How Much of a Factor Is Speeding in Phoenix Car Accidents?

by Doug Zanes | Last Updated: December 16, 2021

One of the biggest causes of Phoenix car accidents is speeding. Drivers are in a hurry to get where they are going and fail to follow posted speed limits or travel at a reasonable speed under the circumstances. It is bad enough that they are putting themselves in danger, but it is even worse that it jeopardizes you and your family when you are taking care to follow all traffic rules. Speed can even cause your accident when the other driver does not necessarily violate the posted speed limit.

Traveling at an appropriate speed is an essential element of taking care behind the wheel. When speed causes the accident that injured you, you may hold the other driver responsible for it. First, you must contact a personal injury lawyer to pursue financial compensation for your injuries. The right car accident attorneys will be here to help when you suffer injuries in an accident.

The Risks When Drivers Go Too Fast

Speeding alone poses a danger to all drivers on the road. Drivers are more prone to making mistakes when they violate the speed limit. They are less able to respond to changes in road conditions as they occur.

Speeding increases the chances of injuries in a rod accident by doing the following:

  • It increases the chances that a driver will lose control of their vehicle
  • It reduces the effectiveness of safety devices such as seatbelts and airbags
  • A crash is much more severe when it occurs at a higher speed
  • Drivers lose valuable time that they need to stop when they perceive a hazard in front of them

Speeding Plays a Prominent Factor in Phoenix Car Accidents

In one recent year, nearly 130,000 car crashes took place in Arizona. There were a total of 255,000 drivers involved in these accidents. 43,000 of these drivers were traveling too fast for the conditions. These are the total number of drivers. Maybe both drivers went too fast. Therefore, we might say that speed might contribute to 25 or 30 percent of Arizona car crashes.

This is consistent with national traffic data that measures how much speed contributes to traffic fatalities. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, speeding is a factor in one out of every three roadway fatalities. Besides fatalities, speeding can cause injuries that could forever change the life of an accident victim.

In addition, 1,075 drivers received citations for traveling above the lawful speed. Officers showed up after the crash and ticket the driver based on evidence that they were speeding. When a driver receives a ticket for speeding, your lawyer can use this as evidence of their negligence. However, if the police report observes unsafe speed but the officer doesn’t issue a citation, you cannot use it as evidence in court. Nonetheless, insurance companies will review the police report and will consider the officer’s observations in determining liability for the accident.

Strict Arizona Traffic Laws Do Not Always Deter Speeding

Even though Arizona has tough traffic laws, they still do not make a large dent in the problem in the state. Drivers can expect a minimum fine of $150 for speeding. Depending on how fast they went, the fine can reach $500. Certain speeding tickets can even come with up to 30 days in jail. If the police catch drivers going above 85 miles per hour or over 45 miles per hour in a business or residential area with no posted speed limit, they can face a Class 3 misdemeanor, which could carry jail time.

Note that speeding involves far more than just exceeding the posted speed limit. The speed limit is just the maximum posted speed that a driver can travel. For example, it will be unsafe to drive at 35 miles per hour on a busy city street at the height of rush hour when there is heavy traffic. In the rare instance that it rains in Phoenix, drivers should slow down because roads can get very slippery. One might not expect another driver to travel at 55 miles per hour on I-10 in a sudden and powerful rainstorm. Driving at a proper and safe speed is a key part of doing what is reasonable.

Why Phoenix Is One of the Top Cities in the Country for Speeding

Many of the roads in the Phoenix area lend themselves to speeding, especially as you get outside of the city. Area roads have long and straight stretches. Even with other drivers around, motorists think they can speed. Engineers designed Phoenix roads to carry a lot of traffic. They are often wide roads with a lot of lanes. Since drivers can move more freely, they tend to go faster.

In addition, the dry weather means that road conditions are generally better for most of the year. Without having to contend with inclement weather, drivers will up their speed. However, they often lose concentration in the hot and dry weather, especially when they speed.

This is not just speculation on our part trying to get you to believe how dangerous Arizona roads are. Statistics quantify the speeding problem in Phoenix. Gas Buddy compiled one such study. The report found that Phoenix ranked seventh-worst in the country for speeding drivers. In part, this is because drivers have the opportunity. According to the study, Phoenix has 27 percent more speeding incidents than the average U.S. driver. Whether this is because of the local condition or because Phoenix drivers are just not the best drivers, does not really make much of a difference. What matters is that local drivers are unsafe.

More Roads and Wider Highways Make it More Likely That Drivers Will Speed

Most of the top ten cities on the list are located in the South and West, giving credibility to our hypothesis that newer cities with roads built to carry more drivers allow motorists to speed more. Whether Phoenix drivers are truly worse than other drivers or they simply just have the opportunity to be bad remains unknown.

Some of the worst roads for speeding in Phoenix are the highways. I-17 between Phoenix and Flagstaff is one of the most dangerous roads in the country. In part, this is because drivers speed badly on this road. I-10 is not much better, as the wide roadway encourages drivers to go too fast.

The problem is still as bad on urban streets, even when the speed limit is lower. For example, Bell Road is one of the busiest streets in all of Phoenix. Drivers on this road are often in a hurry, and they disregard the dangers of this crowded roadway. Even if they are not speeding within the definition of the law, they could still be driving too fast to stay reasonably safe.

Phoenix has many arterial roads that carry tens of thousands of cars each day. These streets have drivers every bit as aggressive as those on I-10 and I-17. They do not like to wait in traffic, nor do they want to arrive at their destination one second later than they might hope. That these roads are wide and traffic flows freely allows drivers to speed and endanger you and your family.

Police Officers May Arrive at the Scene and Issue a Citation

If a police officer has not given a driver a ticket for speeding at the scene, you will still need to prove that the other driver was going too fast. You will need to have a lawyer investigate the crash and gather evidence that shows that the other driver was at fault. The best way to accomplish this is by speaking to witnesses who saw what happened before the crash. You may have gotten the contact information of witnesses, or it may be on the police report. Your lawyer will contact the witnesses and get their recollection of what they saw.

Experts Can Reconstruct the Accident

If you do not have direct witness testimony, your lawyer might work with expert witnesses to recreate what happened in the crash. Our law firm routinely works with car accident experts to reconstruct the events that led up to the crash because our clients do not always have the testimony that they need to back up their stories. Proving liability is an essential first step towards compensation, even before you agree on the total amount of the settlement.

Liability Is Not Always Entirely Clear-Cut in a Speeding Accident

Even if you were traveling too fast yourself, financial compensation is not out of the question for you. Arizona law works in a way that allows many drivers to receive something for their injuries. The only way that you will not receive anything for your injuries is if you were 100 percent to blame for your accident.

There are times when both drivers are speeding. Alternatively, you could be speeding but hit a driver who was making an illegal turn. You should always see a lawyer after a car accident. Let them make the judgment whether you have a valid claim. The worst that happens is that the lawyer does not take your case. It will not cost you anything since an initial consultation is completely free. You will not even need to pay anything for legal services if the lawyer takes your case unless you win.

Why You Need a Lawyer After Your Phoenix Car Crash

Call a lawyer right after your car accident. Otherwise, you may lose some of the evidence necessary to prove that someone else was to blame for the crash. We will get to work immediately after you retain us, helping you lay the groundwork for your claim. Then, we will assemble everything that you need for your claim and submit it to the insurance company.

If you receive a settlement offer, we will review the numbers carefully, comparing them to the actual value of your claim. Chances are that any initial settlement offer will be worth far less than the value of your claim. Receiving an offer will be just the beginning of the negotiation process. You will likely need to say no to at least one offer that does not pay you enough to compensate you for your injuries.

Your Damages in a Phoenix Car Accident

After you suffered injuries in a speeding accident, you have a legal entitlement to these damages if someone else caused the crash:

  • Lost wages
  • Medical bills
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Wrongful Death Damages From a Speeding Accident

If you are reading this after you lost a loved one, you can get financial compensation for the accident that took their life. Your lawsuit will take the form of a wrongful death claim, and it should pay your family back for what you have lost when your loved one died. Not only do you have to do without their financial contributions, but you are missing their love, support, and guidance.

The person responsible for the accident must pay you for all of these. If their insurance company does not pay you what you deserve, you have the legal right to sue the defendant in court.

Regardless, do not deal with the results of your car accident on your own. Too many bad things can happen in the legal process that could cost you the money you need. We are committed to working hard for you to help you get the best legal outcome from your case.

Doug Zanes
Doug Zanes: Founding Attorney Raised in Douglas, Arizona, and went to college at Arizona State University and graduated from law school at St. Mary’s University School of Law in Texas. Doug began practicing law in Phoenix Arizona in 1997.
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