Did you know that the first person to ever be fined for speeding was a British man? It was 1896 when Walter Arnold paid one shilling for traveling in excess of the speed limit in Kent, UK. Unfortunately, our need for speed has only grown in the century since then.
Nearly a quarter of all fatal collisions are caused, at least in part, by speeding. And according to stoppingdistances.org.uk, in 2010 there were 241 road collision fatalities caused by speeding. In light of the statistics, it becomes obvious why drivers should be cautious, especially when it comes to speed. However, in order to understand the complexities of speeding dangers, here are five reasons to slow down when you’re behind the wheel.
1. It increases your stopping distance
In the event that you spot a road hazard while you are driving and need to brake, driving faster than the speed limit will increase both the time and the distance it takes you to come to a full stop. This in turn increases the necessary sight distance you need to have to be able to avoid obstacles in your way.
2. It becomes even more likely to cause a fatality on surface roads
It can be tempting to take surface roads or streets in residential areas thinking that you will avoid rush hour traffic and get to your destination faster. However, because these roads are often riddled with busy intersections or, even more importantly, school children or suburban residents, the risk of speeding increases the likelihood that you will hurt yourself or someone else.
3. It increases the impact in accidents
Research shows that the impact in a collision increases exponentially as the speed increases. This will also increase the likelihood that anyone involved in the accident will be seriously injured, leading to the need for things like physical rehabilitation and whiplash compensation.
4. Driving too fast for conditions puts you and others in danger.
It’s possible to speed, even while obeying the regular posted speed limit. If you are driving in adverse weather conditions such as rain or snow, the roads could become too slippery for you to stop in case you encounter an obstacle. And in the case of fog, your sight distance is extremely limited, increasing the need to be extra cautious.
5. It decreases the effectiveness of your auto’s safety features
Just like your own reaction time increases in the case of an accident when you are speeding, so does the reaction time of some of your auto’s safety features, such as airbag deployment and emergency braking. And while you should always wear a safety belt, there’s no guarantee that it will protect you in an accident if you are going too fast upon impact.
Paul Carter is a journlaism graduate who enjoys writing about gadgets and motor vehicles.