Speeding is a contributor to almost 10,000 fatal crashes each year in the United States. Even reading this number, and knowing that speed kills, drivers don’t seem to slow down. No matter how well you think that you can speed and still drive safely consider these facts.
- The faster you go, the more ground you need to cover before you stop. A vehicle traveling at 50 miles per hour covers approximately 75 feet in one second. So, if your sunglasses fell off the dashboard and you look down to see where they went for just one second, you drove 75 feet without looking at the road. Obviously, the faster you go, the more highway you cover in a second. At 70 miles an hour, it becomes 75 feet of road that you covered.
- Your ability to react to a situation diminishes the faster you go. Reaction time has several components. First, a person must recognize the sensory input. The brain then needs to calculate the meaning of this information. The brain then needs to select a response. We then have to initiate the response. The faster we go, the less time we have to complete these procedures.
- The forces at impact increase dramatically when you speed. Consider this. A frontal impact at 35 miles per hour is 33% more violent than a crash at 30 miles per hour. If you understand physics, it works this way. Crash severity increases by the square of the speed. So, if you go from 40 to 60 miles per hour, you increased speed by 50%. But get this, the energy released doubles. In a high-speed crash, a vehicle is subjected to forces so severe that the vehicle can’t withstand the force sufficiently to protect the occupants.
Knowing these outcomings and applying the Safe Driving Tips we outlined in a previous post, you can keep yourself safe.
Speed Kills. Don’t let it kill you. You should always be aware of their speed when on the road and make adjustments. This includes construction zones, bad weather, and poor visibility. Be alert and aware of what is going around you and ensure that there are safe distances between other vehicles. There is an excellent article by Drive Team on speeding, which you may want to read.