Updated May 17, 2022

Dangers of Speeding: Why is it Illegal, and What are the Legal Consequences?

The Dangers and Consequences of Speeding While Driving

It is illegal to drive over the speed limit as deemed “safe” by reasonable regard to traffic conditions. Driving over the speed limit at any rate can be extremely dangerous to the driver, passengers, and others on the road. Although it may not always be top of mind on a routine outing, it is important to pay attention to your speed on the road. Speeding can not only result in crashes, but the driver or responsible party can also face serious legal consequences. 

Why is Speeding Dangerous?

Speeding not only refers to driving over the posted speed limit. Speeding can also include other behavior such as driving too fast for road conditions such as rain or ice, or driving carelessly through construction zones. The most common dangers caused by speeding include but are not limited to the following:

  • Increased occurrence of rollover accidents
  • Increased potential for loss of control as a driver
  • Higher severity of crash if accident does occur
  • Increasing the amount of distance needed to safely stop a vehicle
  • Reduced reaction time

Speeding can also lead to frequent speeding tickets and points on your license, increased insurance rates, increased wear and tear on your vehicle, and increased fuel costs.

Why do Drivers Speed?

Many people speed, often for reasons unrelated to aggressive behavior. Certain reasons that play into why drivers speed include traffic congestion, running late, as well as simple disregard for the law.


Frustration while driving through traffic can increase a driver’s aggressiveness and result in speeding. Drivers frustrated by traffic tend to change lanes frequently or express road rage toward other drivers

Running Late

Running late for work, meetings, school, appointments, or other activities is common and can be a big factor in why drivers speed.

Disobeying the Law

Many drivers speed without showing any signs of aggressiveness or road rage. Speeding can simply be a result of not wanting to drive according to the law due to one’s own personal agenda or desire to get somewhere quicker.

 Accidents Caused by Speeding

In the United States, nearly one-third of all car crashes are a result of speeding. When speeding, the driver has less time to react to other drivers on the road or road conditions. There are many common accidents related to speed, including:

  • Head-on collisions
  • Failing to yield
  • Failure to stop
  • Side collisions
  • Rear-end collisions
  • Intersection crashes
  • Accidents involving pedestrians or bicyclists

Excessive speed can be a factor in causing any accident. High speeds also increase the severity of injury and fatality rates and cause excessive property damage compared to accidents where high speeds may not have been a factor.

Safety Tips to Avoid Crashes Caused by Speeding

 It is easy to mindlessly forget the speed limit, to be in a hurry, or to become frustrated and aggressive while on the road. To avoid accidents or other dangers caused by speeding, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination. It’s better to be early than late and having extra time to get places may reduce your inclination or need to speed.
  • Be patient. While other drivers on the road may frustrate or even infuriate you, actively focus on keeping your cool so that you and others arrive at their destinations safely.

Legal Consequences of Speeding

The consequences of speeding vary widely depending on the circumstances. If a driver is pulled over, he or she may receive a speeding ticket resulting in points added to their license. Ticket costs can range from anywhere between $75 and $400, depending on the state laws and your driving record.

For first- or second-time offenders, you won’t likely lose your license. With three or more violations in the past five years, that risk increases. Where speed is a factor along with additional factors, penalties and consequences may be higher or different altogether. 

Steps to Take Following an Accident

 Car crashes and other auto accidents are scary, especially when high speeds are involved. If you are involved in an auto accident, follow these steps to ensure safety:

  1. Stay calm and get to safety
  2. Check self and others for injuries
  3. Seek medical attention
  4. Call 911
  5. Document the accident
  6. Collect Information from witnesses and additional parties involved
  7. Inform insurance company
  8. Contact an attorney

Contact an Attorney Today

If you or a loved one have been involved in an accident as a result of speeding, contact the Indianapolis attorneys of Wilson Kehoe Winingham today. The lawyers at WKW can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

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