How Fast Is Too Fast?
A Las Vegas car accident lawyer discusses Nevada's problem with speeding
Former Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Henry Ruggs was recently ordered by a judge to wear an ankle monitor at all times, as the 22-year-old ex-NFL player continues to deal with legal consequences stemming from a tragic crash that killed a 23-year-old woman and her dog.
According to a report by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Ruggs was driving under the influence of alcohol and was traveling at 156 mph just before the pre-dawn crash that took place earlier this month. Police say the airbags in the car Ruggs was operating deployed when the vehicle was at 127 mph.
“I cannot recall a speed that high in my career on the bench,” Justice of the Peace Joe Bonaventure said.
The woman who died in the crash has since been identified as 23-year-old Tina Tintor.
Speeding in Nevada
With a maximum speed limit of 80 mph in parts of the state, it should come as no surprise that one-third of the fatal crashes in Nevada are blamed on speeding. The faster a vehicle is traveling, the greater the impact and the greater the likelihood that someone is going to die from their injuries.
From 2010 to 2019, the state reported 856 speeding-related deaths.
Automobile safety advocates also say higher speed limits encourage motorists to drive even faster in Nevada. With a speed limit of 80, they say, some people have no problem driving 85, 90, or even faster. They sometimes carry that dangerous behavior onto roads with lower speed limits.
Other major risks from speeding:
- A greater likelihood that the driver will lose control of their vehicle.
- Increased chances of a rollover accident.
- Seat belts and airbags are less effective at higher speeds.
- Increased stopping distance to avoid disabled vehicles and other road hazards.
- Reduced reaction time and a smaller margin for error.
Paying the price
While the case with Henry Ruggs involves driving under the influence of alcohol, speeding in Nevada is considered a misdemeanor. The sentence is up to six months in jail and/or maximum fines totaling $1,000. Fines are limited to no more than $20 for each mile over the limit.
Speeding tickets also have a negative impact on insurance rates. In Nevada, annual rates increase from an average of $3,061 to $3,793, a jump of 24% - the 13th highest in the nation.
Depending on the circumstances, though, a driver could face a reckless driving charge or, in the case of a fatality, vehicular homicide. That means the possibility of jail time, thousands of dollars in fines, license suspension, vehicle impoundment, and community service.
In the case of Henry Ruggs, the decision to drive drunk and speed has likely cost him his NFL career and more.
Despite the risks, too many speeders are able to find justifications for their behavior.
Some of the common excuses drivers use to justify speeding include:
- Aggression toward traffic delays, slower drivers, and traffic congestion.
- A sense of urgency to reach their destination on time, whether it is school, work, or an appointment.
- The feeling of anonymity when behind the wheel lessons individual accountability.
- Distractions, such as talking on a phone or texting and driving.
- For the “rush” of driving faster than other vehicles.
- Keeping up with the flow of traffic, even when it is dangerous.
Crash victims have legal rights
If you were injured or a loved one died in a car accident caused by a negligent driver, you deserve justice and compensation for your losses.
At Lasso Injury Law LLC, we have been fighting for the rights of accident victims in Las Vegas since 2003. We know how to investigate accidents, build strong cases, and fight to hold the person who caused your injuries responsible for their actions.
Find out what our law firm can do for you and contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced Las Vegas car accident attorney.