Tampa Speeding Accident Attorneys
Of all the different ways a car crash can happen, excessive speed is consistently the most common factor. According to a National Transportation Safety Board study, speeding is responsible for about 31% of traffic fatalities, which makes speeding as deadly as drunk driving. But while drinking and driving gets a lot of attention and is viewed as morally wrong, speeding isn’t often thought of as such a dangerous activity. This is because most people think of speeding as going a little bit over the speed limit, but we’ve all seen drivers fly by at an unsafe speed and immediately recognize what a danger they pose. “That maniac is going to kill somebody,” we think, and tragically, this does happen more often than people realize.
Speeding is especially dangerous to the speeding driver and their passengers, who together account for 84% of speeding-related traffic fatalities. When it comes to non-fatal injuries, though, more than 40% of the victims are occupants of the non-speeding vehicle or are pedestrians or bicyclists.
Speeding is a causal or contributing factor in most Tampa car accidents. Speeding is also evidence of negligent or reckless behavior. This means a speeding driver involved in an accident can be held partly or completely responsible for causing the crash. At Anderson & Anderson, our team of attorneys and staff work together every day to help car accident victims in Tampa recover compensation for their injuries caused by a negligent driver. Please give us a call for assistance if you or a loved one is hurt in a Tampa car accident.
Why Is Speeding so Dangerous?
Speeding does two things that make it so dangerous:
It increases the likelihood of getting in a crash. A speeding driver has less time to react to a traffic slowdown, an object or pedestrian in the road, or some other reason requiring the driver to stop or respond to the situation. Even if they have good reflexes and are paying attention to the road, the laws of physics require that speeding drivers also need more time and distance to come to a stop.
It increases the severity of injuries in a crash. Force is defined as mass times acceleration, so for any size vehicle, the faster it is going, the more force it will deliver if it impacts another car. The rates of serious or fatal car crash injuries double for crashes that occur above 60 miles per hour, compared to accidents that happen at a slower speed.
What Exactly Is Speeding?
There are actually two different ways someone can be speeding: by violating statutory speed limits or by driving too fast for the current conditions on the road, which is known as the basic speed law. Florida’s speeding law includes both statutory speed limits and the basic speed law. Section 316.183 on Unlawful Speed sets speed limits ranging from 20 to 70 miles per hour, depending on the location of the road. Those are the statutory speed limits. But the basic speed law comes first. This section of the law says:
No person shall drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing. In every event, speed shall be controlled as may be necessary to avoid colliding with any person, vehicle, or other conveyance or object on or entering the highway in compliance with legal requirements and the duty of all persons to use due care.
The law further specifically references the basic speed law and requires driving at an “appropriately reduced speed” in certain circumstances, including:
- Approaching and going around a curve
- Approaching a hill crest
- Traveling on a narrow or winding road
- When any special hazard exists to pedestrians or other traffic
- When any special hazard exists because of weather or high conditions
Just because someone was driving under the posted speed limit does not mean they weren’t driving at an unsafe (and unlawful) speed. Drivers are required by law to adjust their speed according to the weather, road conditions, traffic, visibility, and other environmental factors that make it prudent and reasonable to drive at a slower speed.
What if I Got Hit by a Negligent Driver While Speeding?
Since speeding is considered negligent behavior, does that mean you cannot recover against a negligent, drunk or distracted driver who hit you if you happened to be driving too fast at the time? In Florida, car accident victims who were partly to blame for the crash can still recover from another negligent driver, but their recovery will be reduced in proportion to the amount of negligence assigned to them. Who decides how much responsibility belongs to each driver? If negotiating a settlement with the insurance company, your lawyer and their lawyer might argue over what is proper. If the case goes to trial, a jury will decide this issue based on the evidence and instructions from the judge.
The car accident attorneys at Anderson & Anderson are in your corner when you’ve been hurt by a negligent driver. We’ll fight to see that you are compensated fairly and not blamed for more of the accident than is fair. Our lawyers have decades of combined experience litigating, trying and settling car accident claims in Tampa. We know the law and what evidence is necessary to prove the full extent of the other driver’s negligence.
Our Experienced Attorneys Are Here for You After a Serious Tampa Car Accident
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a car accident with a speeding driver in Tampa, call Anderson & Anderson at 813-251-0072 for a free consultation with our dedicated and successful personal injury legal team.