Some days, the posted speed limits on the road feel more like suggestions than actual law – especially if you’re running late or the streets are otherwise empty. However, speed limits aren’t just arbitrary numbers. Cities and states must consider several factors before setting speed limits, including traffic volume, accident history in a specific location, the number of lanes or other road conditions, like hills or curves in the road.
Driving over – or under – the speed limit isn’t just putting your safety at risk; it can also cost you significantly more money in the long run. Here are a few ways lead-footers end up paying for speeding in more ways than one.
According to CNN, the average price of a speeding ticket, including court fines, is roughly $150. However, the ticket can get more expensive the faster you’re driving and the lower the posted speed limit in the location you’re driving in.
Speeding is a form of reckless driving. Even after just one speeding ticket, your insurance company can raise your rates for up to three years. Depending on how recklessly you were speeding, your rates could skyrocket as much as 10% to 25%.
Speeding in traffic usually involves rapidly accelerating and braking to avoid other vehicles rather than just keeping your foot on the gas pedal. Driving in this manner lowers your car’s gas mileage by as much as 33% on the highway. Speeding frequently means more trips to the gas station and ultimately spending more money on gas than a driver who abides by speed limits.
Health and safety
Of course, perhaps the most significant expense of speeding is endangering yourself, your passengers and your property, and everyone else on the road. Speeding is one of the highest contributors to accidents that injures and kills thousands of people every year.
When you add up the costs of the traffic violations, insurance premiums, fuel and potential damages, speeding is never worth the risk. To save money and ensure you always get safely to your destination, always follow the posted speed limit while driving.