Driving over the speed limit is dangerous and illegal. If you were in a crash involving a speeding driver, you are likely dealing with injuries. Unfortunately, the insurance company probably won’t pay you maximum compensation without the help of an experienced lawyer. At Gay & Chacker, we offer free legal consultations to people who suffered injuries in vehicle crashes. We welcome you to contact us to discuss your situation. There is no obligation when you call.
Why Speeding is Dangerous
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) notes a few consequences of speeding besides breaking the law. Speeding can lead to the following:
- A higher chance of losing control of the vehicle,
- Reduced effectiveness of seatbelts and other occupant protection equipment,
- A shorter reaction time when the driver must stop,
- A more severe crash and injuries,
- Higher costs of a speed-related crash, and more.
Speeding and otherwise driving aggressively may not only affect the driver; it can also endanger nearby motorists, nearby pedestrians, and bicyclists.
Pennsylvania Speeding Statistics
Speed is the number one type of “driver error” that leads to crashes, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s (PennDOT) annual report. In 2019, speed was a contributing factor in 29,978 crashes 385 deaths.
Pennsylvania Traffic Speed Laws
The Commonwealth has specific laws that dictate speed limits in certain areas and the penalties motorists face when they violate those limits. Except when a hazard exists that requires lower speed, the below limits are the maximum lawful speeds.
- Urban districts 35 mph
- Freeways: either 65 mph or 70 mph
- Residence districts: 25 mph if the highway is not a numbered traffic route and is classified as a local highway
- Other locations 55 mph
No driver may legally drive a vehicle at a speed higher than the maximum limits above. Motorists who are convicted of violating speed limits will receive a fine as follows:
- Violating a maximum speed limit of 65+ mph: $42.50
- Violating any other maximum speed limit: $35.00
In addition, drivers who go over the speed limit by more than five miles per hour will receive a fine of $2.00 per additional mile per hour over the excess five miles per hour.
Another Pennsylvania law covers the responsibility of drivers to choose a safe and reasonable speed, taking into consideration:
- Actual and potential hazards
- A speed that will allow the driver to stop within the clear distance ahead.
- Approaching and crossing an intersection or railroad grade crossing
- Nearing and navigating around the curve
- Approaching a hillcrest
- Traveling upon any narrow or winding roadway
- Hazards involving pedestrians, other traffic, or weather or highway conditions
As the NHTSA points out, it can be unsafe to drive at the speed limit when that speed is too fast for road conditions, such as during bad weather, at night when the road isn’t well lit, or when a road is under repair. Choosing a reasonable speed might mean driving under the speed limit to stay safe on the road.
Drivers’ Perception of Speeding Dangers
Aggressive driving is on the rise, according to the NHTSA, due to several factors:
- Traffic congestion
- Running late
- The feeling of anonymity inside a vehicle, which can lead some drivers to feel less constrained in their behavior
- Disregard for the law
- More drivers on the roads overall
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s 2019 Traffic Safety Culture Index found that drivers in the U.S. value traveling safely and would like to see stronger laws that ensure safer roads. However, the research continues to point out a discordance between drivers’ attitudes and behaviors. Here are some of the results from the 2019 survey:
- 55% of drivers surveyed think that speeding on a freeway is dangerous.
- 64% of drivers think speeding on a residential street is dangerous.
- 65% of drivers think that the police would catch a driver for driving 15 mph over the speed limit on a freeway. However, 48.2% reported having done so within 30 days prior to the survey.
- 86% think speeding through a red light is very dangerous or extremely dangerous.
- 52% think that the police would catch a driver for running a red light.
In addition, the survey found that drivers who were involved in at least one crash in the past two years are significantly more likely to engage in aggressive driving behavior such as speeding.
Speeding Accident Settlements
We are sometimes asked: How much money can I get from a lawsuit involving another driver who was speeding? Compensation in Pennsylvania can cover many areas for someone who was injured in a crash. Recoveries might include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages and benefits
- Pain and suffering
- Impact on your relationships
- End-of-life expenses if your loved one was killed, and more.
Every case is different, so the type of compensation and how much you can recover will depend on exactly what happened and the unique facts of your case. The best thing to do is to speak with an experienced Pennsylvania auto accident lawyer for advice. Our firm offers free case evaluations, and there is no obligation.
Contact Gay & Chacker for a Free Consult
If you were injured in an automobile crash, we are here to help you. Our firm has a reputation for reaching excellent settlements as quickly as possible, treating clients with respect, and working as conscientiously and as hard as we can. An experienced lawyer will speak with you and answer your questions about your situation and what we can do to help.
Call us at (215) 567-7955 or fill out our contact form to get started. There is no risk or obligation. If you hire our firm, we will charge you no fees unless we recover financial compensation for you.