Haste makes waste, a popular saying goes. That saying rings true in new data published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The agency found that speeding-related fatalities have reached a 14-year high in 2021.
According to the NHTSA, motor vehicle speeding accounted for almost a third of all traffic-related fatalities in 2021. About 12,330 people died in speed-related crashes in 2021, accounting for 29% of all traffic fatalities that year.
NHTSA published the data as part of its new speeding prevention campaign, which will run from July 10 to 31.
Why are speeding accidents so fatal?
Speed is one of the most significant factors in any collision. High speed increases the braking distance of motor vehicles and reduces the ability of road safety structures, such as concrete barriers and guard rails, to stop a runaway automobile. Speed also increases the impact and damage caused by a vehicle collision, significantly raising the chances of injury or death. And moving too quickly reduces the time a driver needs to react to a collision risk.
Many drivers caught speeding were also found to be intoxicated at the time of the accident. NHTSA data found that 43% of speeding drivers in the 25 to 34 age range were alcohol-impaired – the largest of the age groups surveyed.
Speeding accidents aren’t just fatal but very expensive too. In a previous report, the NHTSA said that speed-related crashes led to $46 billion in economic costs in 2019. These expenses include medical, legal, emergency services, property damage and insurance administration costs, as well as work and productivity losses.
If a loved one died in a fatal automobile accident caused by speeding, you could hold the other driver responsible for the wrongful death through a lawsuit. The damages claimed from a lawsuit may not be able to bring back the deceased, but it can help deal with the economic burdens the surviving family may face. But wrongful death lawsuits can be tricky to navigate. A legal adviser may be able to guide you through the lawsuit process, explain how state laws affect your case and represent you in court.