Going over the posted speed limit is a leading factor in fatal car crashes. In fact, for every 10 miles per hour over 50 mph, the risk of death in a traffic collision is doubled. This alarming statistic is exactly why drivers need to reassess their situation when considering speeding. Listed below are some common situations that arise and may cause you to consider speeding. We’ve provided some tips on how you can still safety reach your destination without speeding.
Common Reasons Drivers Speed
1. Medical Emergency
In the event of a medical emergency, it can actually worsen the situation if you speed to the hospital. Instead, call 911 for assistance from trained professionals. They are trained to drive at higher speeds and traffic is required to yield to them. These professionals may also be able to provide life saving services before you ever even get on the road.
2. Running late
Many people speed because they feel like they’re running late. However, speeding has been proven to save very little, if any time. Have you ever been passed by a car, only to come up next to them at the next stop light? Before you hit the road next time, check the traffic report and allow enough time to reach your destination.
3. Unaware of the speed limit
Concentrate and be alert when driving. Scan for all signs, signals and roadway markings. To avoid exceeding the speed limit, occasionally glance at the speedometer to see how fast you’re going and adjust your speed accordingly.
4. Driving while impaired. Driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol impacts your judgement and senses, even slowing reaction time. In addition it may cause drivers to engage in risky driving behaviors or make them unaware of how fast they are actually going. Read more about buzzed driving here.
5. Unexpected traffic. Congested streets can make even the most seasoned driver a little agitated, but don’t let traffic entice you to speed. Keep your cool while navigating to your destination.
Dangers of Speeding Statistics
Every driver is obligated to drive in a manner that is within reason and protects themselves, other drivers, pedestrians and passengers from harm.
“Results show that the average risk of severe injury for a pedestrian struck by a vehicle reaches 10% at an impact speed of 16 mph, 25% at 23 mph, 50% at 31 mph, 75% at 39 mph, and 90% at 46 mph. The average risk of death for a pedestrian reaches 10% at an impact speed of 23 mph, 25% at 32 mph, 50% at 42 mph, 75% at 50 mph, and 90% at 58 mph. Risks vary significantly by age. For example, the average risk of severe injury or death for a 70‐year old pedestrian struck by a car traveling at 25 mph is similar to the risk for a 30‐year‐old pedestrian struck at 35 mph.” —AAA
Speeding is never the answer. Allowing yourself enough time to reach your destination, or calling professionals in the event of an emergency, ensures that you and other drivers on the road remain as safe as possible.
Top Driver offers a refresher online driving course focused on speed management. To learn more about this course, click here. Or contact your local Top Driver location for questions and additional courses available to you.