Speeding can absolutely cause car accidents, but warnings about that sometimes fall on deaf ears. If you tell someone that breaking the speed limit increases the chances that they’ll crash, they may just tell you that they trust their own skills as a driver or that they’ve been speeding for years without crashing, so it’s safe for them.
Another way to approach this risk, then, is by looking at the way that speed changes the ramifications of an accident. Are these risks people are really willing to take?
5 ways speeding contributes to damage in a car crash
There are numerous ways that speeding contributes to car accidents, as noted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, but let’s take a look at just five:
- Excessive speed makes the protection systems in the car — airbags, crumple zones, seat belts — less effective.
- Speeding gives a driver less reaction time and less space to reduce their speed before impact.
- Speeding increases the severity of the accident as a whole. A crash at 25 miles per hour looks vastly different than one at 85 miles per hour.
- Speeding increases the force involved in the impact, which increases the severity of the injuries those in the crash suffer.
- Finally, speeding increases the odds that the crash will be fatal.
Looking at this list makes it clear that everyone would benefit from slowing down and following the speed limit. Unfortunately, not everyone is going to do so. If a speeding driver hits you, you may lose a loved one or suffer catastrophic injuries, and you need to know what options you have.