The human obsession with speed has led to many advancements over the centuries. Without that drive to go faster, we wouldn’t have many technological achievements—from cars to trains to airplanes, and probably even faster Internet service.
But speed isn’t universally a good thing. Like so much else in the world, it can bring benefits and also risks. Too much speed in motor vehicles, for example, has always been a problem, and it’s still one today. According to the latest national data on the causes of fatal car crashes, speed is the main cause in more than one in four motor vehicle deaths in the United States.
In 2017, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) added up the numbers from the past decade and came to a disturbing but unsurprising conclusion: Between 2005 and 2014, speeding was a factor in 112,580 traffic fatalities, or 31 percent of the total.
That number is shockingly close to the 112,948 killed in crashes with alcohol involved. Those numbers don’t mean that 62 percent of fatal crashes can be pinned on those two causes (there’s some overlap), but they point to how big both problems are. A different analysis found that in 2016, drivers in speeding crashes were legally intoxicated at well over double the rate of drivers in other crashes.
Those drivers were also perhaps less worried about their own safety and those of their passengers: Roughly four out of five drivers wore seat belts in non-speeding crashes, but speeding drivers were only belted in about half the time.
We’re always tempted to believe—or at least hope—that those around us behave better than the national average. In Washington State, that’s not true. In the most recent year with data, 29 percent of fatal crashes here were blamed on speed, against 27 percent nationally.
A recent crash in Spokane Valley—in which, fortunately, no one was killed or seriously injured—served as a reminder that this kind of thing can happen anywhere, at any time, and that anyone can be a victim. A routine traffic stop turned into a brief but dangerous high-speed chase that ended with the suspect’s vehicle crashing into the cars of three unsuspecting motorists at a busy intersection.
Car crashes come in all forms, and they have many causes. The one thing almost all of them have in common, whether running a red light, speeding, or driving under the influence, is that they happen because a driver makes a bad decision and puts others at risk.
When you or someone close to you has been hurt in a car accident, talk to the experienced team at Craig Swapp & Associates. Our attorneys understand what’s involved in a successful automobile accident claim, and we’ve helped many clients reach the resolution they deserve.
Give us a call today at 1-800-404-9000 or reach us online through the form below to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case. You can also launch the chat feature from any page of this website for more information.