Need for Speed: Reasons Some Drivers Can’t Resist the Urge to Drive Over the Speed Limit

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Why are there so many people who drive like they’re making time on the Indy 500? America has an obsession with speed, especially on the public roads. Here’s what’s fueling that, and how to temper it to stay safe out there.

Why People Drive Fast

There is some research that shows that people tend to drive fast because they either enjoy driving fast, they are in a hurry, or they’re bored.

Some arguments seem rational, while others seem more emotional. According to Goodman Acker, however, speeding is the most common cause of accidents in the U.S. And, the economic cost of speeding tickets is enormous. So, all that boredom and thrill-seeking doesn’t really do anyone any good. And, in many cases, it does harm.

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Being A Happier Person

Being a happier person is a side-effect of reducing stress. And, when you slow down on the road, there’s a good chance you’ll end up being happier about your life in general, and have a better outlook towards people that share the roadways with you.

You’ll Save On Gas

Speeding uses up more gasoline. In some cases, driving just 5 MPH over-the-speed-limit can cost you nearly $50 more in gasoline per month. And, you only save about 4 minutes for every hour you drive. It’s just not worth the cost.

Many vehicles have a peak fuel efficiency that’s tied to one or more speeds. For example, Toyota Prius will tend to get the best fuel economy somewhere around 35 MPH, while Honda’s Civic will peak at about 45MPH and then again at 70PMH. Knowing where your vehicle’s peak fuel efficiency is can help you save money by optimizing your driving habits.

You’ll Save Time And Actually Get To Where You’re Going

Weird, right? You can actually get to places early or on time when you drive slower. How? By leaving earlier. When you drive more slowly on the roads, you have to compensate by being better at budgeting and managing your time.

And, even when you do drive faster, you don’t save that much time. Consider someone who is driving 65 miles-per-hour in a 65MPH speed zone. That means in one hour, you can travel 65 miles. Now, by speeding, say traveling 70 miles-per-hour, you can travel 70 miles in an hour. That’s only 5 more miles in an hour. By speeding, you’re getting to your destination only 7 or 8 percent faster. That’s 4 to 5 minutes out of an hour.

That’s not much of a difference, is it? Couldn’t you just leave 5 minutes earlier, not speed, not get a ticket, and get to where you need to go and still be on time?

Bottom line: slow down speed racer – you’re not getting to your destination as fast as you think.

You’ll Save Your Sanity

By not speeding, you save your sanity. One of the major problems with people who drive fast is that they often experience road rage. Fast drivers may be more stressed, and that stress can lead to feelings of frustration – especially if you’re late to where you’re going.

By slowing down, leaving earlier, and tuning out other crazy drivers on the road, you’re able to enjoy yourself, do more introspecting during your drive, and generally live a happier life.

Tracey McGraw has spent a good part of her career in driving tuition and instruction. She likes to share her insights online through blogging.