The Dangers of Speeding
Last Updated on July 31st, 2017
Why do people speed?
For young people, it might be for the thrill of it. Â The thrill of going very fast, like on a carnival ride, but you’re in control.
For more mature people, it might be for more practical reasons – they are running late. Â Late to work, to a meeting, or are behind schedule due to traffic.
But regardless of the reason, speeding in a car is very, very dangerous.
Cars Are Heavy
The E.P.A.’s weight statistics show that the average weight of a 2003 car or light-duty truck, like a pickup, sport utility, van or minivan, was heavier than in any model year since 1976, when the average peaked atÂ 4,079 pounds.
Even at Slow Speeds, Heavy Objects Have a Lot of Force
According to Newton’s Second Law, the vector sum of forcesÂ F on an object is equal to the massÂ M of that objectÂ multiplied by the acceleration vectorÂ A of the object, orÂ F = M x A.
This also means that the greater the mass of the object (our car), the greater the force required to move that object.
Here’s a web page which shows some sample calculations of the forces of impact with a car hitting a barrier.
Here are some grim statistics about speeding in the United States:
- Speeding accounts for 33% of fatal crashes
- Speeding is the 3rd leading contributor in traffic crashes
- Speeding accounts for 13,000 deaths each year
- Speeding is a habitual driver behavior – in other words, people that speed tend to do it over and over again, making them a higher risk for other drivers
Think About It – Speeding is Stupid
Given the dangers that driving a heavy vehicle pose, it’s pretty dumb to speed for the thrill of it. Â You risk your life, the lives of your passengers, and the other drivers on the road.
What about being late? Â Think about that. Â If you are in a 35 MPH zone and go an extra 10 MPH faster (about 1/3 faster) for a speed of 45 MPH, unless you are traveling hundreds of miles you will only shave a few minutes at best off your arrival time. Â Since most trips are for short distances under one hundred miles, the savings are minutes, not hours. Â So you take on a lot of risk in the form of danger and injury, just to save a few minutes.