The Consequences of Speeding and Reckless Driving in Texas

The research behind posted speed limits is rigorous and thorough. Stopping distances, traffic flows, potential blind spots, and other state, city, and location-specific factors are considered.

For this reason, those who choose to ignore the law may be considered negligent since they are endangering the lives of others on the road as well as their own by increasing the likelihood of an accident. In addition, higher speeds correlate to a higher probability of catastrophic harm or even death.

What’s more, the average Texan drives more than 14,000 miles per year, which is more than double the national average. As a result, Texas experienced a far higher rate of accidents caused by speeding than the rest of the country.

Victims of these vehicle accidents caused by speeding drivers often must cope with serious physical, financial, and emotional consequences. Understanding the data and impact behind these speed-related accidents in Texas and what factors contribute most is crucial. And it’s essential for Texans to keep themselves informed of the statistics so they can protect themselves on our highways.

Car Accidents Caused By Speeding in Texas

The Consequences of Speeding and Reckless Driving in TexasThroughout the last year alone, speeding was a factor in slightly under 40% of fatal Texas car accidents, up significantly from the previous year, when it was estimated that excess speed contributed to roughly 30% of fatal Texas car accidents.

In fact, for several of Texas’s largest cities, the number of speed-related auto accidents has increased dramatically in recent years. However, Houston has been the worst city in Texas for car accidents in recent years, with an annual average of almost 55,000 injuries.

Researchers estimate that ten people lose their lives in car accidents per week in Houston, though Dallas also claims one of the highest accident rates in the state. Regardless of the details surrounding these incidents, one of the most common reasons for fatal automobile crashes remains excessive speed. Year after year in the Lone Star State, at least 25,000 individuals are hurt or killed in speed-related incidents.

Tragically, Texas has the highest rate of speeding-related deaths throughout the entire nation. As mentioned above, excessive speed is responsible for almost one-third of all Texas highway deaths.

Roughly 18,000 crashes involving drivers traveling at excessive speeds or exceeding the speed limit occurred in 2021, per the Texas Department of Transportation (TDOT). These collisions killed close to 400 people and injured nearly 3,400 others.

How Speeding Causes Vehicle Accidents

Everyone knows it is harder to manage safe driving as its speed increases. Additionally, the concept of speeding includes both an absolute and a relative dimension. In other words, driving too fast for the road conditions is also considered speeding, not just going above the speed limit. It’s possible that if the weather changes, a roadway that’s fine to drive 45 miles per hour on while dry will become dangerous.

Of course, there is a complex web of factors connecting velocity to crash severity. While it’s true that high speeds pose a risk, that fact isn’t necessarily a reliable predictor of an accident. Involvement in a speed-related collision is affected by several factors beyond just speed itself, including weather, road type, driver age, impairment, and road features (such as gradient, curvature, and breadth).

Aside from those factors, the International Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that higher speeds increase the likelihood of crashes and injuries in several ways:

  • The distance needed to come to a complete stop increases as soon as the driver applies the brakes.
  • It significantly increases the impact energy of a collision. If the impact speed doubles from 40 to 60 miles per hour (a 125 percent increase), for instance, the amount of energy that must be managed also doubles.
  • In the event of a high-velocity collision, the vehicle’s construction may not be able to protect the occupants from harm. Airbags and safety belts can only do so much to lessen the severity of injuries sustained in a car collision.

Serious injuries, such as broken bones, concussions, spinal cord injuries, and internal organ damage from crushing, are frequently occurring outcomes of car crashes caused by speeding.

Holding a Speeding Driver Accountable in Texas

Multiple kinds of evidence can help us determine whether or not speeding was a contributing factor in an automobile accident that resulted in injury to those involved. For instance, the size of skid marks on the road and other vehicle damage can be used as indicators of speed. In the event of an accident, data such as wheel speed and engine RPM can be recovered via an event data recorder (EDR), a feature found in many newer vehicles.

The EDR in passenger vehicles serves a similar purpose as the “black box” recorders in large trucks and airplanes. Moreover, in rare cases, incidents are recorded by red-light cameras at intersections or in surrounding security systems. They can later be recovered so that the vehicles’ speeds can be displayed.

When necessary, your legal team will confer with accident reconstruction experts to investigate your crash and provide witness testimony on the estimated speeds of the involved vehicles and the various damages caused by excessive speed.

That said, it’s important to begin looking into what happened as soon as possible following an accident. Evidence at an accident scene, such as skid marks, will eventually be cleared and cleaned up by authorities. Plus, your vehicle or the other driver’s car may be totaled and immediately junked, leaving you without crucial evidence you and your attorney need to prove fault.

Call a Dallas Car Accident Lawyer at the Rasansky Law Firm

While there are a myriad of factors at play when an accident occurs, unsafe speeds are a key contributor to traffic crashes in the Lone Star State.

Thankfully, our auto accident lawyers at the Rasansky Law Firm have more than 30 years of experience helping clients who have been hurt in accidents caused by speeding or otherwise reckless drivers.

Our firm provides trustworthy, efficient representation by a team of compassionate and seasoned attorneys. Call our Dallas car accident lawyers at (214) 617-1886 for a no-cost evaluation of your case if you’ve been hurt in a Texas car crash and want to learn more about your legal options.

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Note: The information that was utilized in this post was gathered from the use of secondary sources. This information used has not been confirmed or independently verified. If you locate any information that is not correct, please contact our firm as soon as possible so that we can make the appropriate corrections. If you find any information that is false, we will remove or correct the post immediately after it is brought to our attention.

Disclaimer: As a valued member of the Dallas community, Rasansky Law Firm’s goal is to improve the safety of all residents in the great state of Texas. These posts should not be viewed as a solicitation for business and the information included herein should not be taken as medical or legal advice. The photos used in this post are not representative of the actual crash scene.

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