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The Dangers of Speeding on Texas Roads

Every year, thousands of preventable car accident injuries and deaths in Texas are caused by speeding drivers. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, 162,214 car accidents were caused by speeding in 2022 alone. Driving too fast for certain conditions is a dangerous practice that contributed to Texas being named one of the top states for fatal car accidents.

Why Is Speeding Such a Prevalent Problem in Texas?

Texas is the second largest state in America at 261,232 square miles. It can take hours to travel from one city to another in Texas, and days to cross the entire state. This is part of why Texas is the only state in the country that has an 85-mile-per-hour speed limit.

Texas’s speed limits were created using the 85 percent rule, where the speed at which 85 percent of drivers travel becomes the legal limit. While high-speed limits of 80 miles per hour and above are mostly reserved for rural areas, they contribute to the overall problem of speeding in Texas.

Increased Risk of Car Accidents

Speeding significantly reduces a driver’s ability to react quickly to changing roadway situations. If an unexpected hazard arises, such as a vehicle suddenly stopping or a pedestrian crossing the road, a driver who is exceeding the speed limit may not be able to react and stop the vehicle in time. By the time the driver notices the hazard, the vehicle may have traveled too far to brake in time to avoid a collision.

Inability to Brake Quickly

Stopping distances exponentially increase with the speed of a motor vehicle. If the speed of a vehicle doubles, the stopping distance when the brakes are applied is quadrupled. Data shows that a driver traveling 40 miles per hour goes twice as far before coming to a stop as a driver traveling 25 miles per hour. Driving at a safe speed decreases the stopping distance and reduces the odds of a collision.

Difficulty Navigating Dangerous Conditions

Speeding refers to driving too fast for conditions, not just exceeding the posted speed limit. Braking distance is affected by road and weather conditions. Braking on a wet road, for example, can make a vehicle hydroplane (when the tires lose contact with the road). A responsible driver adjusts his or her speed based on road, weather, and traffic conditions. Safe driving may mean driving well below the posted speed limit in dangerous situations, such as rain, fog, snow, or large traffic volumes.

Enhanced Crash Severity and Risk of Death

Speeding not only increases the odds of a car accident but also the severity of a crash. The injury severity of vehicle occupants in a car accident is determined in part by collision speed, as this affects the force of the impact. Higher driving speeds lead to higher collision speeds, which in turn cause more serious injuries. Thus, victims involved in a high-speed collision are more likely to suffer catastrophic and fatal injuries. A small reduction in speed can equal a large decrease in fatal crashes.

If you get injured in a car accident that involves speeding, contact the Austin car accident lawyers at FVF Law for a free case evaluation. You may be eligible for financial compensation for your medical bills, property repairs, and other losses.

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Fogelman & Von Flatern is a personal injury law firm that believes it matters why we practice law: to make sure good people in unfair circumstances who want reasonable options are taken seriously, especially by their attorney. We value transparency, compassion, and justice, and we strive to embody that in our practice. At FVF, you can trust that you've got the best people on your case, for the right reasons.

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