Many drivers are annoyed when they are pulled over by a cop for driving a few miles over the speed limit. If it happened to you, you may have thought it was ridiculous—there was nobody else on the road, and you were only going five miles over the limit. How much more damage would you really have done at 60 mph than at 55 mph?

You may be surprised to know that the damage from traveling just five miles over the speed limit can double the impact of a car accident. The force of a collision increases exponentially with each additional mile per hour, making speeding one of the most deadly driving habits.

Speeding Can Occur Whether You’re Going 25 or 100 Miles Per Hour

It doesn’t matter how much over the speed limit you travel; any increase over the limit for the conditions increases the odds of a crash. A recent study done by University of California at Berkeley researchers discovered that for every one percent increase in speed, the driver’s risk of an accident increases by two percent—while the risks of serious injuries or death increases by four percent. 

The reason many of these accidents occur is that drivers practice “slow” speeding, or driving over a relatively low posted speed limit. Here are a few ways drivers can cause speeding accidents in areas where the posted limit is 25mph or less:

  • Intersections. More drivers speed on highways than on city streets, but there are still plenty of cars whizzing through yellow lights at “just a bit” over the speed limit.
  • Stop-and-go. Impatient drivers tearing out of parking lots after shopping or after picking their kids up from school go from parked to missile-speed in the blink of an eye. In addition, people backing out of driveways too quickly may strike pedestrians, bikers, or children playing on the sidewalk.
  • Too fast for the weather. In some cases, drivers who speed are risking their lives due to visibility issues and poor road conditions caused by bad weather.
  • Shortened stopping distance. Speeding in low-speed areas is dangerous for a number of reasons, but the biggest problem is that the driver’s stopping distance is greatly reduced. Even if he is seemingly alone on a road, he may not have time to avoid a crash if a driver turns onto the road ahead of him.

Does someone in your family drive “a little” over the speed limit every time they get behind the wheel? Be sure to share this story with them on Facebook to let them know how much damage a little extra speed can cause.


Manfred Ricciardelli
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