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Driver in Fatal Crash Had History of Speeding Infractions

Law enforcement said speed definitely contributed to a fatal car crash in St. Petersburg early on Feb. 9. The Tampa Tribune reported that Melissa Daddio, 19, was speeding when lost control of her car at 2:10 a.m. that day while trying to pass another vehicle. The car slammed into a curb, a street sign and four other objects before flipping over and hitting the wall of a local law firm’s offices. A 20-year-old passenger was killed; Daddio and another passenger were taken to the hospital with injuries not considered life-threatening. Public records show that the driver had received three speeding tickets since 2006.

Police are still investigating the accident, the article says, and it would be inappropriate to lay blame without all the facts. But this case is a good illustration of the sad but true fact that speeding can kill. According to a study of 2007 traffic accidents by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, speeding is a factor in 24% of all fatal crashes of passenger cars, 19% of fatal light truck crashes and 36% of fatal motorcycle crashes. Drivers who speed are also statistically more likely to be intoxicated by alcohol and less likely to have a valid license or use seat belts. And unfortunately, drivers under the age of 25 are also more likely to speed.

As a motorcyclist, I understand the temptation to speed. But for a Pembroke Pines car crash attorney, it’s also easy to understand why speeding is so frequently deadly. When a vehicle is going very quickly, its driver has less time to react to unexpected obstacles and less margin for error when making basic maneuvers like turning or passing, as in this crash. It also takes longer to stop a fast-moving vehicle, which means that cars take longer to brake, increasing the distance the car travels before it can stop. Under those circumstances, seat belts and airbags can only do so much. Even when they’re restrained, occupants of the vehicle are more likely to be killed or sustain catastrophic injuries like brain damage, paralysis and severe burns.

These injuries are a tragedy no matter what the circumstances. But when they are the result of someone else’s bad decisions or carelessness, victims have a right to hold that person legally responsible with a South Florida auto accident lawsuit. A legal claim can help victims hold careless people legally and financially responsible for their actions, compelling them to pay the medical bills, repair bills and other costs of the accident they caused. It can also help victims win compensation for their non-financial injuries, such as loss of a loved one, permanent disability, inability to work, physical pain or emotional anguish. Cohn, Smith & Cohn has helped many clients in this position win the money they need to get good care, make ends meet and eventually move on from a serious accident.

At Cohn, Smith & Cohn, our experienced Coral Springs car accident attorneys offer free consultations, so there’s no risk in talking to us about your case and your options. To set up a free evaluation of your case, please contact us as soon as possible using our online form or call (954) 431-8100.

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