According to the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration (NHTSA), for more than two decades speeding has been involved in an estimated one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities. The latest statistics available are for 2014, with 9,262 deaths attributed to speeding.
People know that speeding is against the law, so why is it so prevalent? It’s quite simple. People are always in a hurry to get where they are going without realizing that speeding is a very aggressive driving behavior.
Why do people choose to speed?
Make no mistake about it. When a driver speeds, it is intentional and aggressive. So what causes otherwise really good people to exhibit such aggressive driving behavior?
- Traffic Congestion: Research shows that traffic congestion is one of the major contributing factors leading to aggressive driving behaviors, such as speeding. Because they’re in a rush, these aggressive drivers may speed, make frequent lane chances, or exhibit hostility or road rage towards anyone they feel is slowing them down.
- Running Late: People feel very pressed in today’s society to do everything they need to do. They frequently find themselves running late for work, school, a meeting, a kid’s soccer game, or other appointment. The pressure to get where they need to go causes them to frequently speed.
- Anonymity: When in a motor vehicle, a driver can feel insulated and detached from the outside world. They sometimes cease realizing that people in other cars have friends and family they want to see again. This sense of anonymity can lead people to disregard the well-being of others. Even worse, some feel since they will never see these other people they’re speeding past, their bad driving behavior won’t come back to haunt them.
- Disregard for Others and the Law: Most drivers do not drive aggressively, or at least not very frequently. However, it appears that there are more cases of total disregard for the safety of others and the law than ever before. Is it because there are more drivers than ever on the road, or because people are giving themselves permission to break the law through rationalizing their individual immediate situation, or is it because some drivers out there truly just don’t care? It’s probably all of these reasons and more.
Speeding has consequences
For people to reconsider whether to speed, they need to consider the consequences.
- Speeders have much less control of their vehicle.
- Speeding reduces the effectiveness of the vehicle’s safety equipment.
- Speeding requires an increase in stopping distance to avoid a perceived danger.
- Speeding leads to more severe injuries.
- Speeding creates economic losses.
- Speeding and the accidents it causes can cause psychological trauma
- Speeding is not economic, as it requires more fuel consumption.
- If convicted of speeding, your insurance rates will likely go up.
It’s really a no-brainer. Speeding endangers everyone on the road, including you and your passengers. Try to remember that speed limits are there to protect you and others on the road. Remember that you need to go slower than the posted speed limit when weather conditions are poor, when traffic is congested, when there is road construction, and where the roadway is poorly lit.
Please, slow down. Don’t be responsible for a family member never coming home again.
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