Driving faster than the posted limit or what is reasonable given traffic and weather conditions is probably one of the most common criminal offenses. Speeding doesn’t seem like a very serious legal infraction, especially when compared with burglary or assault.
Some people speed every single day during their commutes and may go years between citations for breaking the law. Those who get pulled over by the police for speeding will often claim that the enforcement is just a scheme to make money and that speeding is a victimless crime.
Is it true that speeding is just a technical infraction that doesn’t harm anyone else?
Speeding causes car crashes
Although people who break the speed limit want to think of their crime as a technical one, their actions put not only themselves but anyone else on the road at risk. Speeding increases your chance of getting into a crash because it reduces how much time you have to react to changing traffic conditions.
According to research by the National Safety Council (NSC), speeding is one of the top causes of motor vehicle collisions. In 2019, which is the most recent year with analyzed data available from the NSC, 26% of all deaths in traffic are related to speeding. There were 9,478 deaths caused by speeding, a figure which breaks down to 25 per day.
Speeding also intensifies collisions
The strong correlation between excess speed and fatal crashes isn’t just because faster driving increases stopping time and reduces your opportunity to react. Higher speeds also mean more momentum, which will mean more property damage and far worse injuries in the crash that results. The bigger the vehicle and the higher the overall speed, the more damage will likely result when a crash occurs.
Once you understand that speeding doesn’t just put you at risk for a ticket but also increases your risk for a crash and multiplies the severity of any wreck that does occur, you may prioritize complying with the speed limit. Of course, other drivers will likely continue to speed everywhere you go, putting you at risk.