Brandon Personal Injury Attorney
It's Like Having a Lawyer in the Family
Follow Us Facebook Twitter Linked In

Call For a FREE Consultation Handset 813-438-5960 Serving Brandon, Tampa and all of Florida

Speed-Related Accidents In Florida: Causes And Effects


Most of us speed much more often than we care to admit. If the road is flat, straight, and dry, the weather is clear, and the traffic is light, speeding is not particularly dangerous. But if even one of those “ifs” is not present, speed is often deadly. In fact, excessive velocity is a factor in about a third of the fatal car crashes in Florida.

How does simple velocity have such a significant impact, and how can victims of these car crashes obtain compensation and justice?

The Connection Between Speed and Wrecks in Florida

Speed increases braking distance. At most, it only takes a split second for drivers to see approaching hazards. That’s reaction time. Then, it takes another second or so for drivers to move their feet from the accelerator to the brake pedal, apply the brake, and stop the car. That’s stopping time. When combined, most cars travel:

  • Six car lengths at 30mph, and
  • Eighteen car lengths at 60mph.

Put simply, there is a multiplying effect. The faster a car travels, the higher the risk of a speed-related car crash.

These are just average figures. Stopping distance varies greatly, depending on the size of the vehicle, environmental conditions, and other factors. That’s why even one out-of-place element can cause a Florida car wreck.

Speeding vehicles are also difficult to control, especially when the driver is negotiating a curve. Many times, speeding drivers understeer as they approach the curve, because they underestimate the need to maneuver. Then, they oversteer to correct their angles. That action frequently causes loss of control.

Most car crash damages occur not in the first collision (vehicle against vehicle) but in the second collision (people against the inside of a vehicle). Speed has a multiplying effect here as well, according to Newton’s second law of motion. Ordinary cellphones and other loose objects basically turn into high-speed projectiles at this point.

As a result, speed transforms many “fender bender” collisions into serious injury crashes. So, the victims are entitled to compensation for not only medical bills and other economic losses, but also emotional distress and other noneconomic losses.

Establishing Liability in Florida Speed-Related Wrecks

The negligence per se shortcut works a little differently in Florida. Typically, a statutory violation is conclusive evidence of negligence and victim/plaintiffs need only prove cause. In Florida, that statement is true with regard to penal statutes, such as DUI. But as for non-penal statutes, such as:

  • Traffic laws punishable by fine only,
  • OSHA rules, and
  • Municipal codes,

Negligence per se is only a presumption of negligence.

So, in speeding cases, the tortfeasor (negligent driver) is presumed negligent. However, the tortfeasor has an opportunity to rebut that presumption, often with the contributory negligence defense.

The Comparative Fault Defense in Florida

Often, insurance company lawyers try to shift accident blame onto the victims. For example, a lawyer may admit that the tortfeasor was speeding but insist that the victim’s illegal lane change really caused the accident.

In these cases, it’s important to point out all the circumstances to the jury. For example, speeding 5mph over the limit may not be significant under normal circumstances. But if the road was wet or the tortfeasor was negotiating a curve, that 5mph could be fatal.

Even if the insurance company lawyer succeeds in raising this defense, its impact is often negligible in Florida. The Sunshine State is a pure comparative fault jurisdiction. Even if the victim is 90 percent responsible for the crash, the victim still receives a proportional share of damages in Florida.

Connect With Experienced Attorneys

In a nutshell, speed often causes serious collisions. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Brandon, contact Reed & Reed. We have four area offices (St. Petersburg, Lakeland, Tampa, and Clearwater).


Brandon Personal Injury
Reed & Reed, Attorneys at Law, is located in Brandon, FL and serves clients in
and around Brandon, Tampa, Apollo Beach, Sydney, Gibsonton, Balm, Valrico, Wimauma, Sun City Center, Lithia, Ruskin, Durant, and Hillsborough County.

Our Locations


101 East Lumsden Road
Brandon, FL 33511
Tel: 813-438-5960
Fax: 813-438-5995

St. Petersburg

1700 66th Street North, Ste. 104-1008
St. Petersburg, FL 33710
Tel: 727-362-7520
Fax: 727-362-7521


248 N Kentucky Avenue #72
Lakeland, FL 33801
Tel: 863-274-7715
Fax: 863-274-7716


401 E Jackson Street, Ste. 2340
Tampa, FL 33602
Tel: 813-440-6678
Fax: 813-440-6682


13575 58th Street N, Ste. 200
Clearwater, FL 33760
Tel: 727-767-9914
Fax: 727-767-9915


The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

No content on this site may be reused in any fashion without written permission from

MileMark Media - Practice Growth Solutions

© 2014 - 2020 Reed & Reed, Attorneys at Law. All rights reserved.
This law firm website is managed by MileMark Media.

Contact Form Tab