Do you have a lead foot? Even if you only go a few miles over the posted speed limit, regularly speeding can lead to dangerous situations on the road. The faster you go, the less time and space you have to stop or react if something happens in front of you.
Use these safe driving tips to help you learn how to stop speeding and be a safer driver.
1. Start Cruising
The easiest way to avoid speeding is to use your cruise control. Most modern cars come equipped with cruise control, which lets you set a specific speed for driving. Your car will take care of maintaining and regulating your speed so you can focus on potential hazards on the road.
Cruise control is especially helpful on long drives or the freeway. You can easily set the pace you want based on the current traffic and speed limit for the road you’re on. Be sure to cancel cruise control if you find yourself in a high-risk area like an active construction zone. You should also avoid cruise control in wet or icy weather, as it can cause your vehicle to lose grip on the road.
2. Give Yourself More Time
Do you speed because you find yourself behind schedule? Get in the habit of leaving a bit earlier. You can start by adding a couple of minutes. As you form this new habit, you can start adding extra time based on where you’re going, how far it is, and what the traffic is like.
3. Check Your Speedometer
Your speedometer tells you how fast you’re going. Like most mechanical or electronic components in vehicles, your speedometer can get out of alignment. If you regularly find yourself passing lots of vehicles but your speedometer says you’re going the speed limit, you may need to go to an auto repair shop. The mechanic can take a look at your speedometer to make sure it’s working properly and giving you an accurate speed.
4. Learn the Cost of Speeding
Understanding the cost of your speeding habit could be enough to get you to stop speeding. Research the speeding laws in your local area and state. You might be surprised to learn how much even one speeding ticket could cost. Too many tickets could also lead to a suspended license.
Speeding doesn’t only cost you legal fees. You’ll probably pay more at the pump if you regularly speed. Going faster often uses more gas, so you’ll need to fill up more often. A couple of extra bucks at the pump may not seem like much, but it can add up over a year.
Being a good driver, on the other hand, could make you eligible for car insurance discounts. The safer you drive, the more likely you’ll save on car insurance.
5. Consider Your Tires
Driving faster doesn’t just affect your gas tank. You’ll also wear your tires out quicker by driving too fast too often. In addition to the cost to replace your tires, bald tires or those with low air could cause tire blowouts when driving.
6. Identify Speeding Triggers
Speeding doesn’t always happen because you’re late. Other factors like stress or anger can cause you to drive too fast. Learning your personal triggers can help you learn how to stop speeding altogether.
For example, you might be prone to speeding when you’re tired and trying to get home after a long day. To drive slower, consider resting before you leave, grabbing a coffee, or stop during your drive to take a break.
7. Practice Calming Exercises
A lot of drivers start speeding when they’re stressed or angry. A driver cuts you off, making you mad. Even if you don’t notice, there’s a good chance you’re pressing harder on the pedal.
Calming exercises like breathing routines could help reduce these feelings — and your speed. Try experimenting with different methods to take your mind off of your stress or anger, such as listening to calming music on the radio.
8. Use Technology
You shouldn’t actively use your cell phone while driving, but some apps can be used safely and help you drive slower. Several navigation apps have built-in speed monitoring when you set a route. You’ll get an alert from the app letting you know if you’ve started going too fast. You can then slow down until the alert goes off. Be sure to set your destination and start the navigation before you hit the road.
9. Enjoy Speed in Other Activities
If you’re an adrenaline junkie, you might feel like you need to drive fast for the thrill of it. Rather than making public roads less safe, consider moving your need for speed to another activity. You can try picking up a completely different skill, like motocross or downhill mountain biking. You could also stay behind the wheel by visiting your local go-kart track or playing car racing video games.
10. Switch to a Manual
Do you feel like you speed because you’re not focused enough on driving? Switching from an automatic vehicle to a manual one could keep your brain engaged with your speed as you drive. In a manual, you’ll need to physically shift gears to get to higher speeds. This could help you be more aware of the speed you’re going.
Stop Speeding and Drive Safer
Breaking your speeding habit isn’t just good for your wallet or driving record — it also helps make the road a safer place for everyone. In addition to driving slower, you can make roads safer by having the right auto insurance coverage. Speak with a Wawanesa agent today to learn more about your coverage options.