Speeding is one of the most prevalent factors contributing to traffic accidents in the United States. The economic cost to society of speeding-related crashes is estimated by the NHTSA to be $40.4 billion per year. In 2005, speeding was a contributing factor in 30 percent of all fatal crashes, and 13,113 lives were lost in speeding-related crashes. At Bledsoe Law Office, we use every means available to prove negligence on the part of a speeding driver in order to obtain the highest monetary reward for our clients. Under Virginia law, all motorists are required to drive at a speed that is reasonable or prudent within the speed limits posted, subject to a penalty of not less than five dollars per mile-per-hour in excess of posted speed limits. Va. Code § 46.2-870. Also, any person who drives a vehicle on any highway recklessly or at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person may be found guilty of reckless driving. Va. Code § 46.2-852. Any speed in excess of the following speeds is evidence of unreasonable driving:
In general, motor vehicle crashes cost society an estimated $7,300 per second. The total economic cost of crashes was estimated at $230.6 billion in 2000. The 2005 costs of speeding-related crashes was estimated to be $40.4 billion -- $76,865 per minute or $1,281 per second.
Speeding reduces a driver's ability to steer safely around curves or objects in the roadway, extends the distance necessary to stop a vehicle, and increases the distance a vehicle travels while the driver reacts to a dangerous situation. For drivers involved in fatal crashes, young males are the most likely to be speeding. The relative proportion of speeding-related crashes to all crashes decreases with increasing driver age. In 2005, 38 percent of the male drivers 15 to 20 years old who were involved in fatal crashes were speeding at the time of the crash. Further, alcohol and speeding seem to go hand in hand. In 2005, 25 percent of the speeding drivers under 21 years old who were involved in fatal crashes were also intoxicated, with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 (grams per deciliter [g/dl]) or greater. In contrast, only 11 percent of the nonspeeding drivers under age 21 involved in fatal crashes in 2005 were intoxicated. For drivers between 21 and 24 years of age who were involved in fatal crashes in 2005, 50 percent of speeding drivers were intoxicated, compared with only 24 percent of nonspeeding drivers. Alcohol and speeding are clearly a deadly combination.
In 2005, 34 percent of all motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes were speeding, compared to 22 percent for passenger car drivers, 18 percent for light-truck drivers, and 7 percent for large-truck drivers. In 2005, only 49 percent of speeding passenger vehicle drivers under 21 years old who were involved in fatal crashes were wearing safety belts at the time of the crash. In contrast, 67 percent of nonspeeding drivers in the same age group were restrained. For drivers 21 years and older, the percentage of speeding drivers involved in fatal crashes who were using restraints at the time of the crash was 43 percent, but 72 percent of nonspeeding drivers in fatal crashes were restrained.