Speeding is a common occurrence on roads and highways through the United States, including those in Brooklyn. All drivers have gone over the speed limit or traveled too fast for conditions at one point or another. However, those who habitually and excessively speed put others on the road at risk for dangerous accidents, injuries, and death.
The NYPD issues thousands of speeding tickets across the city each year, with Brooklyn drivers receiving several thousand. Fortunately, the number of speeding accidents in Brooklyn each year is far less than the number of speeding tickets. Yet, dozens of speeding accidents occur in Brooklyn each month. In one month, approximately 100 speeding-related accidents occurred at intersections in Brooklyn and on Brooklyn’s highways.
If you sustained injuries because of a speeding driver, you can seek compensation for damages after you file an insurance claim under your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance coverage, if applicable.
Contact a Brooklyn accident injury attorney who can guide you and give you the best chances of recovering maximum compensation for your injuries. Until you have the opportunity to meet with a lawyer, this blog provides additional information about speeding accidents in Brooklyn, specific reasons why speeding is dangerous, the groups of drivers that typically speed, and steps you should take after involvement in a Brooklyn speeding accident.
Speeding Is Not Harmless
Some drivers think that speeding is harmless. After all, they have control of their vehicle, so they aren’t hurting anyone else. The truth is that speeding puts everyone on the road at risk for dangerous, sometimes deadly traffic accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), speeding contributes to at least 25 percent of traffic fatalities each year across the United States. Historically, speed is a factor in more than 30 percent of fatal traffic accidents.
Speeding is a harmful practice that comes with many dangers, which include:
- Drivers who speed have more difficulty keeping control of their vehicles, whether operating a car, SUV, truck, or motorcycle.
- Auto manufacturers design and install safety features in vehicles based on normal operating speeds, which are not much higher than speed limits. Excessive speed reduces the effectiveness of airbags, seat belts, and other safety features, increasing the likelihood of debilitating and fatal injuries when an accident occurs.
- Drivers who speed do not have as much time to take in and process information, making it more difficult to respond accurately and more likely for a speeding accident to occur.
- Speeding requires drivers to allow for increased stopping distance for intersections, heavy traffic, and road hazards. Speeders who do not allow enough distance to slow down or stop risk striking another vehicle or pedestrian. The dangers associated with a shorter stopping distance are worse on snowy and icy roads.
- Sometimes speed does not directly cause a crash, but speeding worsens the consequences of a collision. Higher speeds create a greater impact during a crash, leading to more serious accident injuries and a higher chance of fatalities.
Speeders in Brooklyn and Elsewhere Share Certain Characteristics
The NHTSA has devoted time and resources to study driving, drivers, and traffic accidents to keep roads safe for everyone. Their research consistently shows that speeders share common characteristics that lead to some groups speeding and being involved in speed-related accidents more than others.
- Females are less likely to speed than males in all age groups.
- Older drivers are less likely to be involved in speeding accidents than younger drivers. Approximately 18 percent of female drivers up to age 20 were speeding when a car crash occurred, and 30 percent of males in the same age group were speeding when an accident occurred.
- Drivers involved in fatal traffic accidents are more likely to have previous speeding tickets and other moving violations on their driving records, as well as license suspensions or revocations.
- Drivers involved in fatal speeding accidents have alcohol in their system about 40 percent of the time, more than double compared to fatal accidents where speeding was not a factor.
- Nighttime drivers involved in car or truck crashes are more likely to speed than those involved in fatal truck or car crashes during the day.
Brooklyn Speeding Accidents in the News
Speeding accidents that involve passenger vehicles, motorcyclists, cyclists, and pedestrians plague Brooklyn’s streets, highways, and intersections. Some examples of recent Brooklyn speeding accidents include:
ABC 7 NY: Speeding Car Runs Red Light and Causes Accident
A 22-year-old driver allegedly sped through a red light at Bedford and DeKalb Avenue in Clinton Hill, crashing into another car. The force of the car crash sent the other vehicle onto the sidewalk and ejected the 32-year-old driver from her vehicle. Police investigating the accident report that the same car has been caught previously on video engaging in reckless behavior.
Yahoo News: Driver Crashes into Scaffolding While Speeding
A 25-year-old driver allegedly lost control of his car and crashed into the scaffolding of a deli in Coney Island. The accident took place near Surf Avenue and W. 20th Street, across the street from the parachute jump amusement park ride. Emergency response teams rushed the driver to NYU Langone Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. The driver’s passenger survived the crash without injury.
NY Post: Speeding Driver Dies After Crashing Car Into a Tree
A driver heading westbound on Belt Parkway in Sheepshead Bay allegedly lost control while speeding and struck a tree. NYPD came to the scene of the accident and found the driver unconscious and unresponsive with severe trauma. Emergency response teams rushed him to Coney Island Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Fortunately, no others suffered injuries in this Brooklyn car crash.
Streets Blog NYC: Speeding Driver Kills Pedestrian in Multi-Vehicle Collision
A 58-year-old Brooklyn woman died after a suspected speeding driver crashed into another vehicle, which struck her while walking near her Midwood home. The woman was crossing Ocean Avenue in the crosswalk at the intersection of Avenue J when the driver allegedly ran a red light and crashed into another vehicle that pushed her to the pavement. The speeding driver fled on foot, but authorities caught him later and charged him with multiple crimes and moving violations.
ABC 7 NY: Hit-and-Run Speeder Kills Two Women
A driver in a BMW speeding down Pennsylvania Avenue allegedly crashed into two women in a car traveling on Flatlands Avenue. Emergency response teams transported the two women to Kings County Hospital, but they did not survive the accident. The driver of the BMW and his passenger fled on foot after the crash.
Why Do Brooklyn Drivers Speed?
In the NHTSA’s research about speeding, they find various motivations to speed. These motivations are not mutually exclusive.
Those who choose to speed may do so because:
- Heavy traffic conditions make many Brooklyn drivers impatient. Some choose to speed to get around slower-moving traffic and avoid getting stuck in a traffic jam.
- Some Brooklyn drivers have various obligations that keep them running all day long. Some begin their day running late, and others lose time during the day. Drivers running late for school, work, or another meeting or appointment sometimes choose to speed to make up time and avoid being late.
- Driving in the privacy of one’s own vehicle creates a sense of detachment and feelings of anonymity that sometimes promote speeding. Drivers who feel anonymous don’t feel social pressure to follow traffic laws, and they are less afraid to drive recklessly and speed because they do not know those who share the road with them.
- Some speeders simply have to respect for the law and a complete disregard for the safety of others. They speed whenever they can and do not care about the consequences, even if it means causing a dangerous accident and injuries.
- Drivers who consume alcohol or drugs are more likely to speed, largely due to the poor judgment that comes with using controlled substances. Drivers who try to control their speed and drive safely cannot always do so depending on their impairment level.
- Teen drivers who have friends in the car sometimes speed because of peer pressure. Friends urge them to speed or race other cars, potentially leading to a treacherous speeding accident.
Brooklyn Speeding Accidents Lead to Severe Injuries
The idea that speeding accidents cause more severe injuries is not something drivers’ education instructors, police officers, and parents tell drivers to scare them into driving the speed limit. The idea is rooted in science. Newton’s Laws of Physics are some first things children learn about in school, and they get repeat lessons as they get older. According to Newton’s Second Law, force equals mass times acceleration (F=ma). This means that as the acceleration, or speed, of a vehicle increases, so does its potential force. This force leads to more dangerous traffic accidents, with more severe injuries, and higher chances of fatalities.
Some injuries speeding accident victims suffer include:
- Broken bones, especially multiple fractures and crushed bones that require surgery
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) that can lead to lifelong struggles with cognition, motor functions, memory, and behavioral issues
- Neck injuries, including severe soft tissue injuries such as tears in the ligaments or muscles in the neck
- Back injuries, including herniated discs and broken vertebrae
- Spinal cord injuries that sometimes result in paralysis in some or all of the body, depending on the location of the injury
- Internal damage to the lungs, heart, or other organs
Your PIP Insurance Does Not Stop You From Suing After a Brooklyn Speeding Accident
New York has a no-fault insurance system that requires those who register a vehicle to purchase a minimum of $50,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. If a speeding driver causes an accident that leads to your suffering injuries, your first step to recoup losses from medical expenses and lost wages is to file a claim under your mandatory PIP insurance. Your PIP insurance also applies if you get injured as a pedestrian or a cyclist, but it does not extend to you if you are riding a motorcycle.
PIP coverage and benefits are not tied to fault, so it does not matter that another driver harmed you. If you are lucky enough to suffer minor speeding accident injuries, your PIP benefits will likely cover most of your losses, especially if you did not have to miss work. After a severe speeding accident, victims quickly meet or exceed their PIP policy limits. Once this occurs, you can file a claim against the at-fault driver and bring a lawsuit if necessary.
The benefit of filing a lawsuit is that you can potentially receive compensation for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and diminished quality of life. Your PIP benefits do not cover non-economic damages.
An Experienced Brooklyn Accident Injury Attorney Can Help
An experienced Brooklyn car accident lawyer can help you through the claims process and evaluate your case to determine the best path to recover damages related to your speeding accident and injuries. Accident injuries from a severe speeding accident sometimes devastate victims and their families. Medical bills keep piling up while a victim cannot work, adding significant financial and emotional stress on top of the physical pain of injury.
Hiring an attorney gives you the time you need to focus on healing while your lawyer handles the details of your case. In addition to investigating the accident and gathering evidence to build a case against the at-fault driver, attorneys also handle communication with the insurance company. Insurance adjusters will use every method possible to deny or devalue a claim and avoid making a payout. Lawyers can protect you from saying something that might hurt your claim and handle negotiations, typically securing a higher amount than you could otherwise get yourself.
Finally, when settlement negotiations fail, a lawyer will fight your case in court to ensure you get the compensation you deserve for your Brooklyn speeding accident injuries.