Speed As An Accident Cause And The Potential For Serious Injuries

The Dangers Of Driving At Excessive Speed

Speed, especially excessive speed, is an important factor in whether a vehicle is likely to crash.  On July 25, 2018 Lake County participated in “Speed Awareness Day” in which speed reduction was stressed.  Along with this effort a variety of statistics were presented.

Among these statistics are the following, as seen on the “Residential Facts On Speeding” page:

  • When a pedestrian is hit by a car at 20 MPH, there is a 10% likelihood of being killed; at a speed of 30 MPH, the percentage increases to a 50% likelihood of being killed.
  • The higher the speed at impact, the more severe the injuries sustained.
  • 37% of the speed-related crashes result in injuries.
  • When speeding, there is a greater chance that other road users will misjudge how fast you are traveling.
  • Speeding extends the distance required to stop a vehicle in emergency situations.
  • Speeding reduces a driver’s ability to navigate safely around curves or objects in the roadway.

Additional information is provided regarding speed is seen on the “Interstate Facts On Speeding” page:

  • The probability of death, disfigurement, or debilitating injury grows with higher speed at impact.  Such consequences double for every 10 mph over 50 mph.
  • In 2016 speed accounted for 32.2% of all crashes
  • In 2016 speed accounted for 34.2% of all fatal crashes
  • In 2016 speed accounted for 37.8% of injury crashes
  • In 2016 there was a total of 1078 fatalities on our roadways

Another facet of speeding, which is particularly relevant to the accident injuries that can result from excessive speeding, is the following:

When a vehicle crashes it undergoes a rapid change in speed.  However, the occupants keep moving at the vehicle’s previous speed until they are stopped, either by hitting an object or by being restrained by a safety belt or airbag.

Among the safety tips that are presented, as seen in the “4 Points To Remember,” is to wear a seat belt.  Wearing a seat belt continues to be one of the best ways to avoid accident injuries, or at least lessen the severity of such injuries.  The safety benefits of wearing a seat belt is further discussed on “The Safety Benefits Of Wearing Seat Belts” page.

Another of the safety tips is to “eliminate all distractions.”  As stated:

Hand held devices increases your chance of a severe crash by 4x, texting by 23x.

Distracted driving is a major cause of accidents.  While there are many actions that can be considered to be driver distractions, two prominent actions are texting while driving as well as other actions involving mobile phone operation, such as dialing or accessing the internet.  Distracted driving is further discussed on the “Accidents Involving Distracted Driving” page.

Excessive speed has been a factor on many Lake County crashes.   Some of these crashes involving excessive speed occur during street racing or drag racing.  These racing activities are dangerous for many reasons, including the speed involved; driving with excessive speed on roadways not designed to safely accommodate high-speed driving; and the fact that often other roadway users who are not involved in the racing can be exposed to the dangers of the speeding vehicles.  Lake County accidents – some which have led to serious injuries as well as fatalities – that have involved street racing are discussed on the “Street Racing Accidents In Lake County” page.

As seen on that page, there have been fatal accidents involving street racing in Lake County.  As well, there have been a significant number of both fatal and non-fatal crashes throughout the wider Chicago area.  Those who are injured during these crashes have involved both the people who have been involved in the racing as well as people who are not involved in the high-speed driving activities.

What To Do If You Are Injured By A Vehicle Traveling At Excessive Speed

If you are injured due to a vehicle that is traveling at excessive speed, or by other reckless or negligent actions of a driver, there are various recommended actions that should be taken.  These actions include both medical and legal “to-do’s.”

From a medical perspective, getting a thorough medical exam is recommended.   The benefits for getting such a thorough medical exam is discussed on the “Important Reasons For Getting A Medical Exam After An Accident” page.  In short, this medical exam, which is often conducted in the hospital emergency room (ER), can identify what injuries have occurred and how they should be properly treated.  As well, from a legal perspective, the exam will document the injuries, their severity, and how they were treated.

One benefit of this medical exam is that it can identify what accident injuries may have occurred that aren’t yet apparent.  There are various injuries that can occur during an accident that have symptoms that may not become evident for a significant amount of time.  If these injuries are not promptly and properly treated, the injured person may be vulnerable to significant harm.  Depending upon the injury and its severity, the injury may become life-threatening in nature if it is not treated.  Among the types of injuries whose symptoms may take a while to manifest include various types of traumatic brain injuries.

From a legal perspective, it is recommended that a personal injury lawyer be consulted as soon as possible after the accident.  The lawyer can tell you what steps to take – and what steps not to take – in order to protect your rights.  Also, for injuries that have been caused by other people or parties, it may be appropriate to file a personal injury lawsuit in order to pursue getting money for the accident injuries.  For those accidents which result in a fatality, relevant parties can file a wrongful death lawsuit.

The amount of potential injury compensation depends on many different factors, including accident injury types and their severity.  As well, other characteristics of the injuries need to be assessed, such as whether the injuries will lead to a permanent injury and/or a permanent disability.  Various types of potential compensation exist.  Types of compensation include that for:

  • Past, present and future medical bills, including those for rehabilitation
  • Any past and future lost wages
  • Loss of consortium
  • Pain and suffering
  • Out-of-pocket expenses
  • Loss of function

Many people who have been injured in a vehicle accident will have a pressing need for injury compensation, as medical costs and other factors can cause formidable financial challenges. For this reason, many people after they have been injured seek the legal counsel of a proven injury lawyer.

The Elman Law Group’s Proven Capabilities In Personal Injury Lawsuits

The Elman Law Group has been handling Illinois personal injury lawsuits for over 25 years.  During this time we have handled over 10,000 personal injury lawsuits.

During this period, we have established a reputation as accomplished trial attorneys, and have a proven record of successfully taking cases to court should settlement offers prove inadequate.

Tony Elman, Lead Trial Attorney of The Elman Law Group, has been selected by Thomson Reuters as a “Super Lawyer.”  This designation is based upon both professional achievement and peer recognition.  Only the top 5% of lawyers can receive this designation.

Tony Elman offers a free legal consultation to discuss your accident injuries as well as the possibility of filing a lawsuit in order to get money for your injuries.  He can be reached at 773-392-8182 (or email [email protected]) at any time.

Elman Law Group handles lawsuits on a contingency basis…clients never pay a fee unless and until they receive monetary compensation.