Why Speeding is a Factor in Many Minnesota Car Crashes

driver exceeding speed limit time lapseSpeeding kills thousands of people on U.S. roads every year. In 2019, an average of more than 25 people per day were killed in traffic crashes involving speeding. More than one-quarter of the total traffic deaths that year were caused by crashes in which speeding was a factor, according to statistics compiled by the National Safety Council.

Speeding is a factor in a crash if the driver was cited for a speeding-related traffic offense, was driving too fast given the conditions, or exceeding the posted limit.

Our licensed attorneys explain the dangers of speeding and why it often makes a crash much more likely to happen. We also discuss some ways you can reduce your risk of a crash involving speeding drivers.

If you were injured in a crash caused by speeding, give our firm a call today to learn how our Minneapolis auto accident attorneys may be able to assist you. The damages caused by these crashes are often catastrophic and victims who do not retain a licensed attorney often struggle to recover all the compensation they may need.

Why is Speeding So Common?

There are a lot of behaviors and bad habits that people know are dangerous, but they engage in them anyway. Smoking cigarettes is a prime example, as there is so much evidence smoking can have severe or even life-threatening consequences.

People also know speeding is a bad idea, but they still do it, often on a regular basis. There are various reasons why. However, it is important to remember drivers are making a conscious decision to speed, or at the very least, not slow down when they realize they are exceeding the speed limit.

Common reasons drivers speed include:

  • Running late on a commute to a job, school or an event that starts at a specific time, such as a concert, sporting event or a movie
  • Being distracted by something and ignoring the speedometer; common distractions include texting while driving, talking to passengers, fiddling with the stereo, eating or drinking.
  • Being angry at being stuck in traffic – once traffic clears and drivers have more room they often speed to make up for the time they lost while they were stuck in traffic
  • Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol often causes drivers to engage in reckless behaviors, like speeding
  • Complete disregard for any traffic laws, which means they constantly break traffic laws and speed, even in places with low-speed limits, such as parking lots and neighborhoods
  • Feeling like they can get away with it because they feel less constrained being inside a car
  • Lacking driving experience, which may result in speeding without realizing it
  • There are more drivers on the road driving more miles than ever before

Exceeding the speed limit is a negligent behavior, and not just because it is against the law. Speeding is irresponsible because it makes it easier to lose control of your vehicle and gives you less time to react to avoid a crash.

You are obligated to follow traffic laws and operate your vehicle in a reasonably safe manner to help prevent injuries to yourself and others you are sharing the road with. Even though drivers may feel detached from others because they are in a car, they must consider others when making decisions about the operation of their vehicle.

Why Does Speeding Make a Crash More Likely to Occur?

Despite alarming statistics and warnings about the dangers of exceeding the speed limit, many people still do not understand the risks involved.

Below, we discuss why speeding can greatly increase your risk of a crash:

  • Higher risk of losing control of your vehicle – The faster you go the harder it is to maintain control of your vehicle. If you are speeding and you move the steering wheel just a little too much, you could start to lose control. If you jerk the steering wheel while you are speeding, your car could start to spin or even rollover. Rollovers are particularly common in larger vehicles with a higher center of gravity, like SUVs and large trucks. Small mistakes are magnified when you are speeding. A small mistake at a slower speed is often much easier to correct.
  • Increase in stopping time – The faster an object is moving, the longer it will take to stop. When you speed, you are giving yourself less time to stop as you approach a dangerous situation on the road. No matter how hard you press down on the brakes, you may not have enough time to stop to avoid danger. That is why speeding drivers often cause rear-end crashes. They run out of time to stop to avoid hitting the bumper of the car in front of them.
  • Increased risk of a rollover crash – Speeding on a turn is never a good idea, but it is an especially bad idea in a taller vehicle like an SUV or crossover. Speeding while turning in one of these vehicles could cause the vehicle to tip in the opposite direction of the turn.
  • Less control in bad weather – No matter how fast you are going, controlling your vehicle in bad weather is going to be more difficult. Speeding just makes things even more dangerous. Your tires are going to have more trouble maintaining traction in rain or snow. Speeding only makes this problem worse. It is important to give yourself more time to react in bad weather, particularly because there are other negligent drivers who could make things more dangerous.

What Can You Do to Avoid Speeding Drivers?

Sometimes it is impossible to avoid a crash with a reckless driver. You could end up in a crash through no fault of your own. Fortunately, there are some preemptive steps you may be able to take to lower your risk of a crash with a speeding driver.

  • Watch for negligent drivers – It is incumbent on you to be aware of your surroundings and the drivers surrounding your vehicle. Noticing a negligent driver may give you the time you need to move away and potentially avoid a crash.
  • Move away from drivers who are speeding – You can either slow down or try to change lanes to move away from a driver who is speeding. If a speeding driver is behind you, change lanes to allow him or her to pass.
  • Avoid eye contact – It is important to avoid eye contact with negligent drivers, particularly those who look angry. Eye contact could make the driver even angrier and lead to a road rage incident.
  • Call the police to report reckless drivers – If you see a reckless or speeding driver, and you can get the license plate as the driver passes, call the authorities. They may be able to pull the driver over and issue a citation. Getting the driver off the road even for a few minutes could help prevent a crash.

Injured by a Negligent Driver? Give TSR a Call Today

For more than two decades, our firm has been helping car crash victims secure compensation to help them put their lives back together. We helped many crash victims reach favorable settlements with insurance companies and have also taken many cases to court to secure the justice and compensation our clients were seeking.

There are no upfront fees or obligations with our services. Our attorneys are not paid for representing you unless you are compensated.

TSR Injury Law is here to help crash victims. Call (612) TSR-TIME.

Minnesota Traffic Deaths Hit a 14-Year High in 2021

flower memorial on roadsideIn 2021, 497 lost their lives in traffic crashes in Minnesota, which is a 14-year high for traffic deaths in the state.

The state saw an average of 378 traffic deaths per year between 2016 and 2020, which raises many questions: What happened? Why was last year so much deadlier on our state’s roads?

According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, speeding was the leading cause of traffic deaths last year, as it accounted for 162 deaths.

There were also 124 fatal crashes caused by alcohol use and 24 caused by distracted driving. There were also 109 motorists who were not wearing their seat belts when they suffered fatal injuries in traffic crashes.

Unfortunately, once the pandemic started, drivers seemed to believe the police were not enforcing traffic laws. This may have led to an increase in risky driving behaviors, according to Office of Traffic Safety Director Mike Hanson.

The increase in traffic fatalities in Minnesota is part of a larger increase in traffic deaths across the nation. There was a nearly 20 percent increase in traffic deaths between January and June of last year compared to the same period in 2020. More than 20,160 people were killed in traffic crashes on U.S. roads between January and June of 2021.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration discovered average speeds went up in the last three quarters of 2020. Drivers traveling at extreme speeds – 20 miles per hour over the limit – also became more common. The number of motorists not wearing their seat belts also increased between March 2020 and June 2021.

The U.S. Department of Transportation is planning to roll out its first National Roadway Safety Strategy later this month. However, no matter what the national strategy is, Minnesota’s Office of Traffic Safety is planning to redouble its own efforts. Specifically, it plans to sharpen social media messages to speeders and those who do not wear seat belts.

Traffic safety advocate Sarah Risser wants the Minnesota Department of Transportation to put centerline rumble strips on more roads and install more roundabouts to make drivers slow down. She would also like to see some changes to the state legislature. For example, increasing fines for distracted driving and making the consequences for drunk driving offenses more meaningful.

“Government officials must seize the moment and move beyond the public message campaign,” said Risser.

Call TSR Injury Law for Legal Help After a Fatal Crash

If you were injured or lost a loved one in a car crash, our licensed Bloomington car accident lawyers may be able to help you. An initial consultation is free of charge and there are no legal obligations after meeting with us in a free legal consultation.

We know this is a difficult time for you and your family, and we are here to help. Our focus throughout the legal process is on our clients and their best interests.

Give us a call today to discuss your situation. (612) TSR-TIME

How Crash Damage May Be Used as Evidence of Speeding

black speedometer in carDo you think the driver who caused your crash was speeding?

Proving the other driver was speeding may be difficult without the help of an experienced attorney who has taken on these cases before. You need a lawyer who knows how to obtain evidence of speeding. For example, it may be possible to prove speeding by citing damage to both vehicles.

Victims of speeding-related crashes should consider seeking experienced legal help. The attorneys at TSR Injury Law have recovered millions in compensation on behalf of car crash victims. We have been assisting injury victims in Minnesota for more than 20 years.

What Vehicle Damage May Say About the Cause of the Crash

Rear-end crashes result in damage to the lead car’s bumper and damage to the rear car’s front end. Depending on the speed of the crash, there could also be damage to the engine block, radiator, or other things under the hood. The faster the rear car is traveling, the more likely it is to sustain significant damage from the crash.

Rear-ending another car at high speed may indicate distracted driving, as a driver who was paying attention may have been more likely to slow down sooner and avoid a crash or not hit the lead car as hard. However, it could also indicate speeding, as a car traveling at a slower speed may have been more likely to stop and avoid a collision.

This is just one example of how vehicle damage may indicate whether the at-fault driver was speeding. The collision rating for your vehicle may also indicate how fast the other vehicle was traveling when the collision occurred.

Vehicle manufacturers have collision ratings for all their vehicles. Collision ratings describe the amount of damage done based on the speed of the at-fault driver’s vehicle. When your car is taken to a repair shop to assess the value of damage, the shop will look at the damage done and link that to the appropriate collision rating. This may indicate if the other driver was traveling over the speed limit.

Your attorney may want to bring in an accident reconstruction expert, and this person may refer to vehicle damage to describe the cause of the crash. For example, if the speed limit where the crash occurred was only 25 or 35 miles per hour, and your vehicle sustained catastrophic damage, this may serve as proof the other driver was speeding.

Other Evidence to Build a Case for Speeding

Fortunately, vehicle damage is not the only form of evidence that may help your lawyer prove speeding. Other physical evidence from the scene may indicate speeding.

For example, skid marks may indicate the speed of the at-fault driver’s vehicle. Cars that were speeding are likely going to leave longer skid marks compared to cars that were not speeding. Cars that are speeding also take longer and need more room to stop compared to cars that are not speeding.

Road debris may also be indicative of speeding. The faster vehicles are traveling, the farther debris may get flung from the point where the two vehicles collided. If possible, take pictures of debris created by the crash. If you can, get pictures from many different angles, as this can better help your attorney assess the speed of the vehicles involved in the collision.

Other types of evidence that may help prove another driver was speeding includes:

  • Police reports – The police report should list traffic citations issued for the crash. The officer may also give his or her opinion as to who caused the crash and why.
  • Witness statements ­– Witnesses in other cars or pedestrians may have seen the crash. While they cannot know how fast the vehicles were traveling, he or she may be able to tell if one car looked like it was speeding. For example, if a car was weaving in and out of traffic, the driver was likely speeding.
  • Camera footage – Dashcam footage or security camera footage may be available. Your attorney may be able to use the footage to prove the other driver was speeding.                          

Call TSR Injury Law Today to Schedule a Free Consultation

Speeding continues to be one of the leading causes of car crashes, and many of these crashes result in serious injuries or fatalities. Victims and their loved ones should seek experienced legal representation, as those who hire lawyers often recover more in compensation compared to those who do not.

The initial consultation with one of our experienced Minneapolis auto accident lawyers is free of charge and there is no obligation to take legal action after this meeting.

TSR Injury Law. Millions Recovered. Call (612) TSR-TIME.