Everyone is in a hurry these days. I am one of those "everyone." Recently, I missed a flight home and had to spend the night in Houston. There was the sliver of a chance that I could have pulled an OJ Simpson between terminals and made my connecting flight. It was a Friday evening, however, and I lacked the sufficient panic that would have set in on a school night. So I took it easy … I relaxed. I got home the next day, none worse for the wear.
And so it goes with driving. I hit 45 in the 35 MPH zone because "I’m late, the meeting/tennis match/tv show will start without me." Or, more likely, I am speeding because I am so used to always driving with the "I’m late" mentality. "But Pete," you say, "I am only speeding a little, and it is an important meeting/tennis match/favorite tv show." I know you will say that, because I say it myself.
But how much bang (no pun intended) do you get for your speeding buck? Not much. Consider the facts. A study by Progressive Insurance Company revealed that 77% of its policyholder’s accidents occurred within 15 miles of home. More than 50% of those accidents occurred within five miles of home. Let’s use the bigger number – how much time is saved on that 15 mile trip. All other things being equal, the 15 mile trip at 35 MPH takes about 26 minutes. That same trip at 45 MPH takes 20 minutes. A five mile trip only saves you about two minutes. Most of our driving trips are five miles or less.
Moreover, driving the speed limit is like doing Tai Chi. You don’t care if someone cuts you off. Your knuckles are the same color they were before you started the trip. You don’t have the road rage feeling swelling up by mile three. Make a conscious effort to drive at or under the speed limit for your next 10 driving trips. If you do, I will bet that you agree with me. Let stuff start without you
Cum Laude graduate of Cumberland School of Law, Pet Mackey is a civil trial litigation expert who represents plaintiffs in business and consumer tort, contracts and construction, employment disputes and insurance. He is board certified as a Civil Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, a Certified Alabama Mediator, and an “AV” rated lawyer by Martindale-Hubbell.