A recent car accident in Antioch has made me think lately about the costs of speeding. According to the Tennessean, on April 19th, a Nashville driver was operating his vehicle reckless on Bell Rd.
He sped through a red light at the Blue Hole Road and Bell Road intersection causing a six-car crash, killing a 66 year-old man.
Not only did he suffer significant injuries from being released from VUMC he found he would face criminal charges from his reckless acts. Unfortunately, this is a fairly common occurrence.
Plenty of other Middle Tennessee drivers break the same law every day. In fact, speeding contributes to about one-third of all fatal car accidents in the United States. So how do you protect yourself and your loved ones?
When it comes to safety, knowledge is power. The more we learn about the dangers of speeding, the safer all of us in Nashville and Middle Tennessee will be.
Who’s Most Likely to Have a Speeding Accident?
Who’s the better driver?
We’ve all had that debate with a family member or friend. Sometimes it’s not worth the fight (especially on date night,) but some of us are actually worse drivers than others:
- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that young men ages 15 to 20 are most likely to be driving in fatal crashes.
- Young adults (ages 16 to 20) are the most likely age group to speed.
- Speeding contributed to 42% of car accidents that killed 15 to 20 year-old drivers in 2013.
Young drivers lose this argument every time.
That’s why the NHTSA has started the 5 to Drive campaign. It helps parents talk with their teenagers about speeding and other risky behaviors. You can use this resource in your own home.
Pass it along to other parents of teenagers. You can help make Nashville’s roads a little safer. Then we all win.
Nashville Speeding and Distracted Driving
- “I’m late to work.”
- “I didn’t see the speed limit sign.”
- “I need to get to McDonald’s before the breakfast menu ends.” (A real excuse given to a police officer!)
Most of us speed at some time or another, even though we shouldn’t. The NHTSA conducted a study to find out why. Most drivers agreed that speeding makes driving more dangerous, but 70% admitted to doing it anyway. One reason why: 60% of people were impatient with slower drivers.
A little patience could go a long way in Nashville, especially during our rush hour traffic. WSMV and the Nashville Police Department make regular traffic updates, as well as local radio stations.
Use them to plan your route and give yourself plenty of time to drive safely.
Distractions also contribute to speeding, and you probably can guess the biggest culprit. The cell phone. Almost a third of car accidents involve talking or texting on phone. Combine that with speeding and you have a recipe for disaster.
Plenty of other distractions take our eyes away from the road and the speedometer, too. Here are a few simple steps to take to become a safer driver.
- Turn off your ringer if you can’t resist answering texts or calls while driving.
- Use voice command or bluetooth if you must answer a call.
- Don’t eat while driving.
(Not even from the McDonald’s breakfast menu.)
- Don’t take your eyes off the road to hand children toys or other items.
- Turn down the radio if becomes too loud or distracting.
Speeding in Davidson County is Costly
Those who speed should consider the price. Tickets in Davidson County and the surrounding areas can cost several hundred dollars. Speeding tickets also increase car insurance premiums, and too many of them can lead to a suspended or revoked license. Bus fare, anyone?
Far more costly than traffic tickets are lives lost from speeding. Two hundred eleven people died in fatal car crashes in the metro Nashville area last year, and speeding occurred in at least one third of those accidents.
That’s a high price to pay to get where you’re going a little faster. You might do your best to drive safely, but you can’t control everyone else on the road.
If you or a loved one have been involved in speed-related auto accident, please know I’m here to help you.