Many drivers think that going a few miles over the speed limit here and going a few more miles over the speed limit there is acceptable speeding—basically a non-event. Speed limits, however, are posted for one important reason—to protect the safety of everyone on the road (other vehicles and pedestrians alike). If you think there’s a time and a place for exceeding the posted speed limit, now’s probably a good time to reevaluate your notions about acceptable speeding.
Speed Limit Laws in Texas
While many states implement absolute speed limits (whatever speed is posted on the sign is the absolute legal limit, and if you exceed that limit, you’ve broken the law), Texas implements presumed speed limit laws (or prima facie speed limits), which allow drivers some flexibility regarding speed—which means that as long as you drive safely within the context of the driving conditions, you’re allowed some wiggle room with the speed limit. Texas law does, however, mark specific instances when you must appropriately reduce your speed:
- When you approach an intersection or railroad crossing
- When you drive around a curve
- When you approach a hill’s crest
- When you travel on a narrow or winding roadway
- Whenever you encounter any special traffic hazards, including pedestrians, inclement weather, or dangerous road conditions
As we all know, some drivers don’t think the rules apply to them. If you or someone you care about was injured by a speeding driver, you need an experienced Houston personal injury lawyer. The legal team at Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, has the skill, knowledge, and dedication to protect your rights and your rightful compensation.
The Speed Limits
Although Texas implements presumed speed limit laws, it has specific prima facie limits for specific areas:
- 15 miles per hour in urban district alleys
- 15 miles per hour on beaches or on county roads that are adjacent to a beach
- 30 miles per hour on urban district streets
- 60 miles per hour on unnumbered highways outside urban districts
- 70 miles per hour on numbered highways outside urban districts
When you choose to exceed the posted speed limit, you endanger yourself and everyone else on the road. Speed limits are posted for the safety of all, and Texas’s presumed speed limit laws notwithstanding, these limits are not mere suggestions. When drivers choose to embrace acceptable speeding, they elect to drive at a speed for which the roadway wasn’t necessarily built and they make our highways and byways more dangerous.
As your vehicle’s speed increases, your braking distance lengthens, and your available reaction time decreases. In fact, the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that, in 2015, more than 9,500 people were killed by speeding drivers in the United States. Furthermore, for more than two decades, speed has played a role in about a third of vehicular fatalities.
When You Speed
You know that speeding is dangerous in general, but speeding is closely associated with a variety of specific dangers:
- You increase your odds of losing control of your car.
- You reduce the effectiveness of your car’s occupant protection devices (seat belts and airbags, for example).
- You increase the severity of medical, psychological, economic injuries if you crash.
The NHTSA considers speeding a form of aggressive driving. Significant societal factors have contributed to the increase in aggressive driving:
- Traffic congestion
- Late for a very important date
- The anonymity of driving
Many drivers blame increased traffic congestion for their aggressive driving patterns, including speeding. Traffic is a fact of modern living, however—if you drive, take a deep breath when you get behind the wheel and stay cool out there.
All of our lives are crammed with important meetings, job functions, kid stuff, and any number of other activities. Life is busy, and with the holidays approaching, it’s especially so. By planning ahead and allowing yourself the time to get where you need to go, however, you aid your ability to arrive safely and timely at your destination.
Many drivers cite the anonymity of driving as contributing to their aggressive driving. When you get behind the wheel, you may experience a sense of detachment—almost as if you are an observer rather than a participant in the action all around you. Some drivers find this sensation loosens their inhibitions on the road. But driving is serious business—never allow the cocoon-like quality of your vehicle to encourage you to drive any way other than safely.
As drivers clock more hours on the road and as traffic continues to intensify, more drivers are adopting aggressive driving habits, including speeding. Check in with yourself when you drive. If you find yourself getting hot under the collar, it’s probably a good time to focus on driving safely. Don’t let your own or anyone else’s aggressive driving endanger your life.
If You Were Injured by a Speeding Driver, Contact an Experienced Houston Personal Injury Attorney Today
When drivers choose their own acceptable speed limits, they put everyone on the road in danger. If a speeding driver injured you or someone you care about, you know just how difficult that can be. Don’t leave your rights to chance—you need a skilled Houston personal injury lawyer.
These cases can be complicated, but your rights matter. The legal team at Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, is here to help. We have defended claims like yours for more than 20 years, and we are committed to effectively advocating for all our clients. You don’t have to go through this alone. We’ll thoroughly investigate your case, fight for your just compensation, and file a lawsuit on your behalf if necessary. If you were injured by the negligence of a speeding driver, please don’t hesitate to either send us an email through our online contact form or call our team at 800-898-4877 for a free consultation today. Remember—you pay us nothing up front when we take your case, and you pay us nothing unless and until we’ve won your recovery.