It’s kind of a no-brainer. The faster a car is moving, the more severe the damage, right? But have you ever wondered why speed is such an important element in a crash?
Some of us may survive some car accidents. Others may have lost someone in it. Every day, sadly, we hear about lots of cases when someone is losing their life just because they didn’t respect the speed limit on the highway, or even on the local roads in the town.
As a matter of fact, many people die because of that, and we finally need to stop driving faster than the limit. We will save a lot of lives, and of course, everyone will protect them and their families. It’s just one simple thing – respect the limit!
Speed vs. Mass
Accidents involving cars vs. large commercial vehicles tend to be more severe than car vs. car accidents. So, it might seem that the mass of the vehicles is a much more significant factor than speed, but that’s misleading. The calculation for kinetic energy is as follows:
KE = .5 × m × v2
Where m = mass, and v = velocity.
Consider two cars of the same size traveling at the same speed. Now, if we doubled the mass of the cars, we would double the kinetic energy created in a head-on collision. Twice the mass means twice the KE. Now, let’s assume that these cars were traveling toward each other at 10 mph for a total speed of 20 mph (10 + 10). Now, let’s double that relative speed so that each car is traveling at 20 mph for a combined speed at an impact of 40 mph. Here’s where things change. Because v(velocity) is squared, our doubling of speed gives us four times the energy at impact.
Here’s another way to think about speed. Would you rather be struck by a 1000-kilogram railcar going one mile per hour or a one-kilogram shell traveling at 1000 mph? You’d probably rather avoid both, but as long as you keep your balance, the railcar would just hit you with an unpleasant thump and you might get bruised where the shell would certainly not leave your recognizable.
Speed as a Factor in Car Accidents
In addition to making impacts significantly worse, driving at high speeds reduces the time a driver has to make corrections and avoid critical situations. That means that you have less time to brake for a vehicle pulling out in front of you, debris in the roadway, or a driver pulling into your lane. To put this in perspective consider a football field, not including the endzones. It takes a car traveling 30 mph 14 seconds to travel the length of a football field. If you triple that speed to 90 mph, it travels the same field in a little over 4 seconds. The slower vehicle has much more time to react to surprises that enter the roadway. Keep in mind, that you don’t always have 100 yards to react to a situation.
Speeding accompanies other risky driving behaviors, such as running red lights, overriding headlights on dark roads, and failure to control the vehicle on wet roads. Every one of them can result in lost lives, material damages, and a lifetime trauma to those who survive.
So, once again, we are all asking for you to respect the limitations on the road, and never drive faster than that.
Speeding Stats for Florida
In 2018, the DHSMV listed speeding as a cause or contributing factor in 39,049 accidents. Of those, 32.25 percent resulted in injuries or fatalities. In 2017, Orange County police officers and sheriff deputies issued 44505 speeding tickets to drivers and in Duval County, the number was 45067. Law enforcement officers are particularly aggressive when it comes to speeding because they know its a contributing factor in both the cause and severity of accidents.
What You Should Do if you are in an Accident Where Speeding was Involved
Like any other car accident, your safety is paramount. Seek medical attention immediately. According to fasigbrooks.com, if there are skid marks on the road caused by the other vehicle’s tires, take a picture of them. This can be used to help calculate the driver’s rate of speed at the time of the crash when you call the police. When the officers come, they will examine the scene and get all the necessary traces they need for their further investigation.
If you are guilty, you better not fight with the other people and the police. Everyone who is causing an accident because of not respecting the limitations should be punished and needs to pay for that. If you are a victim, try to remember every important detail that will help the officials to investigate, and then close the case.
But, do you know what? If you are careful and don’t drive fast, you are decreasing the risk of getting into an accident like that. Just imagine how good will it be if we all respect the rules and laws. No one will ever die in a road accident. And that’s great.
Safety ALWAYS first!
We all love our freedom, but we can’t enjoy it if we are hurt in an accident, or most badly, if we died because of improper speed. Every country is providing traffic laws and rules, and every active driver should be respected for that. The statistics are bad, knowing that in the whole world a lot of people are dying on the roads because someone else was irresponsible.
So, never drink and drive. And when you are driving sober, adapt the speed as it’s required. Don’t be that person that thinks he/she is entitled to break the rules, and no one can catch them. There is something worse than that – dying in a car accident, or killing someone who was part of it. Both the cases are terrific, and you only need to do one simple thing, and that is to be respectful of the road rules.