Speeding is a bad habit that many of us have been guilty of at one point or another. We’re in a rush, feeling stressed about getting to that important meeting on time, or we’re just not paying attention to changing speed limits. Suddenly we’re hit with a massive speeding fine and what could have been spent on a lovely getaway with the family, or that new appliance we’ve been dreaming of is sent to the traffic office. The traffic cops might be receiving a Christmas bonus this festive season, but with all our fines, we certainly won’t! However, although speeding is a common occurrence, it is one that can be easily fixed.
While speeding fines are annoying, speeding is also inherently dangerous. When we choose to speed, we make the road more hazardous for ourselves, our loved ones, and everyone else using the road at that moment in time. At best we might get a speeding ticket, and at worse, we might injure ourselves, or someone else. In fact, statistics offer us the sobering realization that speeding is the result of over 100 000 deaths every year.
By adhering to speed limits and the rules of the road, you guarantee optimal safety and will be able to save your money, energy, and health on important things like wonderful adventures, exciting gadgets, and maybe even a brand new car. Speeding is against the law, wastes precious fuel, and makes the road dangerous for all who use it. It’s a common phenomenon that we need to curb, and these 15 steps and tricks will help you along the way.
Plan Your Route
Knowing your route ahead of your travels is a sure way to become a savvy driver who refrains from speeding. If you know that your route has a number of changing speed limits prior to your journey, you’ll be more aware of your need to monitor your speed and constantly keep an eye out for those speeding signs.
If you have children or fellow passengers with you, why not get them involved and make it a fun game. The person who spots the most speed signs on the road in that trip wins a prize or gets to be the DJ on that drive. By getting the family involved you make safety a number one priority, and inherently teach your kids an important life lesson: Speeding just ain’t cool!
Keep an Eagle Eye on the Speedometer
Speedometers allow drivers to know their speed and give you a visual representation of how fast you are driving. They are either controlled by gears and wires, or in more modern vehicle speed sensors.
It’s important to keep an eagle eye on your speedometer at all times, to check that you are adhering to the speed limit. However, it’s equally important to get your speedometer checked out every now and then to ensure that it’s working properly. A faulty speedometer can be as dangerous as no speedometer and can give you a false reading, or impact your ability to shift gears or maneuver cruise control. Checking your car is in good working order often will enable you to fix possible problems swiftly.
Channel Those Calm Feelings
Driving when you’re feeling angry or upset can cause you to speed. When you’re feeling overly emotional, it’s best to avoid the driving seat and to take some time out to relax. If you need to stop safely on the side of the road, take public transport, or catch an Uber that’s completely okay. Stopping yourself from speeding is ultimately about having control, and it’s hard to feel in control of a situation when you’re consumed by emotion. It might also help to practice some breathing exercises, to listen to some calming music, or to take a short walk in nature. Arriving a little later and safely is better than risking a dangerous drive.
Opt for Cruise Control
Cruise control is a brilliant feature in most modern cars that enables you to set your desired speed manually. If you know the speed limits of a particular area (and are driving on the open road, or interstate where this feature is safe), then set your desired speed to just below the speed limit. This will ensure that you don’t speed and you can avoid some of those speeding fines that are all too easy to get on a long journey.
Invest in a Radar Detector
A radar detector is a pretty nifty gadget that allows you to gauge whether law enforcement is monitoring the speed of motorists using a radar gun. This information allows drivers to reduce their speed before they get caught. If traffic cops are detecting speeding motorists with radio waves, this might get you that get out of jail free card you’ve been looking for.
It’s also important that you check out the legality of these devices in your particular driving destination. Radar detectors are legal in private vehicles in most US States; however, they are not legal when used in commercial vehicles, or on military installations. Always check where you can legally use this technology in your chosen country or state before utilizing it.
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Leave a Little Earlier
One of the key reasons why we speed is because we don’t want to be late. Sometimes life, much like the roads, is unpredictable and an array of obstacles get in our way, preventing us from arriving on time. By giving yourself some extra leeway for these unforeseen events, you’ll avoid the need to speed. If you get to important meetings or events earlier than expected, you will also give yourself time to prepare, and even have some time for a coffee and a chill before the big event.
Drive a Manual Car
If speeding is a concern to you and you’re driving an automatic car, consider going back to an old-school manual system. Since you will have to change gears yourself as your speed increases, you will be more aware of picking up the pace. It’s all too easy to speed unknowingly when your car is changing those gears for you. By opting for a manual system, you’ll be more in the know and can monitor your speed accordingly.
Get Familiar with those Sobering Facts
While it might not make for light reading, it’s important to understand the dire implications that speeding can cause. It is one of the most critical factors that can result in road accidents. In the case of a pedestrian being hit by a car, they have a 20 % higher survival rate if the vehicle is driving below 50 km/hr. However, if the car is traveling at over 80 km/hr, there is a 60 % chance they will die. These facts alone highlight the importance of sticking to speed limits. By engaging with the possible consequences of speeding, drivers might be more conscious of speed limits and their importance. You might even want to watch some Youtube clips where people who have lost loved ones due to speeding speak about the consequences of this dangerous decision. Empowering yourself with knowledge will enable you to make informed choices.
Use a Speeding App
Using a free traffic and navigation app like Waze on your smartphone can enable you to outsmart traffic and avoid possible speed traps. Waze will update you on speed limits in your particular area, and if you start speeding, you’ll receive an alert. The alert will disappear when you resume the designated speed limit of the area. This is a great way to control your speed, and it’s completely free!
There are numerous other apps that can keep you in the loop with regards to speeding. These include Escort Live, Cobra iRadar, and Garmin U.S.A.
Get those Tires Checked!
Tires can impact the overall performance of your car and speeding regularly can wear them down dramatically. It’s important that you get your tires checked and if needed to be changed on a regular basis. If you find your tires are wearing down rapidly, then it might be due to regular speeding. Changing your tires is a costly affair, and worn down tires can be a danger if they are unable to grip onto the road, or slow down your stopping time. By thinking about how speeding might damage other elements of your car, you might be more aware of the implications of speeding.
Related Post: Driving on Bald Tires – What You Should Know
Invest in a Dash Cam
Dash cams are a brilliant feature for any driver to invest in and in the event of being in an accident can be the perfect eyewitness and provide concrete evidence as to how events unfolded. Having a dash cam can thus save your bacon in the event of untrue accusations and can help get to the truth of a situation. This is important when insurance and liability claims are involved. However, if the dash cam picks up on you speeding, then your evidence will fall flat. Knowing that your dash cam is recording all car-related events might deter you from speeding. I mean, imagine missing out on a big settlement because you were driving a bit too fast?
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Calculate the Cost
Sometimes the threat of financial burdens can be the greatest speeding deterrence of all. If you have gotten any speeding tickets in the last year, make a list of what you ended up paying out and compare this to what you could have spent the money on in lieu of this. Instead of sending your money to the traffic department, you might have been able to afford a lovely family holiday or at least a fancy dinner. If you haven’t got any speeding fines, then look up how much they charge in your particular state. Is it really worth forking out 500 $ to drive dangerously? Set up a rewards system and allow yourself a treat for every quarterly period that you don’t speed.
Walk or Cycle More
Not only are walking and cycling brilliant for our bodies and the environment, but they are also a fantastic way to curb bad speeding habits. Set yourself a goal to walk and cycle any distance that takes you five minutes or less to drive. You’ll save on fuel and speeding in your local vicinity will be a thing of the past! You’ll also feel healthier and might even make some new friends as you embark on new endeavors and a more active lifestyle.
Take up a Hobby Where It’s Safe to Speed
If you’re an adrenaline junkie who has a literal ‘need for speed’ then it might be a good idea to take up a hobby where speed is of the essence and where it won’t put you or anyone else in danger. This outlet might simply be playing car video games where you can speed away, or maybe you would prefer something a little more real-world. You could go to a local go-kart track, take up autocross, or do something new and thrilling like galloping through meadows on horseback, visiting a local theme park, or taking up a new sport. It’s okay to enjoy speed, but it’s important to navigate it in safe situations where you and others won’t be in danger.
Be Accountable and Reach Out
If you’ve tried numerous gadgets like radar detectors and speeding apps to no avail, it might be time to chat with a close family member or friend about your speeding concerns. Ask them if they will be your go-to person to contact when you catch yourself speeding. This system of responsibility and accountability might deter you from speeding as frequently. Also, remember that frequent speeding might result in licence suspension. Imagine the implications of your work and family life if you were unable to drive? Again ask yourself if it’s really worth that risk.