Across the country, posted speed limits are going up. Although most people would be happy to arrive at their destination just a little sooner, the consequences of higher speed limits for drivers involved in an accident can prove fatal.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), and Humanetics recently conducted a study published in January to test three different impact speeds at 40, 50 and 56 miles per hour. The study revealed that even slightly higher speeds increased the risk of a severe injury — or even death.
Injuries increase with speed
At 40 mph, the driver’s space was minimally impacted by the crash. Increasing the speed by 10 mph resulted in the driver’s side door opening, and the dashboard and foot area becoming deformed by the force of the impact. At 56 mph, the interior of the vehicle was significantly damaged, with the crash dummy’s sensors registering severe neck injuries and likely fractures to the bones in the lower leg.
The dummy also showed a high risk of facial fractures and severe brain injury when the steering wheel’s upward movement resulted in its face smashing into the steering wheel. Both of these injuries occurred at 50 and 56 mph.
“Higher speed limits cancel out the benefits of vehicle safety improvements like airbags and improved structural designs. The faster a driver is going before a crash, the less likely it is that they’ll be able to get down to a survivable speed even if they have a chance to brake before impact,” said Dr. David Harkey, IIHS president.
A 2019 IIHS study also found that raising speed limits has resulted in the loss of 37,000 lives during the past 25 years. A total of 41 states allow 70 mph or higher speeds on roadways, eight of which have maximum speeds of 80 mph or more.
Contact our Portland attorneys if you’ve been hurt in an accident
Should you find yourself dealing with crash-related injuries, the burden of costly medical expenses or lost wages due to another driver’s negligence, the attorneys at Zbinden & Curtis, Attorneys at Law in Portland, Oregon will be there to build a strong case. We offer a free case evaluation for potential clients.
With decades of experience dealing with speeding-related car accidents, Zbinden & Curtis will launch an investigation to obtain pictures, speak to witnesses and utilize details from the police report to find justice for crash victims.
High-speed crashes typically include:
- Rear-end accidents — A speeding vehicle crashing into the back of another car. Rear-end accidents often result in whiplash or spinal injuries to the victim.
- Head-on collisions — When two cars traveling in opposite directions collide, causing catastrophic damage.
- T-bone accidents — A speeding driver who is unable to stop at a traffic light or stop sign may end up driving into the side of another vehicle. These accidents are called “T-bone” crashes because when one vehicle crashes into the side of another it forms the appearance of the letter T.
- Crashing into stationary objects — When drivers lose control of their cars or are unable to slow down, they might end up driving off the road or crashing into parked cars, poles or buildings.
- Winter weather accidents — With roads in slippery conditions, a speeding motorist is often unable to come to a stop, which results in a car wreck.
In these types of high-speed crashes, victims can suffer a range of injuries from cuts and bruises to whiplash, broken bones, or head or spinal injuries, as well as paralysis or death.
If a speeding motorist caused your accident, don’t let insurance companies put the blame on you — the victim. The attorneys at Zbinden & Curtis know how to deal with insurance companies and hold them accountable. Contact us online or call us to get started on your claim. Our case evaluations are free and confidential.