A sheriff’s office investigation into a deadly May car crash that killed two teens in Post Falls reached a conclusion last month. The crash, said the sheriff’s traffic team, was caused by excessive speed.
The fatal accident, which took the lives of two seventeen-year-olds, one from Post Falls and the other from Veradale, happened on the night of May 23 when the car, a 2002 Jaguar, left the road, crashed through a fence, rolled, continued through a line of trees, and finally struck a gas line before stopping. The passenger was ejected from the vehicle during the crash and both teens were dead by the time first responders found them at the scene.
Speed is still the single greatest contributor to motor vehicle accidents in the state of Washington. The state Department of Transportation report for 2012 showed nearly 21,000 crashes that year with excessive speed as a cause. That year, speed was the cause in 145 traffic fatalities and more than 7,000 injuries. In Idaho, the story is much the same: Speed was less often cited as the critical factor in multi-vehicle collisions, but it was found to be the number one contributor to single-vehicle collisions—such as the one in Post Falls—accounting for 20 percent of all recorded crashes in 2015.
As high as these numbers are, they’re slightly better than the national average. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that in 2013, 29 percent of all fatal crashes nationwide were speeding related.
In addition to the hundreds of thousands of injuries and close to 10,000 deaths caused by speeding-related crashes each year, these collisions carry a serious cost. When property damage and medical expenses are taken into account, the estimated price tag in the United States for speeding-related costs ranges from $40 billion to nearly $60 billion.
That’s an enormous burden on the economy, and some of those costs are eventually distributed across the entire population in the form of increased car insurance premiums and higher medical coverage costs. Safe driving—including operating at safe speeds—ultimately matters for everyone.
The crash in Post Falls was a tragedy, but unfortunately, crashes like it continue to happen on a regular basis across both the country and the state. A three-vehicle collision at the beginning of the month in Liberty Lake took one driver’s life; the preliminary reports suggest she lost control when she tried to avoid another vehicle while driving at high speed.
Some of these situations are deliberately caused by drivers, such as the high-speed chase in Spokane Valley in August. A police chase in pursuit of a stolen vehicle ended when the driver rammed into a patrol car. Fortunately, no one was injured in that incident, but the suspect reached speeds of up to 70 miles per hour on local streets, which could easily have led to a different outcome.
When you are the victim of a car crash, whether caused by a speeding driver or due to another factor, you need an experienced attorney on your side to help you collect the damages you’re due. At Craig Swapp & Associates, we understand automobile accident law, and we’ll help you every step of the way.
Give us a call at 1-800-404-9000 or contact us online by submitting the form below so that we can discuss the details of your case, free of charge. You can also launch the LiveChat feature from any page of this website for quick answers to many of your questions.