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Federal Study Finds “Driving Too Fast For Conditions” Often Causes Accidents

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on August 15, 2011

When it comes to driving, the term “speeding” can refer equally to two different situations: when the driver is driving faster than the posted speed limit, or when the driver is driving “too fast for conditions,” or too fast to control the vehicle on snow, ice, wet roads, damaged pavement, or in low visibility conditions such as fog or steep hills. Although federal data collection has typically categorized these two different kinds of “speeding” together, a recent study by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has found that it’s important to distinguish between them in order to understand how death- or injury-causing accidents occur.

For instance, the study found that, in speeding accidents that cause death, 55 percent were caused by a driver exceeding the posted speed limit, while 45 percent were caused by a driver going too fast for conditions. In injury crashes, however, only 26 percent of the accidents were caused by a driver exceeding the posted speed limit, while 74 percent were caused by a driver going too fast for conditions.

The NHTSA researchers also found that, in crashes that caused injuries, drivers “going too fast for conditions” were almost always speeding on roads where the posted speed limit was 55 miles per hour or above, indicating that a higher posted speed limit might encourage some drivers to drive faster than they can do safely.

Speeding is a major cause of car accidents, especially among younger drivers. If you or someone you love has been injured in a crash with a speeding or otherwise negligent driver, the experienced Washington speeding accident lawyers at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. can help. Call us today at 888-228-3860 for a free and confidential consultation.

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