Grimes & Fertitta, P.C.

Speeding is extremely dangerous: Here's why

Speeding is a fairly common traffic offense. Almost everyone has committed it at one time or another. You might have been late for work and breached the speed limit or have been frustrated by a slow driver and sped around them to pass their vehicle.

The reality is that speeding is normal, but it's unsafe. Drivers who speed increase the risk of getting into a crash. In 2017, around 26% of all traffic fatalities involved at least one driver who was speeding at the time of the crash.

What makes speeding such a danger?

Speed causes a few issues. Speed reduces the amount of time a person has to react to stimuli. For instance, if you see a ball roll into the road at 20 mph, you'll likely be able to look around, slow and stop before you hit it. If you see a ball roll out in front of you when you're traveling 75 mph, you may have no time to process what happened before striking the ball.

Speeding also requires a driver to brake harder. Despite braking harder, the likelihood is that it will still take a significantly longer distance to stop than if they'd been traveling at a slower speed.

Finally, if a crash does happen, the crash is going to be harder. While you may have no ill effects from a crash when traveling at 10 or 15 mph, a crash at 50 or 55 mph is much more likely to cause injury.

What impacts a driver's stopping distance?

The distance it takes to stop is impacted by:

  • How fast the driver responds to stimuli
  • The capability of the vehicle to brake effectively
  • The vehicle's reaction time
  • The length of time it takes a driver to perceive a danger or hazard

The faster you go, the longer it will take to stop. Keep this in mind, because if you have to stop quickly, you may not be able to do so safely.

Can you speed legally if you're trying to keep up with traffic?

No. This is a common myth that can lead to your getting a speeding ticket and/or getting into a collision. If others are speeding, you should move to the right-hand or center lane and allow them to pass on the left.

Drivers need to obey the speed limits. They are there to protect them and to prevent serious crashes, injuries and fatalities.

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