Everybody speeds. It’s a fact of life on American highways, and Georgia is no exception. Traveling five, even ten, miles-per-hour over the speed limit feels like one of our God-given rights, mostly because law enforcement never enforces those small infractions.
Still, the speed limit exists for a reason. It’s the rate of travel at which road engineers and our elected leaders believe we all stay safest. Everyone gets a little latitude when they drive a few MPH over, but beyond that, speeding represents a serious public health hazard.
How serious? According to the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration (NHTSA), “for more than two decades, speeding has been involved in approximately one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities.” In Georgia, the rates are a little better, but still high, according to the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS); about one-in-five traffic fatalities on Peach State roads result from speeding every year. Unfortunately, 2018 was one of the worst years for speed-related fatalities in recent memory.
If a speeding driver caused an accident that left you injured or took the life of a loved one, you have the right to seek compensation for damages in court. Contact the knowledgeable car accident attorneys at Hasner Law in Atlanta to learn more.
About Hasner Law – Your Car Accident Injury Law Firm
Hasner Law’s team, Stephen Hasner, Judy Blackwell, and a group of dedicated para-legal professionals, commits its full energy to recovering compensation for Georgians injured in car accidents and other tragic incidents.
We stand up to insurance companies to make sure our clients receive the fair treatment and consideration their circumstances demand. Having represented hundreds of car accident victims over our decades of practice, we know how an accident devastates lives and families. We provide compassionate, skilled legal services to clients struggling through the most difficult of times.
What Makes Speeding so Deadly
In a word, physics. More specifically, speed both causes accidents and makes them more violent. Here’s how.
Speeding Causes Accidents
Cars and roads are designed for use at specific speeds. Those speeds reflect a driver’s ability to keep a vehicle under control with all of its wheels on the road surface. For every stretch of highway, level of driver experience, road condition, and type of vehicle, there is a maximum speed beyond which a driver cannot reasonably hope to navigate road features, like turns or stops, and cannot have the time needed to avoid unexpected road hazards. Sometimes, that speed is the same as the posted speed limit. Other times, it’s far lower, because of the road conditions or other factors.
In other words, when you speed, you can’t turn and stop safely. When you can’t turn and stop safely, your car collides with other cars and roadside objects, or leaves the roadway, or rolls over.
Speeding Makes Accidents More Violent
Vehicles exert and absorb force in an impact. The higher the speed of a vehicle at the moment of a collision, the more force involved. The more force involved, the greater the likelihood of injury. These are inescapable laws of the universe.
The auto industry has invested billions in making cars safer in an impact. The fact remains, however, that no matter how many airbags and shoulder belts a car has, the risk of injury and death rises with every additional mile per hour a car travels. The structures and soft tissue of the human body have difficulty withstanding sudden deceleration and jarring movements. Even belted, cushioned passengers suffer spinal cord injuries and brain trauma in a highway-speed collision.
Legal Liability for Speeding
In an accident in which speed plays a contributing role, legal liability for injuries to others usually rests primarily with the speeding driver.
There are rare circumstances where the driver can blame the speed of the car on factors out of his control, or in which there are third parties whose actions caused the driver to speed. But, by-and-large, a speeding accident is first and foremost the speeding driver’s fault, and anyone injured will look to him and his auto insurance first for compensation.
This puts the people the driver injures at risk of not being able to recover the compensation they deserve for their injuries. If, for example, the speeding driver doesn’t carry adequate insurance and has limited assets, and the people he injured don’t carry under-insured motorist coverage, those victims could end up scrambling to find a way to recover their losses.
The potential problems this “sole point source of liability” can cause victims makes it especially important for them to hire an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible after an accident caused by speeding. An attorney can move quickly to begin negotiating a claim against the driver’s insurance policy, and to ensure the driver does not hide assets to protect himself against a judgment.
An attorney can also investigate the (albeit rare) possibility that other parties’ actions may have caused the driver to speed, giving them legal liability too. For example, an auto parts manufacturer could have liability for faulty equipment on the car that should have prevented a crash or limited the drivers’ speed. Likewise, if the driver was speeding because he was drunk, the establishment that served the driver alcohol may have liability to victims under Georgia’s dram shop statute. Even a municipality or government road agency could have liability if, for example, the road where the accident happened was unsafe at any speed.
Hire Our Atlanta Speeding Driver Car Accident Lawyers Today
Speeding driver accidents put lawyers’ abilities to the test. The best lawyers, like the team at Hasner Law, know how to maximize the chances of their clients recovering as much compensation as possible from the speeding driver, and how to investigate all other potential sources of compensation so that victims have ample resources for their accident recovery.
If a speeding driver injures you or harms your loved one, call the experienced team at Hasner Law. We offer a free, confidential case consultation, and we represent most of our clients on a contingent fee basis in which we don’t receive fees unless our clients recover money. Call our Atlanta office at 678-888-4878 or contact us online to get started.