WHOOSH! A car goes whizzing past you on the freeway as you creep along at 65. You gasp, and your heart jumps as the loud noise of their engine passes your car in the lane next to yours. Their reckless decision can be life-threatening for them, you, and everybody else on the road. Remember this feeling next time you feel the urge to push that pedal past the speed limit.
The impulse to speed is very common:
“Oh, I can make this light if I just speed up a little,” or “I’m running five minutes behind, so I’ll just go a little faster to make up for it.”
We have all heard these thoughts race through our brains, and although you can think them, you must not act on them; the next time you stop yourself from speeding, you could be saving many lives.
Speeding killed 12,330 people in 2021, and it is a 100% preventable issue. That is 12,330 preventable deaths; we need to get that number down to zero (NHTSA). Preventing the issue is challenging because people often speed when alone in cars or with people who also speed. So, it is crucial that when you are in a car with someone who is driving above the speed limit, you ask them to slow down; tell them you can call their employer and let them know they are going to be late, or call the restaurant and tell them they will be a bit late to the reservation: no matter the reason, nothing is worth risking a life.
Sometimes, you are not in a position to prevent a driver from speeding; if someone around you or on the road is speeding, most times, the safest thing to do is avoid them completely. If they are behind you, find a safe time to change lanes so they can pass. If they are passing beside you, you can move a lane away from them or just move to the opposite side of your lane to create some space from them as they pass.
Speeding is a huge issue on the road today, but it is totally preventable, and it starts with you. Next time you “feel the need, the need for speed,” remind yourself how dangerous and it is and continue driving below the speed limit. Stay safe out there!
For additional information on the dangers of speeding and other key driving skills, check out the NRSF Passport to Safe Driving!