If you like to drive fast, you may tend to minimize the seriousness of speeding. But in 2019 alone, 9,478 people died as a direct result of speeding, according to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA). That’s nearly 10,000 families who are missing a parent, child, or other loved one because someone refused to follow the speed limit.
The Dangers of Speeding
The term “speeding” usually refers to driving faster than the posted speed limit, but it can also mean driving faster than what is safe for the current conditions.
For example, if a road is under repair or drivers are facing bad weather conditions, the posted speed limit may not be a safe speed to travel. Drivers are always responsible for applying common sense and being as safe as possible while they are on the road.
Speeding isn’t just against the law. It also puts you, your passengers, other drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians in danger.
Other consequences of speeding include:
- Increased likelihood and severity of injuries in a crash
- Drivers need more stopping distance to avoid danger
- Increased potential for rollovers, especially in trucks and SUVs
- Increased likelihood of losing control of your vehicle
- Increased fuel consumption
The NHSTA also reports that chronic speeders tend to engage in other aggressive driving behaviors, making them even more dangerous on the road.
Speeding can even be expensive. A speeding ticket can cost $150 or more, depending on the region and other infractions that may occur simultaneously. Multiple speeding tickets can result in a suspended or revoked driver’s license. Even if you manage to keep or regain your license, a history of speeding tickets will often increase your insurance rates.
Why Do People Ignore the Dangers of Speeding While Driving?
All drivers are tempted to speed now and then. You may be running late for an appointment or encounter slow traffic.
In fact, traffic congestion is one of the most frequent complaints of drivers who confess to speeding and other aggressive driving habits. It’s normal to want to step on the gas to make up for lost time, but willfully ignoring the dangers of speeding can be problematic.
Here are some of the other reasons that drivers cite for speeding:
Motor vehicles are like a protective bubble that surrounds people as they drive, but they can also seem like a shield that makes drivers feel detached from their surroundings. That sense of detachment includes the other people on the road. It is easier to break rules and engage in risky behavior when you feel anonymous and unseen. In truth, every decision you make when you’re behind the wheel can potentially affect the people around you, whether you know them or not.
Stress, driving conditions, or distractions inside the car can cause even the best driver to go a little too fast or run through a yellow light. But a small proportion of drivers practice aggressive driving as their normal behavior.
Chronic speeding, abrupt lane changes, not using blinkers, and cutting off other drivers can increase the risks of an accident.
Strategies for Coping with Aggressive Drivers
Seeing others speeding naturally causes stress. It can even make you want to drive aggressively yourself. But don’t give in to that temptation!
If you encounter a speeding driver, remember these tips:
- Adjust your own speed to maintain safety, regardless of what others are doing
- Give speeding drivers plenty of space in case they lose control of their vehicle
- If you’re in the left lane and an aggressive driver wants to pass you, move to the right lane when it is safe to so do to let them by
- Do not get out of your vehicle to confront an aggressive driver
- Pull into a public parking lot and call the police if you’re being followed or harassed
Don’t allow the bad behavior of other drivers to override your good sense. When others are driving unsafely, it is more important than ever for good drivers to set a positive example.
Along with drunk driving and distracted driving, speeding is one of the main causes of car accidents. If you still don’t fully understand the dangers of speeding while driving, consider the following example.
On average, a vehicle that’s traveling 30 mph needs approximately 75 feet to come to a complete stop. But a vehicle traveling at 60 mph needs 240 feet to stop. That’s four times the original distance! These figures assume that a driver reacts immediately when they see a hazard, which may not be true in every case.
Speeding may shave a few minutes off of your commute, but it is not worth all of the consequences that could follow. Before you decide to drive faster than the speed limit or faster than what is safe for the current conditions, think about all of the people that your decisions might affect.
If you’ve been injured in an accident with a speeding driver, speak with a knowledgeable car accident attorney. When a driver has engaged in risky or negligent behavior and caused injuries to you or someone you love, you deserve justice.
Since 1992, our personal injury attorneys at the Pines Salomon Injury Lawyers, APC. have been fighting for the people. Now, when those injured in automobile accidents need financial help, or for the families that need to know that the loss of a loved one could have been prevented, there is a personal injury law firm in San Diego that is on their side.
If you or a family member has been injured, call the lawyers at Pines Salomon Injury Lawyers, APC. There’s never been a better time than right now to speak to a personal injury attorney—FREE of charge. Call us at 858-551-2090 or request a free consultation online today!
SENIOR PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY & FIRM FOUNDER
Michael Pines is a former insurance company attorney who graduated from the University of California Hastings College of the Law in 1987. While he was an insurance attorney, he learned from behind the scenes how insurance companies work and how they decide how much to pay injured people. Now that he works against insurance companies, Michael’s inside knowledge has resulted in significant benefits to his clients injured in car accidents. Learn more about Michael Pines