SPEEDING IS ON THE RISE, AND SO ARE AGGRESSIVE DRIVING CRASHES
Speeding and aggressive driving are leading to thousands of fatalities on the roads each year, and hundreds of thousands of serious injuries. If you were involved in a collision with a speeding driver or an aggressive driver, you stand a good chance at being able to prove their negligence, and therefore win your personal injury claim against them.
Negligence Through Speeding or Aggressive Driving
In order to win a personal injury claim, you must establish negligence or recklessness, and be able to link that party’s actions to your damages. In a traffic collision resulting in bodily injury, negligence can be established by speeding, careless driving, falling asleep at the wheel, aggressive maneuvers, or other actions taken by a driver. Recklessness is the wanton disregard for others’ safety, and it can include speeding 30 miles per hour over the limit, drunk driving, or doing other reckless maneuvers such as intentionally forcing others off the road. Speeding and aggressive driving are commonly used to establish the cause of collisions, and therefore liability.
Almost All Drivers Speed. Why is This Form of Breaking the Law So Universally Acceptable?
Everyone knows that speeding is dangerous, yet nearly everyone does it during every car trip they make. It is widely accepted that doing five miles per hour over the speed limit is “okay,” at least in terms of being safe from receiving a speeding ticket. But the difference between 30 miles per hour and 35 miles per hour, for example, can be the difference between life and death. In fact, studies show that the risk of a pedestrian dying when struck by a car traveling at 30 miles per hour is nine percent, but once that speed goes up to 40 miles per hour, the likelihood of the pedestrian being killed is 50 percent. The difference between just 25 and 30 miles per hour is huge; pedestrians struck at 25 miles per hour are twice as likely to survive as those struck at 30 miles per hour, according to Outside.
The same is similar for vehicle occupants. The higher the speed, obviously the greater the risk of serious injury. Despite the risks, 46.1 percent of drivers in a survey said they drove 15 miles per hour over the speed limit on a highway in the last month, and 43.5 percent said they drove over 10 miles per hour over the speed limit of a residential street in the last month, according to a AAA survey and the National Conference of State Legislatures. Even more striking was a study, reported on by Wired, that revealed that 100 percent of drivers surveyed said it was acceptable to speed by at least five miles per hour. Speeding remains among one of the most socially acceptable violations of the law, despite the obvious dangers it causes to others.
Speed Limits Are Increasing Across the Nation Due to Special Interest Groups
Speed limits around the country have been raised in the last decade, despite warnings from AAA, the National Safety Council, and other safety advocacy groups. Here in Florida, the maximum highway speed limit was increased from 70 to 75 miles per hour. Highway speed limits have been steadily increasing for decades ever since the OPEC-era federal speed limit—set not for safety but for fuel conservancy during the fuel shortage—was lifted in 1995, according to Bloomberg. Motor vehicle lobby groups have been eagerly pushing through legislation to increase speed limits ever since, including in very recent years. Sadly, legislatures who vote for these increased speed limits are aware that they are directly sacrificing lives for convenience.
Aggressive Driving Is On The Rise As Well as Speeding
Not only are more drivers speeding, and speed limits being increased, but aggressive driving is also on the rise, according to AAA. Aggressive driving includes:
- Tailgating to get the car in front to move out of the way or drive faster;
- Excessive honking;
- Swerving through traffic;
- Cutting others off (failing to yield right of way);
- Flipping off or yelling at other road users, including cyclists and pedestrians;
- Running red lights or stop signs;
- Passing in no pass zones;
- Intentionally coming close to cyclists, motorcyclists, pedestrians, or other motorists;
- Slamming on the brakes of a tailgater or coming around another road user and then suddenly slamming on the brakes; and
Call a St. Pete Personal Injury Attorney
An experienced personal injury attorney can help you prove that the other driver’s speed or aggressive maneuvers lead to the crash you were injured in. To talk to a St. Pete car accident lawyer at Waggener Law, Pllc today, call 727-685-8000 to schedule a free consultation.