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Speeding = Actually Dangerous

24 October 2007

When I talk to people about driving the speed limit, I get a lot of eye rolling and head shaking. A lot of people believe that speeding isn’t really illegal because everyone else is doing it. Which leads me to echo my mother, “If all your friends jumped off a bridge…” Although going with the flow of traffic is important, speeding is a dangerous habit to get into . Here are some interesting facts about speeding in Minnesota from the Minnesota Office of Traffic Safety:

  • Illegal or unsafe speed is a leading contributing factor in fatal crashes. In 2006, 151 people were killed in speeding related crashes
  • During the period of 2002-2006, fatalities resulting from speed-related crashes cost Minnesota over $929 million
  • Younger drivers who speed are in grave danger — illegal or unsafe speed accounted for 30 percent of the factors cited in fatal crashes for drivers under age 30.

Speeding can increase the potential for loss of vehicle control, increase your stopping distance and cause greater crash severity leading to more numerous and severe injuries. Driving the speed limit is an environmentally and socially friendly action you can take for free to save money and energy and make our streets safer. Give it a try today!

10 Comments leave one →
  1. 19 November 2009 3:27 pm

    So, you mean to say that if you’re in a 45, and you go 55, you’ll be saving money? 😉 (And why do I never see a 50 mph sign, or much less a 47 or something? I thought these things were supposed to be made according to some criteria about what speed is safe. There is no road with a safe speed that exists between 45 and 55?)

    I think one of the problems is that people mean two different things when they speeding. When I talk about speeding, I’m talking about technically going above the posted speed limit.

    I live in the DC metro area now, and almost everyone technically speeds–including the police. The few who don’t are usually going below the speed limit. That’s because our population hasn’t been ‘harassed’ about speeding yet. (It’s starting to happen now.) So everyone, pretty much drives at the speed they feel is safe. Very RARELY do you see “real” speeders who are going noticeably faster than the flow of traffic or weaving. Usually if you see a police car, you feel a little self-conscious and maybe just check to make sure you don’t go 10 mph over, but that’s about it. And then the police car passes you.

    People here in Maryland ARE conscious about aggressive driving though, because we have laws or programs about aggressive drivers. This is really a subjective decision of the police officer who can pull you over for aggressive driving (which would include the dangerous kind of speeding) and ticket with heavy penalties. I have to say, it was encouraging to see such a fair system that seemed to work well.

    When I lived in Colorado the enforcement attitude and consequently the driving attitude were very different. A lot of people there go the speed limit or 5 mph above. (For some odd reason 5 mph above is rarely enforced as if THAT speeding is legitimate legally.) So basically you had a bunch of people who felt like they should be going faster, but were afraid to do so. I also noticed that people there were much more likely to block the left lane than in Maryland. When I moved here I was delighted to see how everyone for the most part tried to cooperate while driving, even if they were a bit slow to do so. (Don’t get me wrong, I still love Colorado.)

    In fact after being in different states and countries, I see a correlation with driving skills and attitudes with how the traffic laws are constructed and enforced. It’s a bit of the chicken and egg problem: are the traffic laws creating that behavior, or was that behavior what lead to those laws? It’s ingenuous of me to suggest that I know, even though I think it’s the former. There just hasn’t been a study done on it.

  2. 19 November 2009 3:35 pm

    By the way, I find it hard to drive at 55 and I’m biased. It’s a bit low for 5th gear in my car with standard transmission, but it is definitely not cost-effective in 4th gear. The optimal speed for my car seems to be around 60 – 65 which is what I usually do on the highway.

  3. 11 December 2009 8:56 am

    Maximum speed limits should be repealed on some highways, as in Germany. In Minnesota speed limits are artficially low – well below the speed of 85% of traffic. We should honor the “reasonable and prudent standard.” Speeding Laws in Minnesota

  4. Noneya permalink
    2 July 2010 9:46 pm

    Back in the 70s speed limits were lowered to keep from using too much gas, not for keeping people safe. If you think about it, there is no strong evidence that suggests that speeding increases death or injury. One driving at 30mph could die in an accident, while one driving at 70 could survive unharmed. Of course there are exceptions like when driving in a subdivision and the limit is 25 due to children playing in the road, or when the limit is set at 45 around a sharp curve. Outside of that, speed limits are mainly a way for the local governments to cannibalize their citizens. Isn’t it funny how more tickets are issued during down economies than during up economies? The same goes for speed limits. Also, the Autobaun in Germany is one of the countries safest roadways. It has a speed limit in places of about 80mph, however these limits are rarely enforced or obeyed. Sure the occasional teen may die, but that’s life. One will never be safe from every harm out there so why continue to give away your freedoms? When the news and the governments scare the citizens into thinking it’s okay for police to ticket people because they are keeping people safe, it becomes this safety Nazi nation. Let some kids die every driving, it helps with population control and can help solve the immigration crisis by allowing them to take the jobs that the deceased would otherwise have. That last part is sarcasm for all you morons out there. Seriously though, I think driving responsibilities should be placed on the drivers and their parents, not some 1984 government handing out tickets because they cannot manage their local budgets without depending on the federal handouts or the lack thereof in recent years. I do believe we should have some police patrolling the roads for DUIs or DWIs, but speeding is usually a power trip pull over by some premature pig with an ego brought about by the blue wall badge. This is my rant and if you disagree, have some FACTS to back up your claim. Thanks.

  5. T gust permalink
    18 August 2010 2:21 pm

    Thanks for that post. Speeding itself is not dangerous. Germany doesn’t have a speed limit on most of the Autobahn, and instead are more diligent about sticking to the “drive on the right, pass on the left” rule, which is also a law here. Somehow people in the USA think it’s perfectly acceptable to putt-putt away in the left lane.

    It’s fallacious to think speeding causes the accidents. More often than not, what causes the accidents is someone going too slow in the PASSING lane, not passing anyone. (Despite it being illegal to drive in the passing lane when the general use lane is unoccupied).

    When a slow driver pulls a move like this, it causes a faster driver to tailgate the slow driver, or pass on the right side instead of the left. THAT is what causes dangerous situations. If people stuck to the proper lanes, we wouldn’t see the fallacy that “SPEED KILLS” when it manifestly does not if the roadway is used as designed.

  6. 9 August 2012 7:46 am

    These anti speeding campaigns are actually a bunch of bologna. I did a resource economics debate on this once. Speed related death means the guy was drunk swerving all over the road crashed into a tree, the tree fell on the road onto a passing car and the passing car was doing 1 mph over the speed limit. By comparing various reports I found that speeding doesn’t actually contribute to traffic fatalities. For instance, on the Autobahn there is no speed limit and there are less fatalities than in the US.

  7. 9 August 2012 8:45 am

    Whatever the case, every 5 MPH increment you go over 60 MPH is like paying .31 more cents per gallon of gas.


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