Personal Injury Lawyer Fort Worth Texas

Is Speeding Really Faster? NHTSA Wants to Set the Record Straight

A driver hold a car's shifter speeds down a highway in Texas.

For years, the number of serious and fatal speed-related car accidents slowly decreased in frequency. Now the trend is pointing back up. However, because speeding is a choice, drivers have the power to prevent these horrific accidents by choosing to drive responsibly.

This July, the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration (NHTSA) is seeking to increase awareness about the hazards and consequences of speeding with a media campaign. Their primary message is that contrary to what some may believe, exceeding speed limits and engaging in reckless driving behaviors can actually impede their progress and increase travel time.

Some drivers think speeding will get them ahead, but the data says otherwise

Texas is historically among the top 10 states reporting the most speed-related fatal crashes every year. Fatal crashes are evenly split into urban and rural communities, but serious-injury causing accidents are most likely to happen in the city. According to state data, here's how many speed-related accidents Dallas and Fort Worth had in 2022:

  • Fatal speeding accidents. Dallas, 212. Fort Worth, 114.
  • Serious injury-causing speed-related accidents. Dallas 1,004. Fort Worth, 449.
  • All other injury-causing crashes that involve speed. Dallas, over 9,300. Fort Worth, about 4,000.

How speeding slows you down

The first message in the campaign, "Speeding Slows You Down," highlights how speeding negatively impacts and slows down overall travel time and efficiency. This fact is hard for regular speeders to comprehend. But driving faster than speeds that are safe and legal will, overall, make them late. Here's how:

  • Congestion amplification. Speeding increases the likelihood of traffic congestion, as it reduces the space and time available for vehicles to maneuver safely. This can lead to a stop-and-go traffic pattern, causing delays for all drivers on the road.
  • Reduced reaction time. Driving at high speeds diminishes a driver's ability to react promptly to unexpected situations, such as sudden stops or lane changes by other vehicles. Consequently, speeding can increase the likelihood of collisions, requiring additional time for accident response, investigation, and potential medical attention.
  • Increased stopping distances. Higher speeds result in longer stopping distances. When a driver needs to brake suddenly, the distance traveled before coming to a complete stop is significantly greater at higher speeds. This increased stopping distance prolongs the time it takes to bring the vehicle to a halt, potentially leading to collisions or missed opportunities to avoid hazards.
  • Legal consequences. Speeding violations can result in legal penalties, such as fines, license suspensions, or mandatory driver's education courses. These consequences can disrupt a driver's routine and require time-consuming efforts to rectify the situation, leading to further delays.

The second campaign is "Speeding Catches Up With You." It emphasizes the long-term consequences and risks associated with speeding. Even if drivers do not experience immediate repercussions for their actions, the potential for harm remains.

The NHTSA's message serves as a reminder that the consequences of speeding can manifest over time, leading to accidents, injuries, and even fatalities. Speeding increases accident risk, reduces vehicle control, requires longer stopping distances, and amplifies crash forces, all of which put the driver, passengers, and others on the road at risk.

Holding reckless drivers accountable

When drivers break the posted speed limit or drive too fast for the conditions, they can't react quickly to change and may lose control of their vehicles. Speeding not only makes car accidents more likely, but it also makes them more severe. The higher the speed at the moment of impact, the more force – and the more serious the potential injuries might be.

If you were injured in a DFW-area accident involving a negligent driver, contact Coby L. Wooten, Attorney at Law, P.C. for information and guidance you can trust during a free case evaluation. With extensive experience in handling complex claims, our law firm is dedicated to fighting for the rights of accident victims. If you're seeking legal representation, we would be honored to discuss your potential case with you.

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Coby L. Wooten Attorney at Law, P.C.

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