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Why Do Drivers Speed?

Why Do Drivers Speed?

You see it way too often—people speeding 20-40 mph over the speed limit. Why are people seemingly always in a rush? Why are they willing to risk everyone’s safety to get to their destination a little faster?

Excessive speed is at the center of most of our country’s road safety problems. In fact, speed is involved in all accidents to some degree and in approximately 30% of all fatal accidents speed is an essential contributory factor. At  Service King Queen Creek , we see the results of excessive speeding all the time, so here are some interesting things to think about it you or someone you know is a chronic speeder.

It all comes down to simple physics mixed in with basic human behavior. At a higher speed, it is more difficult to react in time to prevent an accident. Secondly, speed impacts the seriousness nature of an accident. At a higher speed, more energy is released when colliding with another vehicle, driver or impediment. Unfortunately, a portion of this energy ends up being absorbed by the vulnerable and rather frail human body. When it comes down to steel vs. the body, the human body loses almost every time!

Recent research shows that speeding is getting worse in the United States, as well as in a wide range of other countries. It is not something just done by a small minority of irresponsible drivers. While there are those who speed "extravagantly to seek thrills", most people do so within what they claim as “accepted social norms”.

Data shows that drivers aged 17-24 drive the fastest, and then 25 to 58 year-olds followed by 58 years plus with men driving faster than women. The groups most likely to speed excessively are those driving in a work-related capacity, members of high income households and young males. Motorcyclists are also a serious problem and taxi drivers exceed the 40 mph limit as a rule.

Here are some possible reasons for drivers breaking the speed limit: (If you’re a police officer, I bet you’ve heard almost all of these and more.)

  • They're late
  • Because their journey is more important than yours
  • They are contemptuous of safe drivers
  • They're in a foul mood
  • Chances of getting caught are nearly non-existent
  • They think they have a right to speed
  • They have little or no regard for life and property
  • By nature they are impatient
  • They are selfish and full of self-importance
  • They can't help it
  • They like driving fast
  • They are arrogant and self-righteous
  • Their car is faster and newer than yours
  • They think they can drive as well as Mario Andretti
  • They do not know what the speed limits are
  • “He cut me off first!”
  • They are in a hurry (usually for some lame, non-emergency reason)
  • They do not think that speeding as a serious offense
  • They feel pressured into keeping up with other drivers
  • They did not realize they were speeding
  • They just don't appreciate you being in front of them.

Here are some other interesting facts about speeding:

  • Driving at a higher than reasonable speed increases your risk in two ways: it cuts your reaction time and results in more "stored" energy (that must be dissipated in any collision).
  • The inability to stop in time is the biggest cause of death on our roads.
  • Two out of three crashes where people are killed or injured happen on roads where the speed limit is 40 mph or less
  • Just over 50% of drivers break the 30 mph speed limit regularly.
  • Drivers are more likely to kill a pedestrian when driving at 40 mph rather than 30 mph.
  • A pedestrian that has been struck by a car moving at 20 mph has a 95% chance of survival.
  • A pedestrian struck by a car moving at 30 mph has an 80% of surviving.
  • But if a car moving at 40mph hits a pedestrian, the chances of dying rise to 90%. (80% in the case of a child).
  • Excessive speed is a contributory factor in over 1,000 deaths and over 40,000 injuries every year.

So, obviously we all need to slow down. Share this article with your children and maybe your significant other, because based on the statistics listed here, speeding is an epidemic and almost anyone is prone to speed at any time.

Sources: Wikipedia, and 

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