Earlier this month, a single-vehicle crash in Fairfax County claimed the lives of two teenagers and sent a third to the hospital with serious injuries. Authorities were notified around 9:30 p.m. on January 10 about a crash that had occurred in the 7400 block of Lee Chapel Road in Fairfax Station, Virginia.
Preliminary details from investigators suggested that the vehicle—a 2019 Lexus IS350—was heading north on a two-late road when the driver crested a hill and lost control, which led to the car driving off the road and rolling over onto the roof. The driver of the vehicle and the rear passenger, both of whom were teenage girls, died at the scene. First responders reportedly extracted the third teenage girl from the car and took her to the hospital.
The investigation is ongoing, but an update was released to news outlets this week, which included details from the vehicle’s onboard computer systems. According to authorities, the Lexus had been traveling over 100 mph in the moments before the crash. Investigators also indicated that the vehicle had been airborne for about 130 feet before crashing down and flipping over. Residents of the area near the crash, as well as those who regularly travel through it, told news outlets that the hills, curves, and roadway visibility are dangerous, in general, and especially so for motorists who drive too fast.
A Loss of Respect for Speed Limits
Most drivers recognize that speed limits are the law, not a suggestion. However, there is growing concern among policymakers and researchers that the public’s respect for speeding-related laws has been eroding for quite some time. In fact, a National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) survey from 2002 found that one-third of drivers admitted to regularly driving at least 10 miles per hour faster than other road users. These were all self-reported incidents, which suggests the actual numbers could be much higher.
In a more recent study, researchers from Purdue University asked 988 drivers a single question: at what point did they feel like speeding became a personal threat to them or their family. They were given three options to choose from: 5, 10, and 15 miles per hour over the speed limit. Nearly half (43 percent) said they felt safe driving up to 10 miles per hour over the speed limit. Another 36 percent asserted that safety did not become a concern until they exceeded 20 miles per hour over the posted speed limit.
Increased Speed Increases Risk of Crash and Serious Injury
Posted speed limits are determined through careful and extensive research. Factors such as stopping times, traffic type, traffic flow, and potential blind spots are considered, along with any other relevant state, city, or location-specific issues. Those who disobey the posted limits may be considered to be acting negligently, not just because they are putting themselves at risk for a crash but also because they are risking the safety and well-being of others on the road. In addition, faster speeds mean an increased risk of serious injury or wrongful death. Thankfully, victims do have the right to pursue compensation.
Determining Your Best Options
The Fairfax County crash is a tragic example of what can happen when a speeding vehicle is involved in a crash. However, it is also an example of how an in-depth investigation can produce evidence that helps establish what happened, even if there were no eyewitnesses.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in any type of crash, and you think that the driver who caused the crash was speeding, a qualified personal injury attorney can help ensure that a full investigation is conducted. If the other driver was speeding, they could be held financially responsible for any injuries that you or loved one sustained. Your lawyer can also help you build a case for recovering full compensation for your losses under the law, just as we did in securing more than $160,000 for a woman who was hurt in a chain-reaction crash caused by a driver who failed to slow down properly.
For more information about your legal options after being hurt in a speeding-related car crash, contact the experienced Virginia car crash injury lawyers at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp. We will do everything we can to get you the favorable outcome you deserve. Free consultations are available.
An experienced personal injury attorney with dual licensure in Virginia and North Carolina, Eric Washburn received a B.B.A. in Finance from James Madison University—initially worked in the information technology field before obtaining his law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan. Once an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney in Danville, Va., Eric has been recognized by Super Lawyers Magazine as a “Rising Star” Super Lawyer in Virginia since 2014.