Every day we hear news stories about tragic losses in life and
property due to motor vehicle accidents. Speeding is among the leading causes of road accidents. Awareness of its consequences can do so much in preventing and cutting down accidents.
Emergency medical technicians and volunteer first aiders respond to countless cases of car crashes every year. Emergency services personnel see the tragic consequences of these accidents firsthand. There are different factors that can cause accidents and one of the most common is speeding. Speeding refers to exceeding the set speed limit or driving too fast for road conditions.
In 2004, speeding accounted for at least 30 percent of all fatal crashes, causing 1,000 deaths every month or a total of 13,192 deaths. Many motorists feel a surge of adrenaline when they speed on the road. Unfortunately, speeding decreases the driver’s ability to respond to unexpected road hazards, increases the distance needed for a full halt, and significantly increases impact and severity once crash occurs.
In the US, the economic cost of speeding-related road accidents is estimated to be at least 40 billion dollars per year. As such, the government has enforced laws that set maximum speed limits at certain roads. In addition, heightened awareness campaigns, increased law enforcement and road safety measures are taken to ensure that motorists do not overspeed.
Young males and teen drivers are most likely to be involved in speeding-related car crashes. Male drivers between the ages of 15 to 20 are most commonly involved in fatal car crashes due to over-speeding. Interestingly, the likelihood of being involved in a speeding accident decreases as a person age. Perhaps, awareness of road safety comes with age and maturity.
Drinking under the influence of alcohol or drugs is also a common cause of speeding. Use of substances increases the likelihood of speeding. Roughly half of intoxicated drivers get involved in fatal car accidents due to speeding. And most of these accidents occur in the dead of the night, from midnight to 3 am.
Experienced first aiders and emergency medical personnel can attest to the severity of speeding accidents. The faster the vehicle runs, the greater the risk of fatal injuries and deaths in a motor vehicle accident. The severity of a crash is doubled when a car speeds more than 50 percent of the speed limit. For example, a head-on collision at 35 mph is more violent than at 25 mph.
One important safety feature that can help significantly cut the severity of injuries is the use of seat belts. But sadly many drivers involved in speeding accidents do not often wear seat belts; ultimately resulting in serious injuries and even deaths.
The number of road vehicle accidents can be significantly cut if motorists follow traffic rules and road safety precautions. Every time you hit the road, make sure to think safety first.