The peak summer driving season getting underway is a good time to be reminded about the danger and cost of speeding.
Speeding costs lives and billions in medical costs and property damage:
Some 13,500 Americans die each year in speeding related accidents, about the same number who die in alcohol-related accidents. Also according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):
- Speed related accidents cost the US economy more than $40 billion a year in medical costs, property damage and lost wages to drivers, passengers and pedestrians.
- Slowing down increases your chances of surviving a crash.
- Slowing down increases your chances of avoiding road rage.
Speeding reduces fuel efficiency, so you have to buy 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.
- Use these tips on how to save fuel while driving from the California Energy Commission
Speeding tickets add points on your license and can increase the cost of your insurance premiums:
Highway safety agencies and law enforcement often wage special crackdowns on speeders on holiday weekends such as Fourth of July and Labor Day. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Always obey the posted speed limits and drive safely.