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Speeding and Street Racing


Teens do not consider driving 5 to 10 miles above the speed limit to be dangerous

The problem of speeding:

  • About 33 percent of young driver and passenger deaths occur in speed-related crashes
    (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
  • In a high-speed crash, a passenger vehicle cannot withstand the force of the crash and maintain the passenger compartment. Also, as crash speeds get very high, restraint systems such as airbags and seat belts cannot keep the forces on occupants below severe injury levels
    (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)
  • Speed influences the risk of crashes and crash injuries in three basic ways:
    (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)

    • It increases the distance a vehicle travels from the time a driver detects an emergency to the time the driver reacts, so by the time you realize you need to react, you’ve traveled closer to the danger
    • It increases the braking distance
    • It increases the crash energy by the square of the speeds. For example, when impact speed increases from 40 to 60 mph (a 50 percent increase), the energy that needs to be managed increases by 125 percent
  • Teens are more likely than older drivers to speed and allow shorter headways (the distance from the front of one vehicle to the front of the next). The presence of male teenage passengers increases the likelihood of these risky driving behaviors among teen male drivers
  • If you double your speed – say from 30 mph to 60 mph – your braking distance does not become twice as long. It becomes four times as far. Traveling at 55 mph, it will take about 6 seconds to stop your vehicle. The vehicle will travel approximately 302 feet before coming to a stop. That is longer than the length of a football field
    (Southern Illinois University)
  • The total stopping distance of your vehicle depends on four things:
    (Southern Illinois University)

    • Your perception time
    • Your reaction time
    • Your vehicle reaction time
    • Your vehicle braking capability

What to do about speeding:

  • Know with every mile per hour increase you also increase your reaction travel time, braking distance and crash energy
    (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)
  • High speed wrecks compromise your car’s safety features
    (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)
  • When you speed, you also decrease the judgment of other drivers to be able to gauge your distance and speed
  • Understand speed limits are set with safety in mind. They are based on roadside environment, roadway design and pedestrian traffic
    (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)
  • Speeding to keep up with the flow of traffic is not legal and you can still be ticketed
  • Speeding decreases your fuel efficiency
  • You should always be able to stop within the distance you can see ahead
  • Consider road conditions, weather and road design and slow down accordingly
  • It is easier to lose traction when speeding around a curve and the high center of gravity makes it easier to roll over. Slow down before curves
  • Remember to use the two-second rule to keep a safe distance between you and the car ahead of you