Speeding is a major cause of injuries and fatalities in Illinois.

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, during 2013 alone, there were 285,477 motor vehicle crashes in the state, of which 61,001 resulted in injuries and 895 in fatalities. Of the crashes resulting in fatalities and injuries, speeding was a factor in more than one-third-35 percent and 35.7 percent respectively. In contrast, drunk drivers were responsible for only 33.2 percent of all fatal car accidents.

Even though drunk driving receives the bulk of the bad press while speeding is practically condoned socially, the statistics make it clear that speeding is very risky and should be taken more seriously as a safety threat. Unfortunately, drivers that exceed the speed limit or drive faster than the road or weather conditions warrant not only put themselves in danger but also compromise the safety of other motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists.

Speeding: a one-two punch

Speeding is dangerous for two primary reasons. The first reason that it significantly increases the time it takes a driver to react to hazards, obstacles and sudden changes in traffic speed. In addition to slowing reaction time, speeding makes it less likely that the vehicle will be able to come to a stop (or slow down) in time to avoid the hazard once the brakes are applied. Of course, at higher speeds, it is much more difficult to maneuver around obstacles if needed. All of these factors greatly increase the risk of a collision.

Aside from increasing the risk of car accidents, speeding increases the risk of a serious injury or fatality if the car is involved in a collision. Simply put, the human body is not built to withstand the high forces of impact that are present at faster speeds.

Unfortunately, when a collision caused by speeding occurs, there are groups more vulnerable to injuries and fatalities than others. Pedestrians and bicyclists are especially vulnerable, as they do not have the protective shell to absorb the impact that a motor vehicle provides. However, vehicle occupants can also be vulnerable at times, especially if the collision involves a speeding truck. Since interstate trucks outweigh most passenger vehicles by several tons, and are slower to stop and less maneuverable, a serious injury or fatality in a high-speed collision is almost a guarantee.

Stand up for your rights after a crash

Speeding in Illinois is illegal. Thus, if you or a loved one have been injured in a speed-related car accident, the presence of speeding may be used to prove the other driver was negligent, allowing you to recover your medical expenses, lost income and other losses you experience because of the accident. Similarly, if the accident results in the death of a loved one, recovery for future income, funeral expenses and other losses may be sought in a wrongful death lawsuit.

The experienced motor vehicle accident attorneys at Healy Scanlon Law Firm can listen to your situation, advise you of your rights and aggressively pursue all available avenues of recovery for your losses.