Speeding, Highway Collisions and Accident Claims

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In the whole world, the United States has the largest network of highways, there is at least one present in every state and connects most major cities. However, in the US, a highway is a general term for denoting a public way, including the entire area within the right-of-way, and includes many forms:

  1. Expressways and freeways which are any high-speed, limited access road are called a highway.
  2. A highway can be any important road that connects cities.
  3. Any road at all can be referred to as a highway.

In fact, under the Motor Vehicle Code of California, a highway is a way or place of whatever nature, publicly maintained and open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel. By its definition, a highway is also considered as a street.

Highway Crash and Injury Numbers

California, with more than 16,000 miles of paved highways, freeways, interstates and state routes, is particularly vulnerable to highway collisions. According to the Federal Highway Administration, roadway safety is a serious, national public health issue. Motor vehicle crash fatalities in 2007 reached up to 41,059. Highway collisions, when broken down reveal the following:

  • Road departure deaths have the highest fatality rate at 59 percent with 24,147 victims in 2007.
  • There were 8,657 intersection fatalities, intersection deaths were account for 21 percent in highway fatalities.
  • There were 4,654 (11 percent) pedestrian fatalities.

Majority of these highway deaths take place on rural roads. Rural roads account for approximately 40 percent of the vehicle miles traveled in the U.S., but almost 57 percent of fatalities. According to recent data, 23,260 people were killed in rural crashes in 2007.

Speeding as a Main Cause of Auto Accidents

Speeding, aside from driving under the influence of alcohol is one of the leading causes of highway collisions. It accounted for about 32 percent of all motor vehicle crash deaths. The percentage of crash deaths involving speeding was higher on minor roads (38 percent) than on interstates and freeways (30 percent) or on other major roads (29 percent) in 2007.

Most of the states have statutory highway speed limits or apply the basic speed rule which is that drivers should not drive faster than what is safe in current conditions. For example, even if the speed limit is 50 mph on the highway, but if there is a fog, driving at the speed of 50mph is considered as driving too fast for the condition.

Speeding is the most committed driver error and accounts for the reason why most Americans have been issued traffic tickets.

Highway collisions are mostly due to human error, thus, in order to reduce the number of fatalities, it is best for all drivers to drive responsibly and always remember to follow the statutory speed laws. Speeding in busy streets will not get you faster to your destination, in fact, it will only take more time if you get pulled over for a traffic violation or get involved in a highway collision.

Highway Accident Injury Claims and Insurance Companies

Anyone injured in a highway accident, especially when not at fault, can be awarded compensation per civil tort laws. These laws are designed to help accident victims recover monetary compensation for any damages, injury or property damage, that result from a highway accident or car crash.

Even though these laws are in place, many insurance companies will work to minimize the amount of money they pay out for a given car accident claim, especially with regard to injuries. Most personal injury from car accident victims should recover money for lost time from work, pain and suffering, any permanent injury or disfigurement and more.

Having the aid of a legal professional working on your behalf goes a long way in forcing the insurance company, or any other liable party, to pay all required awards to make the injured person whole again.