Alaska Car Accident Attorney
Which is the more dangerous situation, driving a car off a 120 foot high cliff, or crashing a car into a rock wall at 60 mph? The answer is that both situations will cause similar damage to the car and injury to its occupants. While most people fully appreciate the dangers of falling from a great height, few appreciate the dangers of speed. When falling 120 feet to the ground, it isn't the height that does the damage, it's the speed of impact with the ground, which would be 60 mph.
There is one important difference between the danger of great height and that of speed: doubling your height only doubles the destructive impact energy, while doubling your speed quadruples this energy. That is, your impact energy is proportional with the square of your speed. Doubling your speed also quadruples your braking distance. In addition, high speed diminishes your turning radius and makes your car less stable.
In short, speed not only increases the destructive consequences of an accident, it makes one more difficult to avoid. High speeds also give you less time to react. For each second it takes to react to a traffic incident at 60 mph, your car travels 88 feet, which is almost the height of a 9 storey building.
Even exceeding the low speed limits of towns, such as 25 mph, is dangerous. Although driving 35 or 40 mph won't do the same damage to your car as 65 mph, it does increase the likelihood of striking a pedestrian or bicyclist and is sufficiently fast to cause a fatality. Exceeding a school zone speed limit endangers the lives of children who may bolt unexpectedly in front of your vehicle.
Always observing the posted speed limit isn't enough to avoid speeding because these signs are meant for ideal road and driving conditions. Poor visibility such as when driving at night or in the fog requires that you slow down enough so that you can stop within the distance that you can see. Reduced speed is also required when driving on wet pavement. The water reduces tire traction and therefore your ability to brake.
Driving the posted speed limit in these circumstances is considered speeding because you're driving too fast for the conditions. If this causes you to get into an accident, you will likely be found at fault. On the other hand, if another's speeding injures you in an accident, don't hesitate to seek the legal help of an experienced Alaska car accident attorney. Contact us today for a free consultation.