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Setting The Standard In Personal Injury Law

How the force of impact changes with speed

One of the defining characteristics of any accident is the force of the impact itself. This is why things like vehicle size and weight matter so much; drivers in sedans are in far greater danger when they collide with semi trucks, for instance, since the force against the smaller vehicle is so much greater.

Even when vehicles are the same size, though, the force is very important. The faster the cars are traveling, the greater that force. It increases faster than the speed itself; it goes up by the square of that speed change. This means that even a slight alteration in speed can have a huge impact, and that's a large part of the reason speed limits are so heavily enforced.

By doubling the speed that the car is traveling at -- from 30 mph to 60 mph, for instance -- the force of the eventual impact is four times greater. Tripling the speed to 90 mph means that force is nine times greater.

You can see what a danger reckless, speeding drivers present. If you take for granted that crashes are going to happen, you at least want to limit injuries. A driver who goes 50 mph in a 25 mph zone puts all those around him in danger, not just because the reckless driving makes the crash more likely, but because it also makes it far more violent than it needed to be.

Were you involved in an accident with a speeding driver, suffering serious injuries? If you'd like to learn more about your legal options, our website can answer many of the questions you have.

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