It may sound simple, but when you drive too fast, you are more likely to be involved in a motor vehicle wreck. And yet, as our Indianapolis car accident lawyer emphasizes, many drivers continue to break the law and exceed the speed limit. Understanding the reasons people speed and the dangers speeding creates for motorists may help us all make an effort to slow down to save lives and prevent fatal auto crashes.
Reasons People Speed on Indianapolis Roads
You’ve made excuses for speeding yourself, so it may come as no surprise that people often have what they feel are valid reasons for exceeding the speed limit. The National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently conducted a study of the motivations behind speeding. They found that people’s reasons for speeding fall into to a few main categories. They are the following:
- Situational factors. People often speed because of the situation. For example, the study found that many people report speeding only when on an empty road on a long-distance trip. Others admitted to speeding when they were in a hurry or running late.
- Social pressure. When traffic is flowing quickly, many drivers report feeling pressure to keep up, even if that means breaking the speed limit. Also, they report feeling that they won’t get a speeding ticket if everyone is speeding.
- Inattention. A common reason given for speeding is simply not paying attention to the speed they are driving. Factors such as traffic flow, driving a powerful vehicle, and playing music were cited as contributors to speeding. Some drivers also blamed their speeding on being distracted by technology or passengers.
- It feels good. Some drivers report that they speed simply for the fun of it. They say that they feel powerful when driving fast, particularly if they drive a sports car. This type of thrill-seeking driver is also more likely to report that they feel aggressive behind the wheel.
Who Is Most at Risk of a Speeding Related Car Accident in Indiana?
NHTSA reports that 26 percent of the 32,675 traffic fatalities in 2014 were speeding-related. Nearly 10,000 people were killed on our roads because someone exceeded the speed limit. Additional analysis from NHTSA indicates the following:
- Young men speed the most. 15- to 24-year-old men were the drivers most often found to have been speeding when involved in a fatal accident or one that caused a serious injury. They make up 38 percent of speed-related fatal crashes.
- Speeding often involves alcohol. 41 percent of all speeding drivers involved in a fatal crash had a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or higher. This connection between alcohol and speeding is not surprising, given that alcohol impairs judgment and decision-making.
- Motorcyclists often speed. 33 percent of all motorcycle riders were speeding when they were involved in deadly motorcycle crashes, higher than drivers of any other type of vehicle. The risk-taking personality of many bikers, combined with the power of sports bikes can make for a deadly combination.
- Speed-related accidents happen on local roads. Only 13 percent of speed-related fatalities occurred on interstate highways. This means that 87 percent of deaths caused by speeding happen on rural two-lane roads, city streets, and in town shopping districts.
While young men, motorcyclists, and drunk drivers may be most at risk of being involved in a fatal crash, that does not mean that they are always the victims. Innocent drivers who are respecting the speed limit can suffer at the hands of these reckless drivers. If you are injured in a crash caused by speeding, you may need the help of a personal injury attorney experienced in car accident cases.