With the peak summer driving season underway, it’s a good time to be reminded about the dangers and costs of speeding.
Speeding costs lives and billions in medical costs and property damage.
Approximately 13,500 Americans die each year in speeding related accidents – about the same number who die in alcohol-related accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Speed related accidents cost the United States economy more than $40 billion a year in medical costs, property damage and lost wages to drivers, passengers and pedestrians. Slowing down also increases your chances of surviving a crash.
Speeding reduces fuel efficiency, so you have to buy more $4 gas more often.
The Department of Energy estimates that, each 5 mph you drive above 60 mph adds the equivalent of an additional $0.30 per gallon for gas. Other ways to increase fuel efficiency include braking and accelerating smoothly, using cruise control to maintain a steady speed, and keeping your tires properly inflated. More gas also means you are doing more damage to the environment, along with your wallet, because more CO2 is being released into the atmosphere. Driving a vehicle at 65 mph uses about 15% more fuel than driving the same vehicle at 55 mph.
Avoid tickets, points on your license and increased insurance premiums.
Highway safety agencies and law enforcement often wage special crackdowns on speeders on holiday weekends such as Fourth of July, Labor Day and Thanksgiving. Obey the sign or pay the fine. The Governors Highway Safety Association has a chart with speed limits in all 50 states for cars and trucks. Interstates have limits between 55 mph and 75 mph, depending on state and whether the section of interstate is rural or through a city.
Marked and unmarked patrol cars also are on the lookout for drivers who are texting or dialing, which is a ticket offense in a growing number of states. Distracted driving is as dangerous as driving under the influence. And, offers are checking for seat belt use. The rule there is click it or ticket.
Always obey traffic rules and drive safely.