The Dangers of Speeding: It’s Not as Harmless as You Might Think
It happens to drivers everywhere: After a difficult morning getting out the door, you think the only way to arrive at your destination on time is to speed. But how much time are you really saving by driving above the speed limit? And what are you risking in the process?
Before you try hitting the road at high speeds, here’s what you need to know about speeding.
What Do You Gain? Here’s What the Numbers Say.
Does speeding really help you save time? It does, but not nearly as much as many people think. One researcher breaks down how much time is saved during different journeys:
15-mile trip, 55 mph speed limit, 10 miles above the speed limit: 2.51 minutes saved
30-mile trip, 55 mph speed limit, 10 miles above the speed limit: 5.04 minutes saved
50-mile trip, 55 mph speed limit, 10 miles above the speed limit: 8.4 minutes saved
However, these gains are all theoretical. In real life, any time gained by speeding can just as easily be lost by traffic or stop lights, so at the end of the day, speeding doesn’t make driving any more efficient. In some cases, it’s even a waste of time.
A study conducted by the University of Sydney came to the same conclusion: that speeding saves only minimal amounts of time. After collecting data from 106 drivers over the course of 5 weeks, the study found that speeding saves a mere 26 seconds a day and 2 minutes a week.
What Are the Consequences?
Not only is speeding not the timesaver drivers often think it is, but it also puts yourself and those around you in serious danger. In 2020 alone, speeding was the cause of 29% of all traffic fatalities, killing an average of over 30 people each day. Here are some other stats to keep in mind the next time you’re tempted to drive faster than the speed limit:
- According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, speeding killed 11,258 people in 2020
- In 2019, around 326,000 people were injured in speeding accidents
- More than 40% of drivers aged 21-54 that were involved in fatal speeding-related accidents had a blood alcohol content above .08
Speeding could also land you with a traffic ticket and other legal troubles. In Arizona, if you drive more than 20 miles above the posted speed limit, you may face criminal speeding charges, for which the maximum punishment is a $500 fine, 30 days in jail, and up to one year probation.
Additionally, if you’re charged with criminal speeding, you might receive three points on your license, have your license suspended (if you already have too many points), and have to pay increased insurance rates.
Drive Smarter, Not Faster.
PLAN YOUR TRIPS IN ADVANCE
If you’re headed out on a longer trip, take the time to plan your route beforehand. Knowing when and where you plan to eat, fill up on gas, or take bathroom breaks will save you time in the long run.
GIVE YOURSELF MORE TIME
Let’s face it: Getting stuck in traffic or behind a slow driver can be annoying, especially when you’re running late. But that doesn’t mean you’re allowed to put others in harm’s way. Allow yourself plenty of time to get to your destination so you aren’t tempted to speed.
Learn all of the must-know driving dangers, plus the skills and knowledge you need to avoid them, with one of our certified driving instructors. Connect with us today to find the Driver’s Education course that’s right for you.