How speed affects your car accident risk

At one time or another, every driver has either inadvertently or purposely exceeded posted speed limits. While doing so may seem harmless, it actually may lead to a couple of consequences. For example, you may receive a costly citation for speeding. Even worse, you are at greater risk for a severe car accident the faster you drive. 

The World Health Organization calls speeding the greatest risk factor for car crashes. Specifically, a 5% increase in speed raises your accident risk by 20%. Speed does not only increase your likelihood of having a car accident, though. It also increases your potential for having a severe one. Before you leave home for your next commute, you should understand why speeding affects your car accident risk. 

Accident risk 

Driving at the posted speed limit is a good way to minimize your accident risk. You should realize, however, that road conditions may require slower speeds. Regardless, when you speed, a few factors make a car accident more likely. First, fast-moving cars tend to be more difficult to control than their slower-moving counterparts. Also, it takes longer to stop a vehicle that is traveling quickly. Similarly, fast car speeds positively correlate with reduced reaction times. 

Accident severity 

Now that you see the connection between speeding and accident risk, you should think about the other side of the equation: the severity of high-speed crashes. The term, “fender-bender,” perfectly describes low-speed collisions. In these crashes, cars sustain minor damage, and motorists usually sustain none. High-speed accidents, by contrast, typically have vastly different results. Specifically, fast speeds cause accident forces to increase exponentially. 

It is impossible to overstate the danger of driving too fast. Therefore, you should always commit to traveling at a safe rate of speed. Nonetheless, you cannot control how other drivers behave. If a speeder has caused you to sustain a serious injury in a car crash, you likely must act diligently both to recover completely and to pursue reasonable compensation from the lead-footed motorist.