We’ve all been there, driving a little faster than the speed limit, and then suddenly, behind us we see those flashing lights. Whether it’s a ticket or a warning, we get the talk. We hand over the license and registration, and we hear what our speed was, what the limit is, and why we were pulled over.
After that, we’ve all had the same thought: why is the speed limit so low in this area? Perhaps some of us have taken it further: why are there speed limits at all?
That’s one of those questions that, at the moment, seems to be very insightful and reasonable, but upon the least amount of reflection, it proves to be incredibly foolish.
After all, we know that faster cars are more likely to get into wrecks. It’s intuitively true. When you drive faster, you have less time to react, and you have less control over your car. We all swear or honk at the sports car zooming through traffic, and we all know the reason is that such driving is more likely to lead to an accident.
The data backs this up. Government research finds that about 31 percent of crashes are due to speeding. In 2007, that led to over 13,000 deaths. Even when speaking less dramatically, and leaving fatal crashes aside, the cost of speeding is immense. It costs people $40 billion every year.
Speeding is such a big issue in crashing, that law firms make a point of representing people who have been the victims of accidents due to the other driver speeding.
So, while that ticket you received may seem unfair, and perhaps that particular street you were on could use a bump of 5 or so miles in the limit, the overall point the officer made was valid. Speeding is dangerous, even if we all do it. A reminder every now and again to watch the speedometer and drive at a reasonable speed is important.
After all, we don’t want to be part of those statistics listed above. We don’t want to be part of the 31%, the 13,000, and we most certainly do not want to be responsible for those statistics either.
While it’s unreasonable to expect anyone reading this to suddenly become an advocate for strictly adhering to speed limits, it’s still worthwhile to give a gentle reminder that limits are not just set to make sure cops can earn revenue for the government through tickets. The limits are set to keep everyone safe, that includes pedestrians and drivers, and it includes you, speeding in your car.
If that leads to just a few readers taking their foot off the gas, just a little mind you, and keeping speeds at least reasonable, then this article has done its job. While it may be fun and sexy to really let go and fly down the street, the consequences are simply too great to do so.
At the very least, the next time you are caught driving like that and you see the lights flashing behind you, you’ll know you deserve what you get.