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How Speeding Impacts Car Accidents

Car speed night drive on the road in city

Speeding is a leading cause of car accidents, contributing to countless collisions each year. Speeding not only makes car accidents more likely to happen; it also makes any resulting crash much more forceful, with the result being more severe or catastrophic injuries to the accident victims. Speeding also has implications for determining liability and fault and recovering damages from the negligent driver who caused the crash. Read on as we explore the ways in which speeding plays a role in many collisions. If you or a loved one has been injured by a speeding or otherwise negligent driver in the Antelope Valley, contact the Kistler Law Firm to speak with an experienced and successful Lancaster personal injury lawyer.

The Dangers of Speeding

1. Reduced Stopping Distance and Reaction Time

One of the most significant ways speeding impacts car accidents is by reducing the driver’s stopping distance and reaction time. The faster a vehicle is traveling, the longer it takes to come to a complete stop. This is due to the increased momentum and kinetic energy that must be overcome by the brakes. Additionally, when a driver is speeding, they have less time to react to unexpected obstacles, such as a sudden traffic slowdown, a pedestrian crossing the road, or debris on the highway. This reduced reaction time can make it difficult to avoid a collision, leading to more frequent and severe accidents.

2. Increased Force and Severity of Crashes

Speeding not only makes accidents more likely but also makes them more forceful and injurious. The force of a collision is directly proportional to the speed of the vehicles involved. As speed increases, so does the impact force, resulting in more severe damage to the vehicles and a greater potential for injury to the occupants. High-speed crashes are more likely to cause catastrophic injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and fatalities.

Legal Aspects of Speeding in Car Accidents

1. Exceeding Posted Speed Limits

In Lancaster, California, and throughout the state, speed limits are set based on various factors, including road conditions, traffic flow, and safety considerations. Exceeding these posted speed limits is not only illegal but also increases the likelihood of being involved in a car accident. In the event of a collision, evidence of speeding can significantly impact the outcome of a personal injury claim. A driver cited for speeding after the crash might even be considered negligent per se without the injury victim having to provide other evidence of the driver’s negligence.

2. The Basic Speed Law

California’s Basic Speed Law requires drivers to never drive faster than is safe for current conditions, regardless of the posted speed limit. This means that even if you are driving at or below the posted limit, you could still be cited for speeding if conditions such as fog, rain, or heavy traffic make it unsafe to drive at that speed. Other factors that could require slowing down include the condition of the road and the presence of bicyclists or pedestrians in the vicinity. In the Antelope Valley, high winds and dusty conditions are frequent factors that could require driving under the posted speed limit for safety. In the context of a car accident, the Basic Speed Law can play a crucial role in determining liability, especially if it can be shown that a driver was traveling too fast for the conditions at the time of the crash.

Comparative Negligence and Personal Injury Claims

In California, the concept of comparative negligence can come into play regarding personal injury claims. Comparative negligence or comparative fault means that if the injury victim was also speeding or contributed to the accident in some way, their compensation may be reduced by their percentage of fault. For example, if a victim is found to be 20% at fault for an accident because they were speeding, their compensation will be reduced by 20%, even though the other driver was primarily responsible for causing the crash. It is essential for accident victims to understand how their own actions, including speeding, can impact their ability to recover damages. A skilled personal injury attorney will also be able to show when an injury victim’s alleged negligence, such as speeding, did or did not actually contribute to the accident or the severity of the injuries.

Contact the Kistler Law Firm for Help After a Car Accident Injury in Lancaster

If you have been hurt in a speeding-related accident, it is crucial to seek the guidance of an experienced personal injury attorney who can help navigate the complexities of your case and fight for the compensation you deserve. At Kistler Law Firm, we are dedicated to helping accident victims in Lancaster, California, and the surrounding areas. Call us today at 661-206-6990 to learn more about how we can assist you with your personal injury claim.

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