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How Does Speed Affect Car Accident Damages

Written by Jared Staver

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Jared Staver is a Personal Injury Lawyer based in Chicago, Illinois and has been practicing law for over 20 years.

Jared Staver

CATEGORY: Auto Accidents, Personal Injury


It is common knowledge that speeding is dangerous. Although speeding makes an accident more likely, the speed at impact will determine the severity of the property damages and injuries.

If you were in a car crash that was caused by the negligence or recklessness of another person, and you have suffered injuries as a result, you may have a right to recover compensation. At Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., our Chicago accident attorneys can help you pursue your legal options to obtain the most favorable result possible on your behalf.

Call us today at (312) 236-2900 to schedule a free case evaluation to discuss your situation.

Understanding the Effects of Speed

States mandate speed limits on various roadways and highways to ensure the safety of motorists and pedestrians. The safest course of action is to adhere to the speed limit when driving. In fact, it can be more dangerous to drive slower than the designated speed limit than to keep your vehicle’s speed at the limit.

Automotive Fleet published a recent article that describes the concept of speed and its consequences using the example of a car driving off a 12-story building.

If you drive your vehicle at 65 mph, the speed you are traveling at is about the same speed your vehicle would travel if it was driven off a 12 story building. Therefore, the damage you and your car would suffer from driving off a 12-story building and a crash at 65 mph are extremely similar.

Small Speed Increases Can Make a Big Difference

Speed at impact has a significant effect on the degree and severity of property damage and injuries. According to the World Health Organization, a vehicle moving at 50 mph is 20 times more likely to be in a fatal car accident opposed to a vehicle traveling at less than 20 mph.

The crash force at 50 mph compared to 25 mph is four times as high. The crash force at 70 mph opposed to 25 mph is nine times as high. Even a relatively small increase in speed of five mph can increase the force of the collision enough to result in serious physical injuries and extensive property damages since force exponentially increases as speed increases.

A University of California at Berkeley study found that with each one percent increase in speed, the chance of a driver having an accident increases by two percent, the chance of a serious injury increases by three percent, and the chance of a death rises by four percent.

If a driver was traveling at 80 mph among other vehicles traveling at 70 mph, there is a 31 percent increased chance of crashing, a 49% increased chance of having an injury within the crash, and a 71 percent increased chance of the crash proving fatal.

Speed Affects Braking Time

Vehicle speed affects braking time which can significantly affect the damages incurred. A car moving at 30 mph may need 42 feet to arrive at a complete stop and thus, three seconds. Stopping distance is also affected by additional factors including: driver reaction time, tire pressure, brake quality, and road conditions.

Speeding With Distracted and Reckless Driving

Speeding with distractions as well as following too closely behind another vehicle is extremely unsafe. When you’re driving at a high speed, the slightest distraction could result in tragedy. If your eyes are lifted from the road for one second, your car can travel a significant distance within that second and increase your risk of an accident.

When driving, you should always make sure to follow the speed limit, allow a safe following distance, adjust your speed for traffic and inclement weather, and minimize any distractions.

Contact a Skilled Attorney Today

The results of your involvement in a vehicular crash can be devastating. You may be facing mounting medical bills and loss of employment due to injuries you have incurred. At Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., we can help you pursue the compensation to which you may be entitled for your damages and losses.

Contact us today at (312) 236-2900 to set up a free consultation about your case.

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(312) 236-2900
(312) 236-2900
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