Speeding car accident

Our Experienced Florida Personal Injury Attorney Explains the Role of Speeding in Car Accidents and Its Legal Implications

We know how tempting it can be to speed, especially if you’re running late to work. Unfortunately, speeding carries an increased risk of accidents, particularly more severe accidents. It’s important to understand the risks and legal ramifications of speeding so you can choose safe driving behavior while on the road. Our experienced Florida car accident lawyer at Spetsas Buist explains how speeding affects accidents and how speeding may impact personal injury claims.

How Speeding Can Cause Accidents

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), speeding was a contributing factor in 29% of all traffic fatalities. Speeding can lead to accidents for a variety of reasons:

  • Higher speeds increase the chance of losing control. Speeding drivers may be more likely to swerve or otherwise lose control of the vehicle, especially if they are driving too fast in inclement weather, such as rain, snow, or ice.
  • Speeding increases stopping time and distance. Moving at faster speeds means drivers need more distance and time to stop. Drivers need to be able to stop if drivers in front of them stop or if there is debris or another object on the road, but the increased stopping time and distance of speeding create the risk that drivers will not be able to stop in time to prevent a collision.

How Speeding Can Affect the Severity of an Accident

Even minimal speeds above the legal limit dramatically increase the risk of accidents and fatalities. The risk of pedestrian death, for example, rises from 10% at 20 mph to 80% at 40 mph and nearly 100% at 50 mph or above.

Higher-speed collisions risk more severe injuries. High-speed collisions often cause whiplash, and drivers and passengers may experience a hard enough collision that their heads hit the wheel or windshield. At high speeds, the impact may cause severe injuries or even death. 

Some vehicle safety features also may not work correctly at high speeds. Seat belts and airbags protect those inside the car by reducing the force of the impact, but they may not work correctly at high speeds.

Drivers’ Reasons for Speeding

Drivers often have an excuse for their speeding, including:

  • Traffic making them late or making them angry, increasing the chance of risky driving behaviors
  • Running late for work or other events

Unfortunately, factors like the anonymity of driving while closed off from others or plain disregard for traffic laws also contribute to risky behaviors.

No matter a driver’s “reason,” speeding is both illegal and dangerous. Traffic laws exist to protect the lives and physical health of drivers, passengers, and pedestrians alike; disregard for those laws puts the driver and those around them at risk of injury or death.

Legal Repercussions for Speeding in Florida

In Florida, driving 30 mph or more over the speed limit is a traffic misdemeanor. If you’re caught driving 50 mph or more over the limit, you will be charged with a felony traffic violation. On the first instance, you will be charged a fine of $1,000. A second conviction requires a $2,500 fine and revocation of your license for one year. On a third offense, you may be charged with a third-degree felony; if convicted, you could be sentenced to five years in prison, five years of probation, up to $5,000 in fines, and license revocation for up to 10 years.

What Should I Do if I Was in a Speeding-Related Accident?

In the immediate aftermath of an accident, it’s important to remember the following steps:

  • Call 911
  • Seek medical attention
  • Document the scene of the crash with photos and videos
  • Gather insurance and contact information from all involved parties and witnesses
  • Avoid speaking to insurance companies before retaining an attorney

Once you’re away from the scene and have followed these steps, contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you negotiate with insurance, gather further evidence, and determine the best strategy for your case moving forward.

Our mission at Spetsas Buist is to treat each of our clients like family; we hold our attorneys to the highest standards so we can provide the excellent service and support you deserve. With regular experience helping clients win the full policy amount of compensation, we have the experience you need to protect your rights.