Many drivers speed in Kansas and Missouri, despite the increased danger that they'll cause motor vehicle accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), speeding was a contributing factor in 27 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities in 2017, and resulted in 9,378 deaths in 2018. Thousands more victims suffer long-term, debilitating injuries in these accidents.
If you or a family member was injured in a speeding motor vehicle collision, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more from the negligent motorist. However, you will need the assistance of an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney to prove that speeding was the cause of your crash and the seriousness of your injuries.
Why Do People Speed?
According to NHTSA, speeding is a form of aggressive driving. There are two ways people speed:
- Driving above the posted speed limit—also a traffic law violation
- Driving too fast for weather conditions, such as fog, rain, snow, and ice, even if an individual is actually driving at or below the posted limit
Top reasons for speeding include:
- Frustration. Some people respond to traffic congestion and other motorists’ aggressive driving by fighting fire with fire—speeding, zigzagging through traffic, and other actions reflecting their road rage.
- Busyness. In our fast-paced world, many of us have too much on our to-do lists, which often causes behaviors such as running late, over-scheduling, and rushing through many errands in one trip. People speed to reach destinations more quickly.
- Disregard. Some individuals speed because they simply don't care about following traffic laws or the rights of others.
What Are the Consequences of Speeding?
Speeding dramatically increases the dangers of an accident. The risk of a collision is even greater if the driver is also engaging in other unsafe practices, like weaving between lanes or distracted driving.
Speeding is often the cause of or a contributing factor in rear-end collisions, head-on crashes, side-impact accidents, and many other types of motor vehicle accidents. Here are some reasons why:
- A driver is more likely to lose control of their vehicle.
- Protection equipment, like airbags and seat belts, are less likely to operate effectively.
- A driver has less time to react to surrounding traffic and avoid causing a collision.
- It takes the length of a football field or more for someone to efficiently slow down or stop to avoid an accident.
- The rate of speed makes maneuvering around a curve nearly impossible.
- There's a higher risk not only of accidents, but also more severe injuries or fatalities caused by them.
Injuries Caused by Speeding Accidents
The speed of a motor vehicle has a direct connection to the force of impact in the accident—this makes the injuries that victims suffer more catastrophic. They frequently need expensive medical treatments throughout their lives and are unable to return to work. Here are some common injuries caused by speeding:
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Fractures and broken bones
- Spinal cord and back injuries
- Internal bleeding and organ damage
- Traumatic brain injuries
Five Crucial Steps to Take After a Speeding Accident
If you or a family member is injured or dies due to a motor vehicle accident, there are critical immediate actions you must take to protect your health and legal right to compensation.
- You should be examined by a doctor within 48 hours, even if you don’t think you're hurt, in case you have any hidden injuries.
- Call police to the crash scene and obtain a copy of the police report.
- Gather all contact information for the other driver and their insurance information, as well as the contact details for eyewitnesses.
- Document the scene with photos, including damage to the vehicles, your injuries, and anything else you think might be helpful.
- Research, just like you are now, how an attorney with expertise handling motor vehicle accidents can help you file a claim, collect evidence, and negotiate a proper settlement so you receive all the compensation you deserve.
Were You Injured In a Kansas City Area Car Accident?
If a motorist was speeding or caused you to become injured through other negligent actions, you need to speak with an experienced motor vehicle accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.