Over the last Memorial Day weekend, Chicago police increased their traffic patrols and enforcement activities, specifically targeting speeding, which has been a concern since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
In April, the National Safety Council (NSC) reported a 14% increase in speeding across the nation. And, although fewer drivers have been on the roadways over the last few months, the risk of deadly accidents is higher. Sean Loughran, Chicago Police Commander, stated that particularly in Illinois, there has been an 11% increase in traffic fatalities. A major reason: Some drivers have been taking advantage of the emptier roadways and speeding.
Speeding – a prime cause of car accidents
Along with distracted driving and drunk driving, speeding remains one of the top causes of car accidents. This is in part due to the fact that drunk driving and distracted driving often also include speeding. Disregarding speed limits can lead to serious consequences in terms of not only vehicle damage, but human lives.
Hazards caused by speeding
Speeding is not just exceeding the speed limit. It can involve driving too fast for current road conditions (rain, ice, snow, debris), traffic density, or construction zone activities.
Negative consequences and hazards resulting from speeding for drivers, passengers, and pedestrians include:
- Greater chance of rollovers (particularly in vehicles with a higher center of gravity – SUVs, trucks)
- Longer stopping distance
- Greater crash severity due to faster velocities and the resulting impact
- Greater risk of losing steering and control of the vehicle
As mentioned above, the increased stopping time that results from speeding is one of the most dangerous consequences. A vehicle moving at 30 mph requires about 110 feet to arrive at a complete stop. A vehicle traveling twice that speed (60 mph) requires almost three times the stopping distance – 300 feet – the length of a football field. When speeding is combined with other dangerous driving activities like following too closely behind, the results can be disastrous and even deadly for everyone in the vicinity, including passengers, drivers, and pedestrians.
Speeding often accompanies other dangerous and aggressive roadway activities like road rage and drag racing. The former is due to an emotionally-charged situation usually sparked by an incident like a driver being cutoff or causing a near-miss of some type. There is no justification for road rage or the dangerous speeding that sometimes accompanies it. Additionally, drag racing on empty streets or highways may sound exciting, but it is wrought with dangers, and it is against the law.
Other than the dangers and risks mentioned above, speeding can also cause insurance rates to skyrocket, add points to a person’s driving record, and increase consumption of fuel. All around, speeding is a risk not worth taking.
If you or a loved one has been in a car accident due to another driver speeding or driving erratically, our Chicago car crash attorneys at Gainsberg Law P.C. are here to help. To set up a free case review, give us a call today at 312.600.9585 or use our contact form.