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Understanding the danger of high speeds

People often complain about "speed traps," saying that the police just set them up to make money, not to keep people safe. However, speed limits -- and the enforcement that goes with them -- really do have a main goal of creating safer roads. The police understand that higher speeds put everyone in danger.

First and foremost, the speed that the cars are traveling at during a crash often relates directly to the severity of the injuries suffered by those in the accident. A crash may have been survivable at 55 miles an hour but may turn deadly at 75 mph. More force acts on the bodies of those in the vehicles.

Another issue is that reaction times drop. People do not have nearly as long to identify hazards on the road. Once they do identify them, they don't have as long to react to them. A driver who is obeying the speed limit may avoid a crash that a speeding driver will not avoid.

Finally, the car physically cannot stop as fast at a higher speed. It's just a matter of physics. Regardless of the mass of the car, it takes longer to slow that mass down at a higher speed than a lower speed. This means the car travels farther and the driver may not be able to stop in time, even when they see the hazard and press the brakes to the floor.

While opinions about where speed limits should be set may differ, it's clear that breaking those limits increases risks. Those who get injured in accidents need to know how to seek compensation.

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