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Why does speed cause car accidents?

On Behalf of | May 10, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Crashes

It’s well known that car accidents affected by speeding are generally more severe than those sustained at lower speeds. An accident that occurs at 20 miles an hour is much less likely to cause serious injuries than an accident at 80 miles an hour. This is one of the reasons that speeding is illegal. It makes it harder for the safety systems in a car – and safety systems within road design – to keep people safe.

But some people assume that all they really need to do is drive safely. Speeding might make accidents more severe, but that’s not a problem if they just do not crash. Does speeding also cause these accidents?

Reduction in reaction times

One of the major reasons that speeding causes accidents is that it cuts reaction times down dramatically. Say that a car pulls out in front of another vehicle. If that second vehicle is only going 25 miles an hour and has 100 yards to stop, the driver will be able to do so with ease. But if the vehicle is going 80 miles an hour, the driver may not be able to stop the car before a collision occurs. Even when they’re paying attention and trying to drive safely, they simply have less time to react because the car is covering the distance so much faster.

Catalyst for cognitive mistakes

Similarly, speeding can cause cognitive mistakes by a driver. The brain can only process information so quickly. That’s why distracted driving is so dangerous. It slows down how quickly you can process information about traffic around you because your brain is also trying to process the information coming from your device, from a passenger, from the GPS or from whatever other source is distracting you.

Driving quickly does the same thing because it means you have to process information at an extremely rapid pace. Drivers who don’t have time to do that could get confused, make mistakes or simply commit driving errors that they wouldn’t have if they were driving at the speed limit.

Have you been injured?

Has a speeding driver caused an accident that led to serious injuries? If so, it is time to seek legal guidance. You don’t deserve to bear the responsibility for damages caused by another’s poor choices.