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Blog category: Driving

Does Driving Fast Get You There Faster?

4 min read

Whether they’re late for work or just impatient behind the wheel, many drivers tend to speed whenever they can and consider it a routine part of getting from point A to point B. Let’s be honest; most of us sometimes go above the posted speed limit. Many of us who consider ourselves safe drivers in every other way still drive over the speed limit.

Sometimes we’re just “going with the flow of traffic.” Modern life is fast and getting faster. We all have places to go and people to see. So, it makes sense to step on the gas so we can reach our destination sooner. But the truth is, driving faster doesn’t save you that much time.

The US Army conducted a survey where they tested trips of 15, 30, 50, and 200 miles, each driven at speeds of 35, 50, and 65 miles per hour. Their research shows, without taking into account traffic congestion or traffic signals, how long these trips would take at 10 and 20 mph above those limits. The result: you would save less than six minutes. Interestingly, the survey found that the higher the speed limit is, the less time you would save, using the following scenario to explain this result.

Six minutes. Is it really worth the stress involved and the inherent dangers to get to our destination a few minutes sooner?

Speeding Costs Lives

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), speeding was responsible for 11,258 deaths in the US in 2020 and was a contributing factor in 29 percent of all traffic fatalities. When we discuss speeding, we may think of the legal consequences of getting caught when doing it. We may try to observe the posted limit to avoid expensive tickets, getting more points on our record, and the threat of losing our driving privileges. But speeding is more than simply breaking the law.

Driving too fast can result in:

  • Losing control of the vehicle
  • More severe collisions resulting in more severe injuries
  • More time needed for emergency stops
  • Seatbelts and other protections rendered less effective
  • Increased wear and tear on the car
  • Higher fuel consumption

Why Do We Drive Too Fast?

The instances of speeding are on the rise. As mentioned, modern life seems to be running at warp speed. Most drivers who wouldn’t dream of texting while driving or getting behind the wheel after drinking still consider going above the speed limit to be relatively safe.

  • Car Culture: Driving fast can be fun for some. Some thrill seekers may own sporty vehicles and feel that it’s their right to drive fast. They want to test or show off their car’s performance and see just how fast they can go.
  • Traffic: With a growing number of cars on the roadways, we’re seeing increased congestion and more frustrated drivers trying to get where they’re going. This all leads to aggressive behaviors, including speeding.
  • Driver Anonymity: Sitting in a car, you can feel cut off from what’s going on outside. It’s similar to how certain people act online when their identity is hidden. So, it can be tempting, when frustrated or angry, to act in ways that don’t conform to how (most of us) typically behave in polite society.
  • Driver Confidence: Some motorists have an overblown belief in their own abilities behind the wheel. These drivers feel that they are competent and skilled and can therefore take more chances and drive faster than the rest of us.
  • Disregard for the Law: There are those who believe the posted speed limits are way too low. Then, there are the drivers who enjoy flouting the rules and seeing how much they can get away with.

Regardless of the justification, remember that speeding kills. It endangers not only the driver speeding but the passengers and other drivers and pedestrians. Slow and steady wins the race, so take care on the road and be respectful of the posted speed limits. Take the same care with your insurance policy. Speak with a Wawanesa agent who can help you make sure you’re adequately covered for whatever life throws at you.

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The above content is for informational purposes only and is not a direct representation of coverages offered by Wawanesa or its policies. The information does not refer to any specific contract of insurance and does not modify any definitions, provisions, exclusions or limitations expressly stated in any contracts of insurance. All references within the above content are illustrative and may not apply to your situation. The terms and conditions of the actual insurance policy or policies involved in a claim are determinative as to whether an accident or other loss is covered. To understand the coverage under your current policy, please log into the account management platform to review your policy or contact an agent directly.

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