People often reference speeding infractions as an example of a victimless crime. Police officers may issue tickets to those who were simply following the flow of traffic on a busy highway. Everyone else traveled at a rate well over the speed limit, and so they did too.
Many people think of speeding as a traffic concern that the police shouldn’t target. They think that it is technically against the law, but the main person at risk is the person violating traffic statutes. However, that belief only applies when one only looks at those issued tickets during a traffic stop.
If you start to look at the bigger picture, including the rate at which speeding causes crashes, it becomes an issue that affects everyone on the road.
Speeding offenses are a leading cause of traffic deaths
Did you know that federal crash statistics indicate that excess speed causes more deaths than texting while driving? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, roughly one in three traffic fatalities is the direct result of one of the drivers involved exceeding the posted speed limit.
Thousands of others will end up seriously injured or suffering expensive property damage losses because somebody chose to drive faster than was responsible given the conditions on the road. The unfortunate truth is that the choice of other people around you to drive at an unreasonably high speed increases your potential risk for an injury or major property damage if they lose control of their vehicle or are unable to stop in time because of their speed.
Insurance and civil court are both paths toward justice
Sometimes, a police officer can quickly tell from the evidence available at the scene of the crash in the statement from the drivers and any witnesses involved that someone violated traffic laws in a significant way.
If the police report that they put together declares that the other driver is to blame, you will potentially be able to file a claim against their insurance. You may also have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit, especially when they exceeded the speed limit by more than just a few miles per hour.
Higher speeds, especially in residential areas, have an association with fatal pedestrian collisions and worse crash outcomes. Identifying speeding as a major source of car crash risk can help you both make safer driving decisions and know when to hold someone else accountable for their unsafe driving habits.