In December 2017, the Citrus County Sheriff’s Department in Florida launched a driver safety campaign they called “Avoid the 7 Deadly Sins of Driving.” These “sins” are the leading causes of car accidents in Florida. However, they are problems for drivers throughout the country. According to the Citrus County Chronicle’s report, the 7 deadly sins are:
- Distracted Driving
- Reckless Driving
- Running red lights or Stop signs
- Driving too fast for conditions
- Driving while drowsy
- Drunk Driving
The remedies for these 7 Deadly Sins, according to the Sheriff’s office, are:
- Keep your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel
- Obey speed limits
- Be patient and courteous
- Don’t try to “beat the light”
- Drive cautiously during bad weather
- Don’t drive if you’re fatigued
- Never drink and drive, even if you’re just feeling tipsy
The Dangers of Driving Too Fast
These are all good reminders, but most are common sense. However, one issue that is often ignored or misunderstood is driving too fast for conditions. Many people don’t know that the posted speed limit is the maximum speed. If the conditions— such as traffic, weather, road conditions— make the posted speed limit unsafe, you must slow down.
You can get a ticket driving 65 mph on the freeway if the officer determines that 65 mph was unsafe for the current conditions. Most of have seen a car passing us at about the posted speed when everyone else is driving at 50 mph due to heavy rain. That driver is subject to a citation even if he is at, or even under, the posted speed limit. This is known as the “Basic Speed Law” Vehicle Code § 22350:“No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, the traffic on, and the surface and width of, the highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property.”
Other Causes of Car Accidents
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Agency (NHTSA), speeding accounts for nearly 30% of all fatal traffic crashes. Also according to the NHTSA, the cause of traffic accidents— in order of statistical significance— are:
- Driver Inattention
- Vehicle Speed
- Alcohol Impairment
- Perceptual errors
- Decision errors
The Crash Statistics at NHTSA considers a speed related crash to be any crash involving a car traveling in excess of the posted speed limit, or exceeding the safe speed limit for conditions. In 2015, 48,613 drivers were involved in 32,166 fatal crashes. In these fatal crashes, 35,092 people were killed. 27% of those killed were in a crash involving at least one speeding driver. That means nearly 9,500 people were killed as a result of speed-related accidents in a single year.
The Importance of Driving Safely
We all think it won’t happen to us, Or, that we are safe drivers. But the statistics don’t lie. It just isn’t worth it. Consider the math. A 100 mile trip at 65 mph will take about 1.5 hours of driving time. The same trip at 75 mph will take 1.33 hours. About 10 minutes. Is reducing the risk of a fatal crash by 27% worth 10 minutes of your time? It should be. Please slow down and be safe.
If you are involved in a car accident in San Luis Obispo, contact our team of experienced car accident attorneys today. No matter how severe your accident was, we are here to help you get the financial compensation you deserve. Call us at (805) 541-0300 or contact us online for a free case evaluation. We will work with you to determine your needs and figure out how we can best assist you.