In recent years there has been a lot of media attention given to the dangers of drunk driving and texting while driving. While these driving behaviors are serious safety issues in Montana, it is important to remember that speeding remains the cause of a significant number of deadly motor vehicle accidents. In fact, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association, speeding is a factor in one-third of all car accident fatalities nationwide.
Speeding does not just mean exceeding the posted speed limit. It also encompasses driving too fast for road or weather conditions, as well as racing. A vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed is harder to control on curves and in rain or snow. At high speeds a driver’s ability to react in time to an emergency is reduced, increasing the likelihood of an accident. And when an accident does occur, greater speed results in a more violent collision, with increased likelihood of serious injury or death.
When a driver exceeds the speed limit or drives too fast for conditions they are driving negligently. Negligence means the failure to exercise a reasonable level of care, and it can give rise to legal liability if it causes an accident.
When a person is injured in a car accident caused by a negligent driver they have the right to bring a civil lawsuit and seek compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. When speeding or other negligence causes a fatal accident, the victim’s family has the right to sue for wrongful death damages.
Source: Governors Highway Safety Association, “Speeding & Aggressive Driving,” accessed Aug. 17, 2015