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The dangers associated with driving too fast

At some point or another, most drivers are guilty of breaking an important traffic law and driving over the posted speed limit. While speed limits in Rhode Island top out at 65 MPH on Interstates, many drivers routinely operate motor vehicles at speeds in excess of 70 MPH. It's important to note, however, that speed limits exist for a reason and drivers who fail to heed posted speed limits are at a greater risk of both causing and being involved in traffic accidents.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, during 2012 alone, speeding was a "factor in 30 percent of fatal crashes," accounting for the loss of 10,219 lives. While national statistics show that young drivers age 15-24 are most at risk of being killed in speeding-related crashes; no driver, regardless of age or experience, is immune to the dangers posed by driving too fast.

Speeding drivers are more likely to lose control of a vehicle when attempting to navigate turns and curves in a road. Additionally, speeding makes it more difficult for a driver to slow or stop a vehicle in emergency traffic situations. When speeding is combined with other dangerous conditions, like inclement weather and the consumption of alcohol, the risks of being involved in a serious or fatal car accident increase exponentially.

During 2012, speeding was cited as being a factor in 48 percent of total traffic fatalities in Rhode Island. What's more, the majority of these accidents occurred on local and non-Interstate roads. For an individual who is injured or who lost a family member due to the acts of a speeding driver, it's important to seek legal advice.

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation: NHTSA, "Speeding," Oct. 20, 2015

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