In honor of National Safety Month in June, Roger Beasley Mazda wants to remind all drivers to be safe on the roads, which includes following the posted speed limits. Besides tripling the odds of crashing, speeding is not worth it— and I have mathematically proven that.
Sponsored Content, By Chelsea Bancroft
Speeding on Short Trips
Let’s say you are going somewhere that is 10 miles away and the speed limit is 35 mph. (I’m keeping this simple. Obviously, other factors would affect drive time in real life.) You’re running late, so you decide to speed and drive 45 mph. Normally, at 35 mph, you would get there in 17 minutes, but at 45 mph, it would take you 13.5 minutes. You’re probably thinking, “Cool. Well, I saved nearly four minutes.” But if a police officer clocks you going 10 mph over the speed limit, that ticket would cost you about $200. Is $200 and tripling your odds of crashing worth four minutes? To put that into a better perspective, unless your time is worth $3,000 an hour, speeding to save four minutes is not worth it.
Speeding on Longer Trips
What about longer trips? If you are road-tripping 180 miles and the speed limit is 60 mph, it would take you three hours to reach your destination. What if you drove the same journey at 70 mph instead? It would take you about 2.5 hours. Shaving off 30 minutes sounds great! But again, is 30 minutes worth risking a $200 ticket? Unfortunately, the cost of the ticket isn’t the only thing you have to consider.
In 2019, the national average cost of car insurance is $1,621 per year. (This can vary greatly depending on many different factors.) In Austin, the average insurance increase for a ticket you receive for driving 10 to 15 mph over the speed limit is 13.4 percent. After three years, that can cost more than $600 for some—and the cost increases more if you get another ticket!
Maybe the risk of a fine is worth it to save time, but consider this: The average routine traffic stop takes roughly 20 minutes. There goes any time saved. Do you want to fight your ticket so you don’t have to pay the fine and in- creased insurance rates? That could mean one to two hours in court, plus you’re not guaranteed to win. You could hire a lawyer to help argue your case, but that’ll cost you more money. Taking a defensive-driving class can help reduce fines and points on your record, but Texas requires those courses to be six hours long, which is definitely not worth saving a couple minutes on a drive.
I know this makes me seem like a total stickler for the rules, but on top of losing time and money from speed- ing, consider the stats again: Speeding triples your chances of being in an accident, and 30 percent of all traffic deaths are caused by a speeding driver. Be smart and slow down! It’s just not worth the risk.
Chelsea Bancroft is the strategic-partnerships and social-media manager at Roger Beasley Mazda and a blogger at onechelofanadventure.com.