How Do You Determine How Fast a Car Was Going in an Accident?
The faster a vehicle is traveling when a collision occurs, the more likely death and serious injury will follow. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 9,378 people died in car accidents as a result of speeding in 2018.
When drivers speed, they are at greater risk of losing control of the vehicle. It is much harder for them to stop when they realize they could crash into another car or person. Safety devices such as seatbelts and airbags are less protective when the accident involves a high-speed crash. When an accident involves speeding, it is crucial to your case to prove how fast the at-fault driver was going.
The Los Angeles car accident attorneys at Ellis Injury Law protect your rights and will help you receive the maximum compensation for your injuries. While most claims are settled, our experienced trial lawyers will take your case to court when necessary.
Car accident lawyers know there are various methods of determining how fast a car was going prior to impact. Many of these methods are quite sophisticated, requiring the use of accident reconstructionists. Others are straightforward, such as the testimony of any eyewitnesses as to how fast the car was going prior to the crash. While a witness is unlikely to know if a car is traveling just a few miles over the speed limit, they can tell if an automobile is going much faster than it should.
When an accident involves speeding, the driver of the other car is often too badly injured to collect evidence at the scene. If possible, take photos of the scene immediately, including skid marks and debris. Immediate documentation is vital for proving your claim.
You are probably familiar with the “black box” sought after an airplane crash. Many cars have similar computers in them. The computer data reveals not only the car’s speed, but additional information such as acceleration and brake usage.
If a car does not have this type of internal computer system, there are other devices within the vehicle that may provide this data. These include GPS apps and OnStar systems.
Surveillance video, or cellphone video recorded by a witness, is useful for tracking how fast the vehicle was moving before the collision. Dash cams are another valuable source if any of the vehicles involved had them.
The type of damage both vehicles sustained offer important evidence as to speed. Certain parts of the car require an extreme amount of force before breaking. Manufacturers are required to rate all vehicles for collisions.
Generally, if a car is totaled, speed was a factor in the accident. That is especially true if the collision occurred on a street with a low speed limit.
Tire tracks and skid marks prove invaluable when determining speed rates. By measuring the marks, accident investigators then use mathematical formulas to determine vehicle speed based on impact and weight ratios. Forensic experts can determine at what point the driver hit their brakes, and the length of time it took them to stop.
When one car hits another at high speed, expect a large amount of debris from the vehicles thrown about. Experts can determine the speed of a car by measuring how far from the vehicle debris landed.
Contact a Los Angeles car accident lawyer
If you were seriously injured in an accident due to a speeding driver, or if you lost a family member in such a crash, you need the services of an experienced car accident attorney at Ellis Injury Law. We offer free consultations, so text or call us 24/7 or submit our online form to arrange an appointment.
It is critical to obtain legal counsel as soon as possible after a crash so that physical evidence is available and examined. We will determine the rate of speed in the crash by using the standard methodologies and the help of accident reconstructionists.
Our dedicated attorneys have recovered more than $350 million in settlements and verdicts for clients. Since we work on a contingency basis, you pay no fee unless you receive compensation.