Many Pennsylvania drivers treat the posted speed limits on our state’s roadways as mere suggestions. It’s common for people to drive over the speed limit. In fact, a 2021 nationwide survey found that 50% of respondents claimed to have driven 15 mph or more above the speed limit on highways within the previous month. Within the same time frame, 40% of respondents said they had traveled 10 mph over the speed limit on residential streets.
But no one should think that just because speeding is common it is not also dangerous. According to another report, speeding was a factor in at least 40% of all fatal accidents in Pennsylvania in 2021. In fact, that rate was one of the highest in the nation that year.
There are simple explanations for why speeding is so dangerous: It reduces the amount of time drivers have to respond to hazards on the road; it means that cars take longer to stop; and it amplifies the force of any collision. Technology has given us all kinds of protections in new cars, but it can’t always protect us if we are driving at speeds that are unsafe on our roadways.
All drivers have a duty to avoid or minimize the risks of an accident. When they breach this duty, they act negligently. If they injure someone else through their negligence, they can be held liable for the injured party’s damages.
Negligent driving comes in many forms. We have all heard a lot about the dangers of drunk driving or using cellphones while driving. It’s important that we remember that, though it may be common, speeding is negligent driving, and it can be deadly.