While it is tempting to drive fast, the dangers of excessive speeding don’t outweigh the benefits. Speeding is defined as driving beyond the posted speed limit’s rate of speed or driving too fast for the road’s conditions. Most people speed in order to get to work or an appointment on time. Some just aren’t paying attention to the manner in which they are driving. A handful of others do it just to have fun. While you won’t always get caught while speeding, you might inflict horrible damage on yourself, your vehicle and other people.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), one third of all fatal automobile crashes involve drivers who were speeding. Speeding comes in only second to alcohol as the top factor in vehicular fatalities. Over 13,000 people die each year as a result of accidents involving speeding automobiles. Excessive speeding constituted the third leading contributing factor in all automobile crashes. The NHTSA also reports that over 40,000 people were critically injured in automobile accidents caused by speeding. Over 70,000 were moderately injured and nearly 600,000 suffered minor injuries.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducted research after many states raised their interstate highway speed limits in 1996 and found that motor vehicle fatalities increased. There is a clear link between speed and fatalities. Driving at an excessive rate of speed decreases the amount of time that a driver had to avoid a crash. Once the crash occurs, it is much more likely to be severe when the vehicles are traveling at a high rate of speed. The NHTSA reports that the force of a crash’s impact doubles with every 10 mile per hour increase in speed at speeds faster than 50 miles per hour. The risk of suffering a serious injury or dying also increases with the higher rate of speed.
The NHTSA reports that those who speed tend to engage in other risky behaviors. They are less likely to wear their seat belts so their risk of injury during a vehicular accident is exponentially heightened. So while it might be fun to drive fast, it is incredibly dangerous. When you drive at fast speeds, you lose your ability to control you vehicle and you put the well-being of everyone else on the road at risk.
Another pitfall of excessive speeding is its expense. A speeding ticket will set you back between $150 and $1,000. Those who are caught driving at excessively fast speeds will pay more than those who were caught only a few mph over the speed limit. Also, many states have a bad driver penalty that tacks on a few hundred dollars and extra points onto your license as a result of excessive speeding.
There is also the danger of losing your license. Speeding violations add points to your license. If you accumulate enough points, your license will eventually be suspended. It is also worth noting that driving the speed limit or lower will save you money at the pump. According to Safeny.ny.gov, every 5 mph that drivers travel over the 60 mph mark costs them an extra 24 cents per gallon of gas.