Reckless Driving – We All Need to Slow Down

Driving at high speed for a long time is not recommended. As speed increases, so does the demand for concentration at the wheel, because we must be much more alert and anticipate with less time than usual sudden circumstances and unforeseen events that may appear on the road. As a result of this, the driver suffers stress and fatigue, which make him more likely to have a mistake that could have serious consequences.

Although speed limits are present throughout the world, there are those who completely ignore them, endangering their own safety as well as the safety of other drivers and pedestrians. Unfortunately, this situation causes more than 9,000 people to die each year just in the United States. If we talked about the rest of the world, the numbers would increase exponentially.

It is important to note that speed limits exist solely to protect us. Speed also affects safety even when you are driving slightly under the established limit or too fast for the current road conditions, such as bad weather conditions, when a road is being repaired or in an area that is not well lit at night. This is why in all handbooks about efficient and responsible driving, it is always strongly advised to drive with excessive speed.

For more than two decades, speeding has been involved in approximately one-third of all deaths involving a vehicle. And there is enough evidence to back up these facts, so why do accidents keep happening? Drivers get sometimes too confident not taking the right precautions.

According to the car accident attorneys at Riddle & Brantley, there are many consequences of reckless driving directly related to speeding. So we will mention a few of them.

• Curves: When taking a curve, your vehicle is exerting forces that need some proper balance, otherwise you could lose control of your vehicle and slide off the road. Lower your speed before taking the curve, this way you will take a suitable speed that will avoid that you brake during the process, because this also is dangerous and can make you lose the control of the car.

• Speeding damages your car: There are many parts of your car that can be affected by this type of driving. Few vehicles are prepared to withstand high speeds for a long time without damaging their engine, traction or other elements. Experts recommend maintaining a constant but steady speed, whenever possible, so that the vehicle consumes less fuel and engine power and does not suffer excessive wear.

• Limited visibility: When you are speeding you can see less of your surroundings. The main reason is that your high-speed perception capabilities do not allow you to assess your environment correctly, reducing the quantity and quality of the information you perceive, meaning you may miss important road signs or nearby cars or pedestrians that you need to be aware of.

• Poor decision making: If you drive at a higher speed than recommended, you have much less time to make an appropriate decision. Plus, you can also add less reaction time. Time is crucial when you are driving, and a few seconds can make the difference between life or death situations.

• Maneuvering: Unless you’re a professional race car racer, it’s almost impossible to maneuver properly and take complete full control of your car at high speeds. Despite feeling like you have strong driving skills, don’t put others at risk with your negligence.

• Not enough breaking distance: The breaking distance is the distance your car travels from the moment you step on the brake, until the vehicle comes to a complete stop. It depends not only on your reaction, but also on the weight of your car, the load and its position, the state of your brakes, road conditions, weather conditions, among other things. That’s why it’s can always be different and you shouldn’t rely on your usual breaking technique 100% of the times, so make sure to keep enough distance in case anything goes wrong.

As we have seen, driving at a high speed is not advisable either from the point of view of preserving your car, or from the point of view of road safety, since reckless driving can end up in a very serious accident. There are a lot of tips and general driving suggestions we can all work on to be more conscious when we are doing it, especially regarding our speed, such as:

• Change gears properly: Depending on the type of vehicle that you own, changing gears at the right time is going to be essential for your car. The gear lever of a motor vehicle is an element used to activate or deactivate the corresponding ratios of the gearbox of a vehicle. There are different types such as a manual gearbox or several common types of automatic transmission.

•Brake with the engine whenever possible: Anticipate the circumstances and whenever you break, do it smoothly, and progressively reduce the speed with each gear. Never descend slopes in neutral because it wears the brakes and also does not avoid fuel consumption, contrary to what is believed.

•Windows: Not many people are aware that having the windows open causes a greater resistance to the wind when the speed is high. So, keep this in mind next you do it and take it into consideration.

•Tires: Make sure to optimize the condition of your tires. The lack of pressure in the tires greatly increases fuel consumption, so you should monitor them regularly. Not to mention that if they are damaged you can get into an accident out of nowhere.

•Maintenance: Carry out frequent maintenance and checkups in your car. Check the filters, oils, etc. If you do not do these checkups every now and then, you could anticipate serious breakdowns that can be easily avoided, as well as reduce pollutant emissions.

It is important to note that driving at high speed also has some negative effects on the driver. Fatigue, reduced concentration, stress, signs of aggressiveness are the most noticeable effects of driving at a high speed. All of them can trigger serious traffic accidents, so they are signs that you must detect in time to be able to remedy them.

Also, if you are speeding it is almost certain that people around you will think twice before getting in a car with you because of your reckless driving. Not to mention other drivers will not like you at all for either endangering them and their family or simply by cutting them off. It’s not polite to the rest of society.

And if we go even further, personal consequences of course have the negative economic impact. In many countries, cameras are installed at street lights as well as a lot of law enforcement officers watching traffic. You can get a ticket that will be worth hundreds of dollars, if not more, depending on the situation.

Be safe and protect your family and others around you!