To speed or not to speed

Has this ever happened to you? You’re on your way to work when the flashing cop lights come on behind you. The officer raps at your window and asks if you know why he has pulled you over. Rather than admit you were speeding, you venture a guess, “Do I have a broken taillight?” As the officer chuckles on his way back to write up the inevitable speeding ticket, you ponder the injustice of it all.

It was one of those mornings. First, the coffee maker was acting up again, second, the dog had peed on the rug, and third, you couldn’t find the right socks to go with your outfit. With all the morning’s delays, you are nearly ten minutes late getting out the door. And with your morning meeting beginning promptly at 8 a.m., that left you no choice: you had to speed.

Does your speeding actually save you time?

Research has demonstrated surprisingly little gains from speeding—that is, unless you’re on an extended road trip. It should be noted that your speed is only one of the factors (red lights, traffic congestion and, ahem, traffic stops) that you’ll meet while driving. Most of these things that determine how long your trip takes are out of your control. Here’s a breakdown of the difference speeding makes:

  • 15-mile trip, 55 mph speed limit, 10 miles over the speed limit: 2.51 minutes saved
  • 30-mile trip, 55 mph speed limit, 10 miles over the speed limit: 5.04 minutes saved
  • 50-mile trip, 55 mph speed limit, 10 miles over the speed limit: 8.4 minutes saved

It looks like your speeding does not actually make a lot of difference—especially on shorter trips.

What it means for you

When you’re driving on IL-127 and speeding 10 miles over the limit, you’ll save 5 minutes. How fast will you need to drive to make up for your morning delays? You’ll need to be driving a very unsafe 80 miles per hour to make up that 10 minutes. Is it really worth putting yourself and others at risk to be on time for a meeting?

The consequences of speeding

You’ve already discovered that a speeding ticket or other legal penalties may well be the result of higher speeds, but there are other consequences to consider:

  • Increased stress
  • Increased fuel consumption
  • Increased likelihood of accidents

You haven’t gotten where you are today without your intelligence and common sense. When you see what the math demonstrates, it becomes clear that the risks and rewards of speeding aren’t worth the consequences. However, if you are unlucky enough to have received a speeding ticket, it’s possible to fight it with the help of an experienced traffic violations attorney.

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