What happens if a car is too fast?
Driving too Fast in a Curve
As drivers, we have all probably travelled above a posted speed limit at some point. Sometimes, driving a little too fast is not as dangerous as in other instances driving too fast in a curve can be catastrophic. When drivers are navigating a curve or sharp turn, it is especially important to follow the imposed speed limit, or drive even more carefully, to avoid serious accidents and injuries to yourself or others. When a driver maneuvers a curve while driving too fast, and causes a collision, that driver can be held legally responsible for the harm caused. The Miami car accident attorneys of the Law Offices of Robert Dixon help victims of these types of crashes pursue the proper legal action necessary in the aftermath. Unfortunately, in the cases of debilitating, life-altering injuries, or times where an accident is fatal, victims and families left behind have expenses that insurance benefits cannot cover. Personal injury and wrongful death claims, therefore, are vital to ensuring these victims and families are able to not only physically and emotionally recover, but financially recover as well. The lawyers in our office offer seasoned and knowledgable legal representation for clients in and around South Florida, including Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties. If you have questions regarding your legal options after being involved in a car accident, please contact our office today to set up a free consultation to learn more about our services and how we can help.
Accidents Caused by Driving too Fast in a Curve
Curves or sharp turns not only are dangerous because drivers lack sight of oncoming traffic, that could lead to a head-on collision. If a driver is driving too fast in a curve, those turns can often be the scene of a devastating roll-over crash as well. Speeding vehicles are difficult to control in any situation, with stopping distance and reaction time being altered. This difficulty is increased when a driver negotiates a curve. Often, a speeding driver will understeer when approaching a curve, as they underestimate the need to maneuver it fully. Upon realizing the error, a driver will oversteer to correct their direction, which commonly causes the driver to lose control. When this loss of control leads to a collision with another vehicle, or injuries to a passenger, pedestrian, or other, the driver responsible can be held legally liable.
Legal Options for Car Accident Victims
When a driver causes an accident because he or she has driven too fast for conditions, such as when maneuvering a curvature, they may be found negligent in a personal injury or wrongful death suit. Negligence refers to the burden of proof a plaintiff must show in order to hold a defendant legally liable for their harm. The elements of negligence are: (1) the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of reasonable care; (2) that duty was breached by the defendant’s actions; (3) those actions were a proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injury or death; and (4) damages resulted. Drivers owe all road users a duty to act as a reasonable and prudent person would behind the wheel. It can be validly argued that if a driver takes on a curve going too fast, and then loses control of the vehicle, that is an unreasonable action, and therefore he or she is liable for any injuries that result in a collision. Determining speed, and therefore fault, in these types of collisions often means having accident reconstruction specialists involved as well as any witness accounts and other evidence to support your claim. Once negligence is established, victims injured in these types of accidents can receive compensation for medical costs, both already incurred as well as anticipated, lost income, loss of earning capacity, and, in some circumstances, pain and suffering damages. Families who have lost loved ones in a fatal collision may also recover burial and funeral expenses or loss of support.
Contact an Attorney in Miami Following a Motor Vehicle Collision
Serious injuries such as broken bones, paralysis, traumatic brain injury can be caused by a driver who does not appropriately account for his speed when navigating a sharp curve. When that happens, that driver should bear the financial burden of a victims’ injury. The Miami lawyers at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon have vast experience helping clients receive the compensation they need and are entitled to. Please call our office at 877.499.4878 or contact us online if you have questions regarding your legal rights after a collision. You can set up a free, no obligation consultation to find out more about your potential claims.
There’s No Such Thing As A Car That’s Too Fast, And Here’s Why
Calling for an outright ban on a car for being ‘too fast’ shows a chronic lack of understanding of the subject, and such a call is all the more outrageous for the fact that it comes from a major car media title
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Can a car ever be too fast? We’ve been asking ourselves this question since someone at Automotive News called for the Dodge Demon to be banned earlier this week.
You can look at this from a number of angles. Let’s take the Bugatti Chiron, which is limited to 261mph but could do 288mph if you’re willing to risk your life by pushing the tyres beyond what they’re capable of. Even limited, that’s a lot faster than the Dodge Demon.
The Tesla Model S P100D will sprint to 60 in 2.38 seconds, just eight hundredths behind the Demon and not all that much slower down the drag strip. But the Tesla is held up as a shining example of wonderful, progressive, advanced and safe technology. This isn’t stacking up.
Let’s bring in comparisons to motorbikes, the fastest of which will easily match or beat a hypercar in a rolling drag race up to 150mph or so. The fastest I’ve ever ridden is a Kawasaki ZZR1400, which took me from 60mph to 130mph in third gear alone, and in not very long at all. I remember the giddy sense of power I had, the risks I took and the sense of having dodged a bullet when I got off it. I remember thinking that if anything was too fast, that was. I realised that I’d maybe been a bit dangerous, and I also realised that the danger had come from me, not the bike.
And yet the big Zed is a slowcoach next to the latest and greatest litre sportsbikes and track-biased two-wheeled tech weapons. The argument for the pointlessness of these machines for road use is one for another day, maybe, but the point stands that they’re not banned, and only idiots would like them to be.
Why? Because a piece of machinery is only as dangerous as the person you put on or in it. A motorbike isn’t dangerous at all if you know what you’re doing and don’t take risks. Likewise, a car isn’t dangerous if you don’t take risks. We all take some risks, because life is boring if you don’t, but the point here is that no vehicle is dangerous; people sometimes choose to be dangerous, or just don’t realise that they’re being that way.
The Dodge Demon is not a cheap car and will have a restricted group of buyers to start with. Its reputation is already legend and it’s easy to imagine that some buyers will just add one to their collections or only ever use it on a private drag strip. The rest will be using it on the road, yes, but for Automotive News to imply that owners will be full-bore launching away from every set of traffic lights, ploughing into crowds and racking up a Total Recall-style body count is short-sighted and counter-productive. What need would Demon drivers have to do that? The badge alone will do all the hard work. The guy behind the wheel has nothing to prove.
Perhaps what really troubles the magazine’s bowels is the ferocity of the car’s launch; the trans brake that allows a 30 per cent faster reaction time and the semi-slick tyres that add traction. But is that really likely to be a public danger? No.
To get the fastest launch involves a specific process that just isn’t practical – or cool – to use on city streets. In the real world it’s going to be slower than a lot of Teslas. Its top speed is nowhere near that of the average supercar and you’re not going to be seeing it in any 200mph YouTube races down the freeway.
Driving a Demon will be like riding around on a grizzly bear. Why would people bother to pick a fight, and why would you need to go picking fights? Sorry, Automotive News, there’s not a car in the world that’s too fast and the Demon won’t inspire misbehaviour any more than any European supercar that you don’t want banned. What you’re really saying is that you think the American people who want to buy a Demon are dangerous, and I think it’s time you came out, stopped blaming Dodge and admitted it.
Why Speed Matters
When people think of the most common—and dangerous—driving habits, speeding often comes to mind. Speeding is a factor in about one-third of fatal traffic accidents, but driving too slowly can cause problems as well. In fact, it can be just as dangerous as speeding. Traffic officials consider driving too slowly a traffic hazard that can frustrate and confuse other drivers. Slow drivers interrupt the flow of traffic. They are also often culprits of distracted driving, or they might be new and inexperienced. This can create problems for everyone on the road.
Traffic Tickets for Driving Too Slowly
Slow driving presents such a hazard that, in some states, a motorist moving well below the speed limit can be pulled over for a traffic violation. Officials note that, while it’s uncommon, drivers can get a ticket if excessively slow driving blocks traffic or creates a road hazard.
While laws vary between states, many have statutes that prohibit driving too slowly. Though a law might not use the exact phrasing as “driving too slowly,” they typically describe this habit as failing to move with the flow of traffic. Usually, law enforcement will allow cars to drive slowly in the far-right lane and will only cite individuals driving too slow in the fast lane. However, if a car is driving so slowly that it causes all traffic to approach them at a dangerous rate, a person in the slow lane might be cited. In Texas, a driver can get a ticket for driving «so slowly as to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic.» In Ohio, driving too slowly can result in fourth-degree misdemeanor charges and a fine of up to $150!
The most essential tool drivers have for preventing accidents on the road is common sense. Driving too quickly or too slowly is never a good idea and should be avoided whenever possible. Instead, they should drive according to road conditions and behavior of other drivers, as long as that behavior is legal and safe.
Types of Slow Drivers & Why They’re Dangerous
People drive slowly for various reasons. Unfortunately, these reasons are usually additional factors that will increase the likelihood of an accident.
Distracted drivers account for about one-third of traffic fatalities in the U.S. each year. They are perhaps most known for colliding with other vehicles or striking pedestrians when they veer out of their lane, run a red light, or fail to stop in time. However, these drivers might also drive too slowly, placing others at risk as a result. A person who is eating, looking at their navigation system, or responding to a text might not notice how fast they’re driving. They may gradually slow down, interrupting the flow of traffic and confusing other drivers. Faster drivers might not expect to encounter a distracted driver in the left lane. They may need to slam on their brakes, veer around the slower driver, or make other dangerous maneuvers that increase the chances of an accident. It all comes down to distracted drivers who do not pay attention to their speed and how it compares to other drivers, road conditions, and weather conditions.
Navigating traffic can intimidate new drivers. When a new driver first merges with traffic on a highway or freeway, they might drive slower than other cars, assuming that they are being safe by doing so. Unfortunately, they are only making matters worse. Driving too slowly while merging is particularly dangerous because other drivers must slow down as well, often quickly. This increases the chances of a rear-end accident. Being alert and patient is the best way to deal with new drivers who are driving too slowly.
Aging slows down drivers because of factors like poor vision, sore joints, and other physical limitations commonly experienced by senior citizens. Reaction time can also be affected by age. Some older drivers are more cautious, which is good in some circumstances but dangerous in others. An overly cautious driver may drive too far below the speed limit, particularly when making a turn or merging into traffic. This type of behavior increases the chances of a crash. Just as with new drivers, being proactive and patient around a slow senior driver will help prevent accidents.
Tourists and those who are interested in something happening on or near a road may slow down unexpectedly and without realizing it. Those who live in popular tourist destinations or near well-known landmarks should be ready to encounter slow drivers. Likewise, drivers near roadside distractions like accidents should be prepared to drive defensively until they pass it. Drivers who are new to an area, who slow down to look at an accident, or who are trying to spot landmarks all present serious dangers to themselves and everyone around them.
Slow Drivers & Traffic Accidents
A driver who insists on moving along well below the speed limit may incite other drivers to overtake them, particularly if the driver is at the head of traffic on a two-lane road. While only the passing motorist might be blamed if a collision results from this action, the slow motorist has certainly played a part in the accident.
All drivers should consider how their actions, including the speed at which they travel, will affect the safety of the people with whom they share the road. If you’re worried about being a slow driver, the best thing you can do is watch the cars around you. If it’s obvious that those near you wish to drive faster, there’s no shame in pulling over and allowing cars to pass you.
Slow drivers should keep to the right lane on a multi-lane road. On a two-lane road, they should pull over when safe to let faster vehicles pass. If they notice a faster driver attempting to overtake and pass them, they should move to the right and slow down further to make it easier for the other driver.
How to Deal with Slow Drivers Safely
If you find yourself near a slow driver, approach the situation with caution. If possible, pass on the left. If the slow driver is in the far-left lane, decrease your speed and keep your distance. When it’s safe, pass on the right. In a perfect world, all slow drivers would merge to the right to let you by. However, this often doesn’t happen—especially when the slow driver is already ignoring the rules of the road! While passing on the right isn’t a great option, it might be your safest option.
Before overtaking a slow driver, do the following:
- Know your vehicle’s capabilities. If you can’t accelerate fast enough to safely merge with the traffic, maintain a safe distance from the slow vehicle until you can change lanes at the right time.
- Check if there might be a reason for the driver’s slow driving. Often, drivers can become frustrated with others on the road without realizing there’s a great reason for their behavior. If the driver in front of you is going slow, you should use the moment as a potential warning to look for dangers ahead.
- Check for other vehicles. Passing on the right is almost never advisable unless you believe you’re in danger because of the slow driver. Before merging to the right, look for other cars and smaller vehicles such as motorcycles. It’s easy to become frustrated and quickly change lanes—always take a moment to gather your emotions and look for others.
- Check yourself. If you need to pass a car on the right, ensure that you can do so legally and within the speed limit. Remember that slow drivers are often dangerous because of how others react to them!
When Should You Drive Slow?
While driving slowly is during regular traffic conditions is dangerous, there are times when conservative use of the accelerator is appropriate.
Moments when driving slowly are acceptable include:
- During bad weather
- When the flow of traffic slows
- Near railroad tracks
- Around school buses
- When animals are present near the road
- When there is an obstacle in the road ahead
Ultimately, it’s important to always factor in road conditions to determine if driving slowly is appropriate. If traffic around you is slowing down, it’s likely that doing the same is advisable. Being an alert and adaptive driver is the best way to protect yourself and others around you!
Injured Because of a Slow Driver? Our Car Accident Attorneys Can Help.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries during a motor vehicle accident caused by a slow or unsafe driver, you may be entitled to compensation. Our motor vehicle accident attorneys from Arnold & Itkin have successfully recovered billions of dollars in victories for clients. We know that car accidents change lives, and we fight to get clients the financial stability they deserve and need for recovery.