High-Speed Impact Crashes and the Dangers of Speeding

Excessive speeding was a factor in almost 30% of traffic fatalities in 2020 and caused 11,258 deaths. Hundreds of thousands more suffered catastrophic injuries in high-speed car accidents.

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Multiple factors contribute to high-speed collisions, including the following:

  • Aggressive Driving: An aggressive driver may try to force another driver to accelerate by tailgating them, causing a high-speed accident.
  • Distracted Driving: Distracted driving occurs when drivers text, eat, or engage in other actions while driving and take their focus off the road. Distracted drivers may not see the posted speed limit, increasing their chances of causing a high-speed crash. 
  • Drunk Driving: Drunk driving refers to driving under the influence of drugs (legal, illegal, or prescription) or alcohol. Impaired drivers may ignore traffic laws and fail to respond to changes in road conditions in time to prevent an accident.
  • Speeding: Exceeding the speed limit reduces the time available to respond to red lights, other drivers, and pedestrians.

Common Reasons Why Drivers Speed

Most people consider themselves law-abiding citizens but still exceed the posted speed limit. There are many reasons drivers speed, including the following:

  • Overconfidence: People sometimes speed on familiar roads or when traffic is light.
  • Pressed for Time: When drivers are running behind schedule, they’re more likely to speed.
  • Road Rage: Frustration with other motorists can prompt drivers to speed.
  • Seeking Thrills: Speeding offers drivers a thrill, and some find the danger exciting.

How Speeding Impacts an Accident

Speeding increases the risk of a car accident. Speeding drivers have less time to respond to changes that could cause an accident. For example, speeding on an empty country road may not seem risky because of the lack of vehicles; however, a deer or other animal could run out in front of the vehicle. If the driver is speeding, they may not have enough time to slow down and avoid hitting the deer. 

Reduced response times also increase the likelihood of accidents with other vehicles. The speeding driver may not have enough time to stop for a red light or may not notice they’re approaching a four-way stop. Consequently, they could hit a vehicle that has the right of way.

Speeding also increases the severity of the accident. High-speed accidents cause more damage to property and motorists. 

Common Injuries in a High-Speed Impact Crash

High-speed impact crashes can cause minor and catastrophic injuries. Some of the common injuries motorists and passengers suffer when they’re in a high-speed auto accident include the following:

  • Broken Bones: Broken bones include hairline, simple, and compound fractures. Hairline fractures can cause pain and swelling, affecting the victim’s ability to perform routine functions. Simple fractures are bones with a complete break, while compound fractures are broken bones that penetrate the skin. People with broken bones may spend months wearing a cast or require surgery and physical therapy.
  • Burns: When a vehicle is in an accident, its hot engine can cause the metal to heat, resulting in burns. Vehicles can also catch fire. Burn victims may need months of medical care to recover, depending on the severity of the injury.
  • Organ Damage: Pressure from seat belts, airbags, and other objects can damage internal organs. Accident victims may need surgery to repair lacerations or may lose organs. Airbags can also trigger asthma attacks and irritate the victim’s lungs because of the chemicals released by the airbags when they deploy. 
  • Spinal Cord Injuries (SCIs): In some cases, surgery may repair the damage from Spinal Cord Injuries. Other people with SCIs may need long-term medical care to recover or may suffer permanent injuries. 
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs): Traumatic Brain Injuries include concussions and severe brain injuries that cause permanent damage. 
  • Whiplash: Whiplash affects the neck, shoulders, and upper back. Symptoms include dizziness, headaches, fatigue, pain, and reduced range of motion. While some people recover from whiplash within weeks, others may experience symptoms for years.

Proving Fault in a High-Speed Impact Crash

High-speed crash victims may have medical bills and other expenses from their accidents. Some may struggle to pay bills because they cannot work, and it’s possible to incur additional child care or personal care expenses.

If you’re in a car accident, you may seek compensation for your injuries if you can prove who was at fault. You’ll need evidence to build your case. Items you can use as evidence include the following:

In addition to seeking compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other costs, you may seek punitive damages if you can prove the at-fault driver was negligent.

Suppose you’re driving through a heavy rain storm and are struck by another vehicle. Road signs indicate that roads are slippery when wet and that drivers should reduce their speed. Despite these warnings, the driver that hit you didn’t consider the road conditions and exceeded the posted speed limit by several miles per hour. They also had alcohol in their system at the time of the accident.

In such cases, you may be able to prove that the driver’s negligence caused your accident and contributed to its severity. However, gathering the evidence needed and building a case can be complex, so you should consult a speeding car accident lawyer for a free case evaluation

Colorado Car Accident Attorneys for Victims of High-Speed Impact Crashes

Contact our car accident attorneys to discuss your legal options. When you hire a car accident attorney from our law firm, you receive expert counsel from an experienced attorney who’ll answer your questions, research your accident, and build the case for your personal injury claim. Your car accident lawyer will fight for fair compensation for your high-speed crash injuries.


Speeding. (2022).
SWOV Fact Sheet: The relation between speed and crashes. (2012)

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Written and Legally Reviewed By: Kyle Bachus

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Kyle is a member of the Colorado and Florida Bar associations and has served on the Board of Directors of the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association for more than twenty years in total. Over the years, Kyle has achieved justice for many clients. He has served on numerous committees and repeatedly won recognition from his peers at both the state and national level. He is proud of the role he has played in the passage of state and national legislation to protect consumers and is a frequent speaker and guest lecturer.