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How to Estimate How Fast a Car Was GoingSpeeding is a real problem in the state of Florida. According to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle 2016 Crash Facts Report approximately 18.6% of all vehicle crashes were a result of speeding and aggressive driving. In 2017, 19.5% in Hillsborough County and 23.4% in Pinellas County of crash citations were given for speeding either above the posted speed limit or for prevailing conditions. It is safe to say with stats like these, we all have driving experiences were someone around us has been speeding.

What if you have been hit by someone who was speeding? How would you prove it? In some cases, you may want to be able to estimate how fast the other driver was going when they hit you. Being able to prove how fast the other driver was going when they hit you can make all the difference is recovering vital compensation, especially when the other driver’s insurance company claims damage to yourself or your vehicle was from a previous incident or that the driver was not at fault at all.

There are five main ways to estimate how fast a car was going at the time of a crash…

  • Computers Inside the Vehicle – GPS, Smartphones GPS app, OnStar systems, and vehicle computer (“black box”) all have data which can help determine the speed of a vehicle at the time of the crash. If the vehicle has a “black box”, this computer contains data such as speed, acceleration, brake activity, and even if the driver tried to swerve to avoid an accident.
  • Tire Tracks – Length of tire tracks and the correct coefficient for kinetic friction (friction between the tires and roadway) can be used to determine how fast a car was going before a crash in the following equation …vehicle speed estimating formula“µ” is the coefficient for kinetic friction
    length of skid marks for back tires only=length of total skid marks-vehicles wheel base
    “g” is standard gravity = 9.8 m/s2

    • There are tables available for the various coefficients for kinetic friction, since the coefficient for kinetic friction depends on the type or roadway, road conditions, and tire type.
    • This video is also a good resource for helping to calculate speed from tire skid marks… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKCw0cfrvD8
  • Witness Testimony – Ask a witness for their estimation of a vehicle’s speed. Lay Opinion Testimony Law sees a witness testimony as valid when the non-expert witness states an opinion that is rationally on his/her perception.
  • Accident Footage – Footage from traffic cameras or nearby business security cameras can be used to determine speed by tracking vehicle travel distance over time.
  • Damage to Vehicles and Other Property – Organizations, such as, National Transport and Safety Authority and auto manufacturers have data about the speed at which various car parts (bumpers, side panels, etc.) and other property (guard rails, sign posts, etc.) fail. This data can be used to determine how fast a car was going to cause damage to various car parts.

If you have been injured in an accident in which you believe the other driver was speeding, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Franco Law Group at (813) 873-0180 for help in proving the other driver was speeding and get the compensation you deserve.

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