Many factors contribute to traffic accidents, including bad weather, construction, wild animals, distracted driving, and drunk driving. However, the most common cause of auto accidents in Virginia and across the United States is speeding. If you were recently in a car crash, chances are speeding was involved. Learn more about the prevalence of speed-related collisions and how an auto accident lawyer can help if you’re a victim of a speeding accident.
Speed-Related Car Accidents in Virginia
According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, more than 105,000 traffic accidents occurred across the state in 2020. Of those, 22,000 (21%) were categorized as speed-related car crashes. This makes speed a more common factor than distracted driving, including cell phone use, which accounted for nearly 19,000 collisions. In addition, speed-related car accidents in 2020 resulted in 11,528 injuries and 406 deaths.
Virginia Speeding Laws
Some states define speeding as driving over the posted speed limit or traveling too fast for the road conditions. However, Virginia legal code only penalizes drivers for traveling over the speed limit. Still, our state has some of the strictest maximum speed limits, including:
- 55 miles per hour on divided highways and state primary highways, unless otherwise posted
- 45 miles per hour on highways for trucks, tractor-trailers, tow vehicles, and house trailers
- No higher than 70 miles per hour on interstates
- No higher than 60 miles per hour on all other types of roads
Why Do Virginia Drivers Speed?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports these common factors for speeding:
- Traffic jams: An opening in stop-and-go traffic encourages some drivers to speed as they attempt to escape the traffic jam.
- Running late: Many drivers attempt to make up time as they dart from one appointment to the next by speeding.
- Tailgaters: One bad driver can rub off on others. If a speeder tailgates another car, the tailgated driver may feel pressured to speed, too.
- Recklessness: Some drivers are habitual speeders with little regard for the law or the safety of others.
What are the Risks of Speeding?
Nearly everyone is guilty of speeding at some point, but it’s incredibly dangerous behavior. Here’s why you should always follow the posted speed limit:
- Speeding makes it more difficult to control a vehicle if it hits a hazard.
- Car manufacturers design safety equipment to work at average speeds. Driving too fast could reduce their effectiveness.
- Speeding increases the stopping distance, making it harder to react to traffic conditions, especially at night or in bad weather.
Consult a Virginia Auto Accident Lawyer
If you have been injured in a car crash, whether caused by speeding or another factor, reach out to Childers and Associates. Our auto accident lawyers will ensure you know your rights and defend you as you seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. Contact us at (703) 330-6300 to schedule your free case analysis today.