A few years ago, I was driving on 1-5 North headed toward Seattle in a 70 mph zone. I entered a construction zone and reduced my speed from 70 to the posted speed of 60. When the construction zone ended I went back to 70 mph. I was pulled over a few minutest later and told the speed was still 60. I thought the speed was 70, but technically I was speeding.
Even though I had a clean driving record I received a hefty ticket. I went to traffic court and was eligible for a deferment. For a year I had to watch my speed so I didn’t get another ticket. When the year passed I had a clear record again and made the decision not to speed (even a little). Yes, I get teased for driving slowly, but when you realize what you can lose by speeding it’s easier to take your foot off the accelerator.
The Dangers of Speeding
Speeding is not just driving above the posted speed limit, but includes driving too fast for road conditions, or any other speed-related violation charged (racing, speed greater than reasonable, and exceeding special speed limits). Speeding is illegal. There’s no way around it. If you speed you may get caught by the local police, sheriff, highway patrol, or even photo radar. A speeding ticket can cost you hundred of dollars, missed work if you go to traffic court, and your auto insurance costs can increase.
Another one of the dangers of speeding is the environmental aspect. Speed limits may be set in an attempt to reduce the environmental impact of road traffic (vehicle noise, vibration, emissions), to reduce fuel use and to satisfy local community wishes. According to Ford Motor Company, “Driving a vehicle at 65 mph consumes about 15% more fuel than driving the same vehicle at 55 mph. More fuel consumed means more CO2 released into the atmosphere.”
Here’s the most important danger of speeding: Speeding kills. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, “In 2008 there were 37,261 speed-related traffic fatalities in the U.S.” There are low speed limits specifically set in different areas because of hazards of speed upon the surrounding community. Whatever the reason, the speed limit applies to everyone regardless of the capability of the car or the experience of the driver.
Avoiding the dangers of speeding increases a driver’s ability to take and adjust to curves or objects in the roadway. It considerably extends the distance necessary to stop a vehicle. It also increases the distance a vehicle travels while the driver reacts to a dangerous situation.
As you can see there are many reasons to take the pedal off the metal and slow down! Mine started with a speeding ticket, but I also realized that protecting other’s lives (and my own) was more important than speeding. So plan ahead to allow for extra time to get to your destination, take time to call ahead if you’re running late, and drive safely!