Speed and Vehicle Collisions: Cause and Effect?


Speed and Vehicle Collisions Cause and Effect

There has been a substantial amount of data published about speeding and the increased risk for collision. Faster drivers have earned a higher accident risk than drivers who do the speed limit. While there are many variables that affect the likelihood of a car accident like the weather conditions and conditions of the roadways, it seems that speeding has a direct impact on the potential for an accident, making the relationship between the two appear like one based on cause and effect.

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Types of Speeding

Most of us are familiar with speedsters. We see them race past us even when we’re driving five miles over the speed limit. We also see them fly through rain-drenched roads as if it were a sunny day with no reason to remember that temperatures might be hovering around the freezing point. If only everyone would simply stick to the speed limit! There are different types of speeding. You can speed by going over the designated speed limit, but you can also be driving too fast for road conditions. During a blizzard, the allowable speed limit, for example, is simply too fast to drive. There is also speeding that is undeniably reckless when coupled with other behaviors like weaving in and out of traffic or cutting other drivers off. Speeding, in each of these cases, is simply asking for trouble.

Who Is Speeding?

According to a recent report by USA Today, the speedsters on the road today are far and away likely to be men. 70% of speeders on our roads are men. This is something that drivers’ education classrooms need to address seriously. In addition, speeding drivers are more likely to be age 16-34. The need for speed appears to decrease with age. Driving experience seems to play a substantial role when it comes to speeding. Older drivers may simply understand the risks associated with driving fast.

The Dangers of Speeding

Speeding is a factor in 30% of fatal collisions today. According to USA Today’s report, about 1,000 Americans die each month in these collisions where speed is a factor. Just imagine how many lives might be saved of speeding could be avoided? The problem with speeding is that the driver simply does not have enough time to slow, stop, or maneuver their vehicle to avoid a crash. When you factor in other risks like poor road conditions, heavy traffic, weather, and even the driver’s lack of experience, you have a serious situation that could–and does–lead to serious consequences.

Speeding and Your Driver’s License

Speeding is, of course, against the law. If you are issued a ticket because of a speeding incident, you may very well consider yourself lucky if no collision was involved. If your speeding led to a car accident, you most likely should contact your attorney just as you should contact you lawyer if you were struck by a speeder.

The key is to stick to the speed limit. While driving at the legal limit is no assurance that you won’t be involved in a collision, it certainly doesn’t increased the likelihood that you will.

Speed Limits in the US

Speed limits are set by each state or territory in the US. Specific counties and municipalities are even allowed to lower the limits. 

The maximum speed limit can go as high as 85mph in rural interstate highways, with a minimum of at least 25mph in urban areas.

On four-lane highways, the limit is 65mph. And on all other highways, it’s 55mph. Some states have lower limits for trucks, while others have night and/or minimum speed limits.

If you are driving through a designated school zone, you must drop to 15mph. These aren’t always clearly signposted, so pay attention in any urban area. While there are fewer speed cameras in the USA than in the UK, many highway traffic police will hide waiting for speeding cars.

Here are the maximum speed limit in different US states and territories for your reference:

  • 85 mph Texas State Highway 130 (highest posted speed limit)
  • 80 mph Portions of Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Dakota, 

Texas, Utah, and Wyoming road networks

  • 75–80 mph Inland western states & Arkansas, Louisiana, Maine, and Michigan
  •  75 mph States east of the Mississippi River, much of Interstate 95 (I-95) in Maine 

north of Bangor, 600 mi (966 km) of freeways in Michigan

  • 70 mph West Coast, & inland eastern states
  • 65–70 mph Eastern Seaboard
  • 65 mph Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, 

Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, and Vermont

  • 60 mph Hawaii
  • 55 mph The District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands
  • 45 mph Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands

30 mph American Samoa