Speeding on Texas streets and highways can result in traffic citations, sizable fines and hefty increases in your insurance rates. Unfortunately, these are not the only negative effects of exceeding the speed limit. Serious accidents can also occur because of excessive speed. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that at least $40 billion in economic losses are sustained annually due to speeding-related accidents. For those who have lost loved ones or who have been injured in these incidents, retaining the services of Houston vehicle accident lawyers can provide added support in recovering damages and compensation.
A Staggering Cost in Human Lives
According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TDoT), 344 people lost their lives in 2014 in speeding-related accidents. During the same year, the NHTSA reported 8,269 fatal car crashes directly related to speeding. Because the reasons for accidents are not always clear at the time of reporting, these figures are likely to reflect only a portion of the human cost of speeding in the United States.
Added Risks of Speed for Commercial Trucks
Semis and other large commercial trucks pose significant risks for other drivers on the road. When speeding is factored into the equation, these vehicles can easily cause devastating damage to smaller cars and trucks. New technologies are being developed that can monitor the speed of tractor-trailer trucks on the road and can reduce the risks associated with these large vehicles. Until these systems are fully implemented, however, the combination of large commercial trucks and excessive speed will continue to claim lives on U.S. roadways.
Calculating the Economic Costs
While property damage and medical expenses are among the most obvious costs associated with speeding, other economic consequences can be even more serious:
- Delays caused by speed-related crashes can reduce productivity and slow distribution of essential goods.
- The lost wages caused by injuries are one of the largest single elements in the overall cost of speed-related crashes. For drivers and passengers killed in these accidents, the losses include the entire projected income that could have been earned by these individuals.
- Court awards that include pain and suffering, mental anguish and other intangible losses typically add up to hundreds of millions of dollars each year.
- Insurance premiums go up in response to payouts for speeding accidents.
These additional costs of excessive speed can create a serious drain on state and local economies and can impact productivity and growth nationwide.
Personal Costs of Speeding
Drivers who speed are also subject to a number of financial penalties in addition to the risks posed by these activities:
- Depending on the rate of speed recorded by the law enforcement officer, tickets for speeding can amount to hundreds of dollars for each incident.
- In the state of Texas, drivers with more than six points on their licenses must pay a $100 surcharge to TDoT. Further accumulations are charged at $25 for each additional point incurred.
- Insurance premiums can increase sharply after one or two citations for speeding. An article published in Forbes in 2012 indicated that insurance costs could potentially go up by 15 percent for drivers cited for speeding 30 miles over the limit.
- Repeated offenses can lead to court appearances and legal costs associated with retaining or restoring driving privileges in the state of Texas.
These can add up to major expenses for drivers convicted of speeding offenses.
For those who have been injured in a speed-related accident, making a call to an attorney who specializes in Houston car accident personal injury cases can provide added help in dealing with the claims process and ensuring fair compensation for their losses. A qualified Houston auto crash attorney can negotiate with insurance adjusters and can provide assertive representation to obtain the largest possible settlement for their clients in speed-related accident cases.