Montana’s vast, open spaces and highways can make driving quite an enjoyable experience. However, this can make it easier to speed, which is a form of aggressive driving that can cause serious or deadly injuries.
While there are several other factors involved in motor vehicle accidents, speeding is a common factor in many. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that for more than 20 years speeding has been a factor in around one-third of accident deaths.
You may not realize the dangers of speeding in comparison to other forms of aggressive or reckless driving behavior, such as distracted driving or driving while under the influence of alcohol, but speeding is also a dangerous driving habit that threatens all drivers on the road.
Speeding increases your chance of losing control of your vehicle, and if you do lose control, any resulting crash is likely to be much more serious due to the heavier impact. Speeding makes it harder to stop in time and reduces the chance of your vehicle’s protective equipment working properly.
Why people speed
There are many common reasons that people speed, and you can probably guess most of them. Most of us have busy lives and tend to speed when we are running late for something, or simply want to get home at the end of a long day.
Heavy traffic is another typical reason people speed. Traffic not only makes us late for wherever we are going, but it usually puts us in a bad mood and increases the chance we will speed to make up time.
Speeders are usually easy to spot on the road. Along with speeding, they are usually weaving through traffic or changing lanes frequently.
Handling speeders on the road
The best way to reduce your chance of an accident with a speeding driver is to just avoid them entirely.
This can mean moving over into the other lane if they are tailgating you or slowing down and letting them pass.
Do not drive near them since they are more likely to lose control of their vehicle. If you try to stay away from them and they keep coming near you, pull off to the side of the road in a safe place and allow them to get far ahead.
Establishing negligence after an accident
Speeding is a form of negligence, which is the legal theory that personal injury actions in Montana are based on.
This means that if you are injured in an accident involving a speeding driver and file a personal injury action, you must prove that the speeding driver was negligent.
Proving negligence involves showing that the speeding driver failed in their legal duty to drive safely, and that failure was the direct cause of your accident.
You must also prove your damages, which could include medical costs, lost wages and pain and suffering.