Coronavirus Gets L.A. Drivers Revved Up

May 08, 2020

Necessary COVID-19 stay-at-home orders produce considerable collateral damage. Most of these effects are economic. However, the quarantine has also caused driver speeds in Southern California to increase 75 percent. Some Los Angeles drivers have driven over 100mph in street races or speed displays.

According to one analyst, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to truly explore the open road has caused the “unprecedented” speed increase. LAPD officers recently went on Twitter to warn drivers about the dangers of speed-related crashes. They have also taken some measures like re-timing red lights and deploying officers at strategic locations. Other cities in North America and Europe are experiencing similar problems.

“While traffic safety presumably increases as fewer people are on the road, individual drivers worsen the situation with their irresponsible and at times completely reckless behavior,” offered Bavarian police marshal Stefan Pfeiffer.

Speed and Vehicle Collisions

Excessive velocity is a factor in about a third of the fatal car crashes in California. That’s primarily because speed increases the risk of a collision and the force in a collision.

Moving vehicles do not stop instantly. In fact, a vehicle moving 30mph travels about six car lengths from the time the driver spots a hazard to the moment the car safely stops. At 60mph, stopping distance multiples to eighteen car lengths. Vehicle weight, environmental conditions, and other factors increase stopping distance even further.

Speeding around curves is particularly dangerous. Fast-moving cars are more sensitive to steering wheel adjustments than slow-moving cars. So, many drivers oversteer into curves. Then, they overcorrect. As a result, they often lose control of their vehicles. The aforementioned factors often make these situations even more dangerous.

Furthermore, according to Newton’s Second Law of Motion, speed increases the force in a collision. 

There is an old story that a penny dropped from the top of the Empire State Building picks up so much force as it drops that it could kill a pedestrian on the street. That story is mostly false. However, the plummeting penny gathers enough speed to powerfully pummel any poor pedestrian on West 34th Street.

So, excessive speed transforms a non-injury “fender bender” crash into a serious injury or fatal collision.

Damages Available

The additional injuries make it much harder for victims to bounce back from a car crash. As a result, a Los Angeles car accident lawyer can usually obtain substantial compensation in speed-related crashes.

This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills. In a serious injury case, these bills often exceed $100,000. Additionally, many of these victims are out of work for many months.

In addition to these economic damages, car crash compensation usually includes money for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment in life, emotional distress, and other noneconomic losses. Additional punitive damages might be available as well in some extreme cases, like the street races mentioned in the above story.

Speed-related collisions often cause serious injuries. For a free consultation with an experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorney, contact the Law Offices of Eslamboly Hakim. Home and hospital visits are available.

Sharona Hakim

Sharona Eslamboly Hakim, Esq. is a successful personal injury attorney and the principal of the Law Offices of Eslamboly Hakim firm in Beverly Hills, California.

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