mph. You're going around 40 percent faster, but the force of the impact is actually closer to 50 percent greater. Why? Force multiplies exponentially based on your speed. As a result, going just a few mph faster than the limit can mean forces that are much more likely to cause serious injuries or death.
What can you do to reduce your likelihood of injury in a crash?
Some of the worst crashes are those where two vehicles hit head on with no chance to brake. Why? There is no reduction in speed. If you see that you're going to crash, you should attempt to reduce your speed as much as possible. You should also try to put as much of your vehicle between yourself and the other vehicle as possible. You want your vehicle to take the brunt of the impact, because at highway speeds, there is a high risk of injury or death when two vehicles or more collide.