Surprising Facts About Speed and Driver Reaction Time in Miami Car Accidents

Miami drivers are well-aware that speeding increases the potential for serious auto collisions, but you may not understand the specific implications until you look closer at some of the underlying factors. Though it impacts the level of damage and severity of injuries, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also points out how speed affects reaction time, which in turn affects your braking time. You might be surprised at the distance a vehicle can travel in the mere moments between identifying a threat and being able to stop. 

Regardless of whether you were hurt in a collision based upon speeding or some other form of negligence, it is essential to work with a Miami car accident lawyer who can guide you through the legal process. Some facts about speed and driver reaction time may also be helpful.

Speed affects multiple driving factors. 

Total stopping distance is a product of speed, reaction time, and braking distance. Reaction time is established as the perception of a threat, plus the amount of time it takes to make the decision and move your foot to the brake – the NHTSA estimates that this is 1.5 seconds. When the vehicle is traveling at 30 mph, reaction time plus braking distance is a complete stop within 119 feet; at a speed of 70 mph, the vehicle will take 387 feet to stop.

The speeding problem is widespread.

Approximately one-third of all motor vehicle collisions in the US are rear-end crashes, a statistic that highlights how much stopping distance matters. More people are injured in rear-end car accidents than any other type of traffic incident.

Speeding and drunk driving is a fatal mix. 

The NHTSA analysis of speed, 1.5-second reaction time, and braking distance is based upon a sober driver. Reaction time will be very different for a motorist who is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Unfortunately, there is a strong correlation between speeding and drunk driving: Around 75% of all fatal crashes caused by speeding involve alcohol impairment.

Distracted driving has a similar impact, since the motorist’s ideal reaction time will not even start until his or her eyes are back on the road. At 55 mph, a vehicle could travel the length of a football field in the moments it takes to send a text.

Keep in mind how speed affects other vehicles. 

The stopping distance for large trucks is much greater than passenger vehicles. A fully loaded tractor-trailer configuration and other commercial vehicles might need up to two football fields to come to a stop, even with decent weather conditions.

Reach Out to a Miami Car Accidents Attorney to Discuss Your Rights

These facts about speed and driver reaction time can help you reduce the potential for crashes, but you cannot prevent all forms of negligence. If you were injured, you can trust our lawyers at Gerson & Schwartz, PA to protect your rights. Please contact us today to set up a no-cost consultation at our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach, FL.

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