Atlanta recently received the dubious honor of being ranked 4th in the nation for having the most aggressive drivers, according to GasBuddy. Aggressive driving involves hard braking, swerving, but most often speeding. Accidents caused by speeding kill more people than any other accident factor, including drunk driving or distracted driving.
In the U.S, speeding accounts for at least one-third of all traffic fatalities every year, and has continued to be the single biggest factor contributing to crashes over the past two decades. In 2017, the last year for which conclusive data is available, speeding caused 27 percent of all traffic fatalities.
Speeding is a major traffic safety issue primarily because of the tremendous impact that results in an accident caused by speeding, compared to a moderate-speed accident. There are a number of other safety concerns associated with speeding. For example, data shows that motorists who are more prone to drive at high speeds are prone to other risk factors such as a failure to wear seatbelts. In 2016, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 49 percent of all people who died in speeding-related accidents were not wearing their seatbelts at the time of the crash, compared to 21 percent of motorists who were not in high-speed accidents.
Also, when a driver is speeding, he is much more likely to lose control of the vehicle and cause an accident. A car that is exceeding the speed limit requires a greater distance to come to a stop. This in turn increases the risk of a high speed rear-end accident. Injuries that result from a speeding related crash are much more serious, and often leave the person with long- term health consequences.
Keep in mind, though, speeding doesn’t just involve driving at speeds higher than the posted speed limit for the area. Speeding can also be defined as driving at speeds that are unsafe for the traffic, visibility, and weather conditions at any given time. Drivers are required to reduce their speed when visibility is poor, such as in foggy conditions, or when they are in heavy traffic. They are also required to slow down when they are driving in bad weather. Failure to do so can place a speeding motorist at risk of liability in a car accident claim.
If you have been injured in a car accident caused by a speeding motorist, you may be able to file a claim for damages. The police report made at the scene of the accident will be a valuable piece of evidence in support of your claim that the other motorist was speeding, and thus, negligent. Under Georgia law, drivers are required to exercise reasonable care while driving; driving over the speed limit does not comply with this duty. If the other driver received a ticket or citation for speeding, this is also a helpful piece of evidence to establish they were negligent.
A speeding-related car accident can result in serious injuries that require extensive medical treatment, including hospitalization, surgeries and long-term care. This in turn can result in significant medical bills. Your claim should account for all of these damages. You will also probably miss work for several days, weeks, or even months. Therefore, lost income should also be included in your claim. You may also qualify for damages for diminished future earning capacity and pain and suffering.
The Atlanta car accident lawyers at the Katz Law Firm represent victims of auto accidents in the metro Atlanta region and across Georgia. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries as a result of a car accident, talk to an attorney at our firm, and learn about your rights to compensation after an injury. Initial consultations are free.