Maryland State Police responding to an auto accident in rural Queen Anne’s County, MD say that speed may have been a factor in the crash, which sent a woman to a local hospital with life threatening injuries. According to a March 5, 2018 article from ABC affiliate News Channel 47, first responders were forced to forcibly remove the victim from the vehicle, at which point she was airlifted to R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. The investigation continues on the factors that caused the victim’s SUV to veer off the road and collide with a tree near the shoulder of the highway. A preliminary review of the extensive damage to the vehicle indicates that excessive speed was a contributing factor, though officials are exploring other theories.
Speeding is a leading cause of Maryland car accidents that result in injuries and, because there are no justifiable reasons for it, a victim may have a strong claim for another driver’s negligence or recklessness.
Statistics on Speeding and Car Accidents
Speeding puts everyone on the road in danger, including the subject driver, other motorists, pedestrians, and law enforcement. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
- Speed was a factor in the deaths of 9,557 people in 2015;
- Over the last 20 years, speeding was associated with around 33% of all fatal vehicle crashes;
- Speeding is not attributable to any specific age group, is not linked to rural roads, does not occur more often on high speed limit highways, and is not connected to any group generally described as reckless or risk-seeking.
Effects of Speeding
There are a number of reasons speeding is so dangerous, but it is important to note that:
- It increases the likelihood that a motorist will lost control over the vehicle;
- Safety equipment intended to protect occupants is less effective when the driver is speeding;
- Stopping distance is greater;
- The higher degree of crash severity leads to more serious injuries; and,
- Victims are more likely to suffer psychological effects after a speed-related collision.
Reasons Motorists Speed
Outside of law enforcement, there is no legal justification for driving at an excessive speed. Still, many motorists still engage in this risky behavior by:
- Traveling over the posted limit to avoid or handle traffic congestion, often driven by road rage directed at slower motorists;
- Driving too fast when they are running late for work, school, an appointment, or other scheduled activity;
- Not paying attention to their speed;
- Traveling too fast for conditions, even where the speed is under the posted limit;
- Feeling insulated from the world outside the car, which can motivate a driver to engage in more reckless types of behavior;
- Developing a general disregard for others on the road and the law.
Speeding is one motorist behavior that can impact your life even when you are not the one driving too fast. If you were hurt in an auto accident where excessive speed was a factor, it is important to discuss your situation with an experienced attorney right away. Please contact Maryland attorney Michael A. Freedman to schedule a free consultation at our Glen Burnie or Owings Mills locations.
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