A speeding vehicle traveling in the northbound lanes of Interstate 65 in Nashville left the exit ramp before crashing into a tree line and overturning, causing its driver to suffer fatal injuries and two passengers to suffer serious injuries.
WKRN.com reports that the accident occurred near the Dickerson Pike exit at around midnight. Information released by the Metro Nashville Police Department indicated that the driver was speeding in the northbound lanes of I-65 in his Nissan Maxima prior to the vehicle leaving the roadway.
A Metro police officer saw the speeding vehicle and turned on his flashing lights, but turned them off after realizing the driver wasn’t going to slow down. By the time the officer reached the Dickerson Pike exit, he saw dirt in the median and vehicle parts.
The driver was transported to TriStar Skyline Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. One of the injured passengers was critically hurt and transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center to receive treatment, while a second passenger suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
A toxicology test has been ordered to determine if drugs or alcohol played a role in the crash.
What Are the Biggest Risks Associated with Speeding?
Almost every road in the United States, whether it’s a multi-lane interstate or a one-lane rural road, has a speed limit. Those limits are designed to help keep drivers safe based on things like traffic flow, the shape and curvature of the road, lane width, visibility, and other factors. When drivers exceed speed limits, they not only put themselves at risk of getting expensive citations, but they also increase their risk of being involved in accidents.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, some of the most prominent accident-related risks associated with speeding include:
- Increased risk of losing control
Many accidents occur because drivers lose control of their vehicles. Speeding makes it harder to remain in control, as vehicles become more difficult to maneuver at high speeds—especially on curvy or winding roads. That’s why roads with extreme curves often have significantly reduced speed limits.
- Increased stopping distance
Being a safe driver means being able to quickly react to the movements of other vehicles and the behaviors of other drivers. However, quick reactions can only do so much, as vehicles still must be able to respond in time to avoid potential collisions. When drivers speed, it increases their vehicles’ stopping distance significantly, which means they may be unable to slow down or stop in time to avoid crashes.
- Increased severity of injuries
Although serious and even life-threatening injuries can occur during car crashes at any speed, accidents that occur at high speed are more likely to result in severe injuries for drivers and passengers. When a vehicle strikes an object or rolls over at high speed, vehicle occupants are subject to a greater degree of force, which increases their risk of suffering critical injuries.
- Reduced effectiveness of safety features
Seat belts and airbags are vital safety features that help reduce the risk of serious injuries during accidents for drivers and passengers. However, high-speed accidents reduce the effectiveness of those devices, making occupants more likely to suffer injuries—even when all their vehicles’ safety features work correctly.
The NHTSA reports that speeding was a contributing factor in 28 percent of accidents in 2014 and led to nearly 10,000 deaths that year. The organization goes on to say that people tend to speed due to factors like traffic, running late, anonymity, and disregard for others and for the law.
Knowing the dangers associated with speeding, including all the ways that it increases the risk of accidents and the severity of injuries can help drivers be more aware of their own speed every time they head out on Middle Tennessee’s roadways.
If you or someone you know was hurt in an accident that was caused by a speeding or negligent driver, you may be eligible to pursue compensation for your medical bills and lost wages. The Nashville auto accident attorneys at Matt Hardin Law can investigate the crash and build a strong claim on your behalf. Contact us at (615) 200-1111 or complete a free online form to discuss your accident today.