You’re in downtown Baltimore, riding in the bike lane with traffic, when a guy in a Jeep sideswipes you. The driver says he was on his way to the Orioles game and was running late. That would explain why he was speeding through a 25 mph zone and endangering everyone in the vicinity, including cyclists like you.
Speeding – especially aggressive driving by people in a hurry – is frequently a root cause of traffic accidents. And innocent people pay the price for those negligent drivers who are always behind schedule.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, speeding was responsible for more than one-fourth of the highway fatalities in the U.S. in 2016. This has been the trend for the last two decades. The demands of modern life, packed schedules, frustration, impatience and the ever-increasing traffic on American roads culminate in careless or aggressive driving behavior.
Feeling invisible and invincible
You may have noticed that traffic has been steadily increasing in your community. More drivers means more rudeness and hostility. Drivers who speed feel that when they are in their vehicles, they are insulated from the outside world. It does not matter if they exceed the speed limit. They feel they know what they are doing and nearby motorists will never see them again, so they can do as they like.
Some drivers always adhere to the speed limit, but others take advantage of whatever circumstances there are. The problem is that when they speed, they risk the safety of all the drivers around them.
Next time could be fatal
Maybe you survive the Jeep-driving maniac, or the zipping pizza delivery driver or the harried soccer mom trying to get her kid across town to practice. You could have been killed, but perhaps you are “lucky” to only have a broken arm or a neck injury.
The injuries will require you to get medical treatment, miss work and deal with insurance claims. Any personal injury attorney will tell you that insurance adjusters are often as aggressive in trying to lowball settlements as speeding motorists are when running late for the baseball game. A lawyer can help establish that the driver’s excessive speed or reckless driving was the main factor in your accident, even if your own actions contributed to a collision.