9,557 people were killed because of this in 2015. There are laws against it but almost all of us have done it anyway. It’s a result of our busy schedules, hectic lifestyles and maybe a bit of a power trip. What is it?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that the 9,557 people cited above were killed in traffic accidents because of speeding.
When you speed you lose control of your vehicle. Your air bags and seatbelts don’t work as well. And, of course, the severity of the damage to your car and injuries to you and your passengers is magnified.
You also use more fuel. Some of our older readers might remember when President Jimmy Carter lowered the national speed limit to 55 MPH. The reason was to save gas because of the energy crisis during his presidency.
The New York State Police say that above 60 MPH, gas mileage usually decreases rapidly. They say that for each 5 MPH you drive over 60 MPH, you’re likely paying an additional 20-25 cents per gallon for gas! Also, aggressive driving like speeding and rapid acceleration and braking can lower your gas mileage by 33%.
So why do people speed? The NHTSA tells us that speeding can be whittled down to one main point…aggressive driving behavior. Several factors contribute to this aggression.
- Running late is one and gets to the point we made earlier. People have busy schedules and hectic lifestyles. Maybe we should all think about taking it a little easier here in the Mohawk Valley.
- Here’s an interesting finding: detachment. Turns out, your car insulates you from the outside world. People feel less constrained while driving their cars. This might relate to the more aggressive behavior we see on social media. Interactions between people tend to me more civil when face-to-face and more aggressive when the driver/writer is more distant.
- Traffic congestion is stated by many as contributing to their aggressive driving, but we don’t think people in the Utica area are subject to this very often. (Except, of course, at Christmas time in and around Consumer Square in New Hartford!) So we’ll give Central New Yorkers a pass on this one.
- Some people just disregard the law as a matter of course. If the speed limit is 30 mph, they’re going to drive 40 mph at a minimum, just because. There aren’t many of them, but in our experience they do tend to get into the most fender benders…and occasional bad accidents.
The NHTSA found that alcohol related deaths in 2015 amounted to 10,265. Speeding caused 9,557. We’re not sure how many of the alcohol related deaths included speeding, but our point is that with all the publicity about drunk driving (which is well founded), speeding is also very, very dangerous.
We urge all of our fellow Central New Yorkers to slow down, smell the roses, and enjoy life. Leave your home or office a bit earlier and enjoy the beautiful countryside that is the Mohawk Valley. And save money while you’re at it!
Drive slower, drive safer, save money.
Until next time,
Your SZW Team
SZW Insurance is your New Hartford area independent insurance agent. Call us for a quote on insurance for your home, car, business, or life at 315.792.0000. Or request a quote here.