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An ironic case of reality imitating art, “The Fast and Furious” star Paul Walker died in a car accident on 30th November, 2013. The most possible culprit- speeding in a sports car and the sheer thrill of it.

This incident has been a jolt to all those who love going in three digits on the speed-devils. While we might put forward a hundred excuses- equipment failure in the vehicle, bad design of roadways and many more to justify the accident, speeding vehicles remain an indisputable evil on roads. According to NHTSA, speeding is responsible for one out of three fatal crashes.

So while we may sympathize and empathize with the loss of one of our most loved stars and say, “But we all tend to over-speed sometimes”, the tough truth remains that speed thrills but kills.

High Speed equals Higher rate of accidents

Over-speeding or high speeds invariably is accompanied with less control over your vehicle. This automatically makes you prone to crashes and danger not just for yourself but to others on the road.
Speeding often happens when you gradually get used to it, start disregarding all traffic rules and start thinking nobody is watching you. It is not just limited to highways but people also speed on roads that are not inter-state highways and unsafe zones like, near schools, hospitals.

High speed reduces the thinking, analyzing and response time of the driver and the distance needed for braking increases. However a longer distance is traveled in less time when you are traveling in high speeds and so the probability of collision increases manifold.

Speed Is a Cause of Severe Accidents

The momentum and force of the vehicle is much higher when it is traveling at greater speeds. This explains why most of the crashes that happen at high speed causes more fatal accidents and casualties than other road accidents. This road scare is maximum for the unprotected road users like pedestrians and cyclists who get hit by these speeding cars.

Cars that collide with each other or against an external object are also at much more risk of physical damage and injury when they are at higher speeds than at lower speeds.

Tailgating and Regular Over-speeding

Frequent tailgating and changing lanes, failure to yield right of way or to signal are tendencies that go hand-in-hand with over-speeding. This is a dangerous phenomena and often is combined with drunk driving. These are all traffic violations and comprise aggressive driving.

What causes regular over-speeding?

While you may be in a hurry to reach somewhere and may have been speeding once, but making this a habit is dangerous. Unfortunately that is what is the case with a lot of people today. Overestimating your driving skills and thinking “I can manage” is a deadly attitude that causes many accidents. Tailgating often leads to rear-end collisions and cars ramming into guardrails.

Also there are some people, for whom speed is a thrill. While driving at high speeds is definitely thrilling, the speed-limits on the highways have been put up after taking into consideration many factual occurrences and scientific reasoning. Hence flouting these (even in sports cars or high torque cars designed to be driven fast) are a definite road to disaster.

After all speed can kill, no matter how skilled the driver or how advanced the car.

Road Design is not the Culprit

While we may blame roadway designs for the accidents, the government and roadways contractors and consultants put in much efforts to get railroad crossings, road barriers, utility poles to their high levels of safety and make the roadways safe and secure. Engineers give special consideration to many factors while designing roads.

Different roadway surfaces depending on the climate, environment , traffic speed and location are taken into account while designing grooved pavements or rumble strips or reflective markers as travel lane dividers.

Traffic Control devices such as speed limit signs, school and pedestrian crossings, roadway identification signs like street names, advanced notice of intersections, mileage estimates, route numbers and automated speed enforcements or speed cameras are installed and enforced to curb and control traffic flow and limit road accidents and consequent damages.

Thus road design is a tedious and exhaustive process that leaves little scope for accidents. However unexpected and adverse weather conditions like excessive snowfall can make the roads slippery and can aggravate road hazards. Being more cautious in such circumstances is extremely important.

Aftermath of a Car Accident

Whatever the cause, if and when a car accident occurs, medical assistance is the first priority. When you are a victim of a car injury and have suffered injury, call your attorney as well, immediately. If in a position to record the scene of accident, jot down the details and cooperate with the police. But do not give detailed accounts of the accident till you do not speak with your attorney. Observing this is important as, when you suffer from physical injury, pain and financial blows due to somebody else's reckless driving, you have a right to file a lawsuit against them to recover damage awards and compensation.

However any of your words spoken at the time of the accident when you were in shock and trauma, can be twisted and used against you and may weaken your case. Under such circumstances it is also important that you pick an expert lawyer who functions on contingency basis, that is does not charge you till they do not successfully recover your damage claim from the liable party.

Next time you drive in those three digits for the sheer thrill maybe you will have a glimpse of your girl waiting back at home for you or your son waiting for their father who promised to help him make his snowman and you might consider just following the speed limits and traffic rules.