Speeding is one of the main causes of fatal car accidents every year. When traveling over the speed limit, you reduce your reaction time. This makes encountering traffic or hazardous road conditions much more dangerous. There is also the risk of getting stopped by the police and having to pay a hefty fine or even losing your license.
While it may be tempting to cut down your travel time by speeding, you are actually cheating yourself out of money. By stomping on the accelerator, you burn fuel at a much higher rate. This lowers your vehicle’s miles per gallon and increases the impact on the environment. The average ideal driving speed is between 50 to 55 miles per hour. Studies have shown that gas mileage will decrease sharply if traveling over speeds of 60 mph. For every 5 mph over 60 mph you are paying approximately $0.20 more per gallon.
Another drawback to driving over the speed limit is the damage it does to your vehicle. Excessive speed forces your engine to work harder, thus using more fuel. Pistons and other moving parts are forced to move at a faster rate than is optimal. The increase in movement uses more oil and other lubricants. The quicker reduction in those fluids creates heat and friction to build between the moving engine parts, which can cause overheating and seize the engine. To drive 60 mph requires about 70% more horsepower and to drive 70 mph requires almost 150% more. This rapid increase in horsepower puts enormous strain on belts and gears, by forcing them to move at speeds they may not have been designed to handle.
Driving too fast also keeps tires from properly adhering to the surface of the road. This makes steering less accurate, thus putting you and other drivers at a greater risk for accidents. If the road is wet from a recent rain, traveling over the speed limit can also cause hydroplaning. Hydroplaning is where the tires skim across the water instead of making contact with the actual road. This leads to swerving, skidding and reduced stop times.
By driving the speed limit, or below 60 mph, you keep your car functioning at optimum levels. If you drive the speed limit, you will avoid getting pulled over, cut back on your car’s mpg and increase your and others safety. While you may get where you are headed faster, you may end up paying a heavy price.