Every time you get in a car—whether you’re commuting to work, going to the store, or headed out on a weekend getaway—it’s important to realize that you’re taking the lives of yourself and everyone around you into your hands. A speeding driver can turn an easy cruise into a deadly nightmare in the blink of an eye. Here are some important facts about the speed limit and aggressive driving here in Texas.
Speed Limit in Texas
Highways in the state of Texas has some of the fastest speed limits in the United States.
Generally, the state maximum speed limit is seventy miles per hour, but the Texas Transportation Commission has established rules that allow for speeds of up to 85 miles per hour in some locations—though only if the highway has been designed for such speeds, and traffic or engineering studies show that it is “safe and reasonable.” The stretch of State Highway 130 between Seguin and Mustang Ridge, which runs about 41 miles long, is currently the highest speed limit in the United States at 85 miles per hour. Much of the rest of SH-130 isn’t far behind, at 80 miles per hour; as of March 2012, State Highway 45 South is also an 80-mile-per-hour zone. There are multiple highways in Texas that also boat a 75 mile per hour limit.
Speeding Is a Sign of Aggressive Driving
Even when the speed limits that are Texas-high, excessive speeding is a real danger on the road. Aggressive drivers who operate their vehicles too fast for prevailing conditions—such as traffic, weather, or other road hazards—risk not only their own lives but also the lives of the other people on the road, too.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) keeps track of accident-related statistics, and the latest national figures show that of 32,719 traffic deaths in 2013, fully 29 percent were involved in speed-related crashes. To make matters worse, less than half of those who died in speed-related accidents were wearing seatbelts or other appropriate restraints.
Other Signs of Aggressive Driving
Speeding is just one of the signs of aggressive driving that you should look out for when you’re on the road. Other signs of aggressive driving include:
- Irregular braking. Pay attention to the brake lights of other cars around you as a warning sign of impending stops or road hazards. When you spot a driver that seems to be “racing to come to a stop” by not using the brakes until the last second, try to stay clear of that person. Aggressive drivers are often extremely reluctant to use the brake, which is extremely dangerous.
- Dangerous maneuvers. Aggressive drivers engage in highly risky maneuvers that show a severe lack of judgment, such as cutting across multiple lanes of traffic, darting or weaving through traffic, and not using a turn signal.
- Tailgating. Some aggressive drivers will tailgate others in an attempt to “encourage” them to go faster. They may flash their headlights, honk the horn, or gesture rudely. The best “countermeasure” is to simply change lanes at the next opportunity, because tailgating is just an accident waiting to happen.
- Rapid acceleration. An aggressive driver often is in a rush and will accelerate from a light or stop sign far faster than is safe, and may put the pedal to the floor through yellow lights in an attempt to “beat” the intersection.
In 2013, the NHTSA reports that Texas had the most speeding-related traffic fatalities in the nation, with 1,175 people killed. That’s about 35 percent of the 3,382 traffic fatalities in the state that year.
Get Legal Help After an Accident
If you’ve been hurt by an aggressive driver in a speeding-related accident, you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries, including medical bills, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, funeral costs, and more. It’s important that you talk to a personal injury attorney after your accident as soon as possible to begin preparing your case.
To talk to an experienced lawyer about getting your life back after a speed-related auto accident, call Wayne Wright LLP today at 800-237-3334 for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.