It can be easy to forget that your vehicle is a 4,000 plus pound deadly projectile. Like a bullet, the faster it travels, the more deadly it becomes. The more experience you gain behind the wheel, the more likely it is that you will arrive at your destination safely even if you happen to edge the speedometer above the posted speed limit or drive a bit too fast for the road conditions. Even then, there are no guarantees that you won’t find yourself in an emergency and unable to stop in time.
Without that experience, speeding only increases the potential for serious or deadly accidents. This makes teenagers one of the riskiest driving groups, especially if they drive too fast. Research shows that as much as 27 percent of the fatal accidents involving a young driver resulted from speeding. This is, in part, because teenagers tend to speed more often and follow the vehicle in front of them more closely than adults.
How speed affects accidents and injuries
Teens may not yet have a real world understanding of how speed contributes to the severity of an impact and any injuries suffered. The three primary ways that speed does this are as follows:
- Your braking distance doubles the amount of miles per hour you increase your speed. For example, if you double your speed, you quadruple your braking distance.
- You cover more distance in the time it takes you to recognize a problem and the time it takes you to react to it. The faster you go, the less time you have to react, which increases your chances of a collision.
- The force of an impact increases exponentially to the amount you increase your speed. For instance, if you increase your speed by 50 percent, say from 40 to 60 mph, the force of any impact increases by 125 percent.
As you can imagine, the harder the impact is, the greater the potential is for severe and fatal injuries. Moreover, the faster you travel, the less effective all of the safety equipment on the vehicle becomes.
How accidents and injuries affect your life
If you end up in an accident with an inexperienced and speeding teenager, you could suffer substantial injuries. You may face a protracted recovery during which time you won’t be able to work and will accumulate a large amount of medical bills. If you are lucky, you will achieve a full recovery over time. If you are not lucky, you could face lifelong complications from your injuries.
In either case, you may still pursue compensation for your financial losses and the other damages Alabama law allows you to seek through a civil claim.