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Dangers of Speeding in a Residential Neighborhood

By Jason Bottlinger on December 27, 2017

If you speed through a residential neighborhood and hit someone with your vehicle, is it really an “accident”? Sure, you didn’t mean to hurt anyone, but you were, in fact, breaking the law, and driving dangerously. Children can come out of nowhere. When you were a child, did you think about “safety first” when playing in your front yard?

Residential areas are where people live, raise their families, and enjoy the comforts of their homes. These streets are not highways. If drivers follow the rules and drive under the legal speed limit, they should theoretically have enough time to stop if a child or pet runs into the street. But there is no substitute for caution!

The Penalties: It’s Not Worth Speeding

Residential areas in Nebraska have a 25 mile per hour speed limit. This number is subject to a zero-tolerance policy. If you travel 26 miles an hour through a residential neighborhood, you are speeding and can receive a ticket. It’s that simple.

Driving above the speed limit can result in points being assessed against your license. If you receive 6 points within a year and are under age 21, you will be required to attend a driving education class or risk your license being suspended until you reach 21. If you gather 12 points over two years as an adult, you must attend the class AND your license is suspended for a six-month period. The class is only available to drivers once in a five-year period.

In addition to this, your car insurance rates will probably go up, as your insurer may consider you an increased risk.

The Risks to Others: It’s Not Worth Speeding

Disturbingly, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that most people who are speeding through residential areas…actually live in the neighborhood! You might be eager to come home after work, but that’s no excuse if a child is hit and seriously injured. Here are some statistics that should make you think twice before easing your car up to 30 mph:

  • Pedestrians are killed three times as often when moving from a 25 mph zone to a 30 mph zone. By that logic, if you increase your speed only 5 mph, you’re raising the chances of a fatal accident threefold.
  • If you hit a pedestrian at 20 mph, 5% will die. If you hit a pedestrian at 30 mph, 45% will die. At 40 mph, 85% will die. If you hit a child, the likelihood of death is higher still.
  • “Local” or residential streets have a fatality rate over two times higher per mile driven than highways.

It’s been said, and we’ll say it again: be safe, not sorry!

Driver Behavior Makes All the Difference

Driver behavior is crucial to safety in residential neighborhoods.  When you’re driving, go slow enough to see and respond to every new circumstance. Look under parked cars, and you may see children’s feet from the sidewalk, though you can’t see them otherwise. If it’s dark, take another 10 mph off your speed, just in case. In short, take every precaution necessary to avoid bringing tragedy to your own neighborhood.

If a speeding driver hurt you, your child, or a neighbor, reach out to the legal team at Bottlinger Law L.L.C. We’re parents, and we know how confusing and emotional an Omaha pedestrian accident can be. Call us today at (402) 505-8234 for a free consultation.

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Posted in: Car Accidents

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