The common, daily routine of driving is not something most Texans think about. We get in our cars, drive to our jobs or run errands without considering that we are controlling a two-ton weapon. When high speed is involved, vehicles can turn deadly in a second. Such was the case when a routine drive cut one Dallas man’s life short after two vehicles were racing and crashed into his vehicle. The high-speed impact caused the deceased’s vehicle to spin counterclockwise multiple times before ejecting him; he was pronounced dead at the scene, while one driver was taken to the hospital for serious internal injuries, and the third driver remained unharmed.
This is the latest fatality in a string of high speed and racing-related tragedies in the Dallas area. Speed has historically been a leading cause of deaths in car accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) compiled crash statistics’ data from the last three years, finding speeding to be the number one cause of deaths in motor vehicle accidents. NHSTA cited “driving too fast for conditions or in excess of posted limit or racing” as the cause of 8,856 deaths or 17% of overall car-accident fatalities.
Rural stretches of open road combined with high speed limits have proven to be a recipe for disaster. Currently, 42 out of 50 states have maximum speed limits of 70 mph or higher on some portion of state roads. Additionally, 11 states have maximum speed limits over 75 and eight states have 80 mph speed limits. Texas leads the pack, with the highest speed limit in the country of 85 mph on state highway 130, which has seen numerous fatal accidents. Since the highway opened in 2012, at least 37 people have died along the stretch of road that yields speeds between 80 to 85 mph.
The 85 mile-per-hour tollway stretches 91 miles and runs parallel to Interstate 35. It has drawn considerable criticism for its nationally historic high-speed limit. Now, after four years of being open to Texas drivers, the highway has reached a peak of fatal accidents, including incidents of multi-car pileups and rollovers. Speed has been cited as a cause in almost all of these accidents.
Adding to safety concerns, truck drivers are incentivized to use the highway for its increased speed limits and less congestion. A multitude of issues for both truck drivers and civilians resulted. For truck drivers maneuvering loads along the highway, cars traveling 85 mph around them means less reaction time when changing lanes or exiting; on the other hand, passenger vehicles opting to take highway 130 now share the lanes with heavy trucks traveling at speeds 20 to 25 miles per hour higher than on other highways.
Texas Car Accident Attorneys
On average, Texas roads see 3,000 fatalities annually from car accidents. The Texas Department of Transportation estimates that one person lost their life every two hours and 21 minutes as a result of a car accident, and one person was seriously injured as a result of a car accident every two minutes and four seconds.
Texas roads can be dangerous for the average commute; and, with state highways allowing speeds up to 85 miles-per-hour, the odds of coming into contact with a speeding driver accelerate. Being involved in a high-speed car accident is a serious and devastating event. If you or a loved one was hit by a speeding driver, you may have many questions. It is important to have the right representation when dealing with other drivers and their insurance companies. Contact Craft Law Firm today for a free case consultation.