Speeding is a serious problem that can affect drivers in many negative ways. From making crashes more severe to resulting in dangerous close calls, speeding is a real issue that has to be addressed.
Many people think that speeding up just a little bit won’t make a big difference in a crash, but they couldn’t be more wrong. The increased force and impact of a high-speed crash could lead to death or permanent injuries when a slower collision may have left both parties walking away with minor injuries.
How does speeding have an effect on drivers?
Speeding has a few negative effects on drivers. First, speeding reduces the time drivers have to react to dangerous situations. Speeding also increases the time it will take for a vehicle to stop and reduces the visibility of road signs. Safety structures are also less helpful at high speeds, so crash cushions, median dividers and barriers may not be as protective as they’d be in other circumstances.
How does speeding affect injuries in a collision?
In 2018, speeding was a factor in over a fourth of all collisions in the United States. Perhaps unsurprisingly, those who are in higher-speed crashes are more likely to be badly hurt or killed. What isn’t as obvious is how speeding exponentially increases the risk of injury or death. Speeding up just a few mph more could be enough to take a crash from one that would be relatively minor to one where injuries, moderate or severe, are almost guaranteed.
While people can be, and sometimes are, badly hurt in lower-speed collisions, the likelihood is that those who are hit at lower speeds will be more likely to suffer minor or moderate injuries compared to those in faster crashes. Forces are much stronger as vehicles speed up, and the body can only mitigate some of that force before injuries are imminent.
As someone who drives regularly, remember: Driving slower could make a significant difference in your risk of injury in a collision. Your speed matters just as much as the other driver’s, so remember to slow down to prevent injuries.