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Was the driver who caused a crash just running late?

Let us say you had the green light and were just entering the intersection when a speeding driver crashed into your vehicle.

When the dust settles, you are left with significant injuries and a wrecked vehicle. Was the driver drunk or distracted by a cell phone? In many cases, the driver was simply speeding and trying to beat the traffic light because they were impatient with traffic jams or running late for something.

A main contributing factor of accidents

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, speeding was a main factor in 10,111 fatalities on the nation’s highways in 2016. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles tells us it is one of the major factors in vehicle crashes here in Florida, accounting for 12% of all traffic fatalities in the state.

Why people speed

Traffic congestion is one of the reasons drivers speed. They become frustrated by a “parking lot” situation. Once the traffic clears, they release that frustration by driving too fast, repeatedly changing lanes and jockeying to get around slower motorists.

Also, given busy modern schedules, drivers frequently are running late for meetings or appointments, therefore exceeding the speed limit to gain a few seconds or minutes.

A sense of anonymity

Drivers who speed are comfortable in their anonymity. Once inside their vehicles, they are insulated from others on the road. They feel less constrained because those who witness their speeding will never see them again.

In Florida, we have 20 million registered vehicles. Hundreds of thousands of visitors join the drivers of those vehicles on our roads and highways throughout the year. It is no wonder that so many car crashes occur, many of them caused by speeding, which is an aggressive driving behavior that can result in serious injury or death.

Looking ahead

A thorough investigation will show whether the other driver was speeding, and perhaps why. Maybe they feel entitled or invincible. Maybe they were simply running late. In any event, if they cause a crash your goal is to recover from your injuries and get on with your life, so do not hesitate to look into the legal remedies available.

What if you were the one speeding? Even then, it may turn out the other driver was also exceeding the speed limit -- or doing something more dangerous like texting while driving. You are still entitled to pursue accident compensation even in a shared liability situation.

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