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The Dangers of Speeding

Speeding is driving past the set speed limit or driving excessively fast. Though it is tempting to speed while driving, the drawbacks of speeding surpass its gains. The majority of drivers speed to reach their destinations, for instance, an appointment or workplace in time. While speeding, some drivers do not pay adequate attention to their manner of driving. However, it has also been established that most young drivers speed for fun. Though drivers will not at all times be caught while speeding, they may cause fatal accidents that result in severe injuries, deaths, and damage to vehicles (Watson et al. 27-33). On this note, speed is integral to road safety. High speed is a factor in nearly all accidents. Speeding results in a great risk of being involved in an accident since it is hard to respond duly and prevent the occurrence of accidents while at high speed. Moreover, speeding increases the degree of injuries because when vehicles collide at high speed, a lot of energy is released and a proportion of the energy will have to be absorbed by the susceptible human body. There is a strong relationship between speeding, the risk of accidents, and the severity of injuries. Addressing the problem of speeding will lead to a significant reduction of road accidents and save many lives.

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The Influence of Vehicle Speed on Crashes and Crash Injuries

Vehicle collisions and crashes may happen after lane departure where a driver strays from their lane and the car collides with another or an object on the wayside; this leads to head-on collisions and at times run-off-road collisions. Other collisions include the ones that occur at road junctions resulting in rear-end crashes, side or angle impacts, and crashes into animals, cyclists, or pedestrians. When a collision occurs, rollovers do not usually happen, but if they do, they equally result in instant death or fatal injuries (Watson et al. 27-33). A serial crash is at times witnessed where more than two vehicles are involved and a major accident ensues.

On any road, physical collisions result in strong crashes and high severity of crash injuries with increasing vehicle speed. As vehicle speed increases, the level of energy that is released after collision rises accordingly. Some of the energy gets absorbed by the human body (occupants of vehicles) and is responsible for their injuries or death. This happens because the human body can withstand just a modest degree of external forces (Watson et al. 27-33). If the level of external force goes beyond the limit which the body can successfully tolerate, severe injuries and death happen. In this regard, high vehicle speed presents a greater risk than a low velocity. This is also witnessed if a light vehicle collides with a heavy one when both or one of them is speeding or in instances where a vehicle crashes into cyclists or pedestrians. In a case where a light vehicle collides with a heavy one, the occupants of the light vehicle are at a greater risk of death or fatal injuries since they absorb most of the energy released.

Head-on collisions have the worst outcomes when judged against the other types when the involved vehicles are at high speed. This may occur when one of the vehicles wanders off its path because there is an oncoming vehicle, which is speeding. Nevertheless, at times the cause of head-on collisions is steering overcorrection when a speeding vehicle swerves onto the side rather than the center of the road. The probability of crashes and crash injuries is high if the road has a sharp curve, no proper road surface marking, narrow lanes, and high traffic (Gregory et al. 114-116). The severity of crashes, which is evaluated as the degree of injuries, number of deaths, and repair costs of vehicles rise with increasing vehicle speed. Single-vehicle collisions usually have comparable effects as head-on collisions even though no other vehicle is involved except for the one leaving its lane. Such forms of collisions normally occur on superhighways because the speed of vehicles is exceedingly high.

When a speeding motor vehicle crashes into animals, pedestrians, and cyclists, they have a minimal probability of survival. However, driving at low speed or complying with the set speed limit boosts the possibility of stopping or steering the vehicle successfully in an attempt of preventing a collision with another vehicle, pedestrian, or object. Over and above making the vehicle manageable in case of an eventuality, low speed, or traveling within the speed limit decreases the gravity of crashes and crash injuries (Gregory et al. 114-117). The regions with high pedestrian and cyclist operations, for instance, town centers and school zones, are deemed to be dangerous zones due to the great probability of road crashes emanating from speeding.

It has been found that irrespective of the road surface marking, road signs, and the speed limit in risky areas, many drivers break regulations and speed, thus causing fatalities. In this regard, rash driving is the greatest cause of road accidents where school children, pedestrians, and innocent drivers experience the greatest suffering. Overtaking is another major cause of accidents associated with speeding not just on superhighways but also on country roads (Gregory et al. 114-116). Most overtaking accidents have been proved to result in deaths and severe injuries. In their competition or for fun, young drivers speed and overtake one another while putting their lives and the lives, as well as properties, of others in danger. Educating such drivers or barring them from driving offers a more successful approach than setting speed limits since most of them are conscious of the speed that is safe but just chooses to pay no attention to it.

Why Speeding is Dangerous

Speeding is the greatest source of road accidents and the worst public health problem around the world. Every year, about 1.5 million people lose their lives in road crashes related to speeding, and this represents approximately 30% of all deaths emanating from illnesses (Abegaz et al. 15-18). Most of the road accidents are witnessed in developing nations and the economic outlay to such countries is about 110 billion US dollars every year, which is above the funds used for development aid. The effect of speeding as a health issue is increasing not just in the developing world but internationally. Injuries resulting from speeding have been established to be the leading sources of death for drivers between 15 and 25 years of age.

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Apart from speeding drivers, thousands of innocent drivers and pedestrians die in road accidents each year. Driving beyond the recommended speed limit is the most common cause of fatal crashes as speeding decreases the required amount of time to successfully avoid a crash (Abegaz et al. 15-18). Speed limits are intended to show the maximum speed allowed in a given region by law and vary for different means of transport to prevent collisions and accidents. Market, residential, and school areas usually have lower limits than superhighways. Despite the application of speed limits to mitigate the rate of accidents in such areas, drivers violate the law and end up killing pedestrians and schoolchildren.

It has been discovered that when speed limits are increased in risky areas in the US and other countries, road accidents caused by speeding vehicles rise by more than 15% with most of the drivers caught in speeding-associated collisions being in the 15 to 20 years age bracket. This has been a worrying tendency because irrespective of the rising occurrences, young drivers are continually showing irresponsibility when driving (Watson et al. 27-33). Researchers have also found the problem of young drivers’ speeding to be exacerbated by their driving under the influence of alcohol and other substances.

Speeding has turned out to be a global issue with road crashes being widespread and occurring more often in some places. The rate of deaths and severe injuries have made people skeptical about road safety. The US has had the highest level of speeding-related fatalities across the globe over the years (Abegaz et al. 15-18). Though most nations around the world have made a significant stride in the reduction of such accidents, the United States is yet to succeed in realizing a considerable decrease. Middle-income nations experience about 21 deaths in every 100,000 residents because of speeding-related accidents.

After the occurrence of speeding-related crashes, victims may experience permanent psychological problems in addition to physical injuries, and innocent drivers involved in such collisions may become afraid to ever drive again. Sometimes, such a psychological trauma negatively affects the victim’s capacity to work or undertake their responsibilities. In other instances, victims suffer lasting paralysis (Abegaz et al. 15-18). Moreover, speeding does not only affect safety but also the environment concerning fuel use, traffic jams emanating from accidents, quality of life for people residing or working along the road, and the rate of air pollution as a result of exhaust emissions and traffic noise. The collaboration involving environmental agencies and road safety organizations may boost the rate of public and political compliance with speed management policies.

Interventions

Speeding has been established to be a key causal aspect in over 50% of all road accidents and approximately 20% of such occurrences are deadly. Both excessive speeding (surpassing the required speed limit) and unsuitable speed (higher than the existing conditions can allow) are equally dangerous. Despite speeding having a positive impact on travel time, it has grievous effects on drivers, other road users, passengers, the vehicle, and the environment (Brewster et al. 124-126). Some of the negative impacts of speeding are societal and are barely realized by drivers who tend just noticing positive effects if no accident occurs.

Speed limits offer guidance to drivers concerning a safe pace as they provide information about the desired velocity that will ensure their safety in average circumstances. Nevertheless, speeding past the speed limit is common as about 55% of drivers travel beyond it. In this regard, such drivers adjust their speed inadequately to local and temporary environmental occurrences in terms of weather and traffic to mention but a few. This is caused by drivers selecting a velocity that is unsuitable for the existing conditions, which is unsafe (Watson et al. 27-33). The choice of speed ought to take into consideration drivers’ intentions, feelings, risk perception and recognition, the condition of the road and surrounding environment, and features of the vehicle.

Other than the diligence of drivers, there is no better resolution to the predicament of excessive speeding. There is a need for numerous countermeasures, which boost the efficacy of each other to facilitate driving at the recommended speed and ensure safety. The most suitable combination of practices will vary with conditions, for instance, the design of the road, speed limit, weather, the rate of traffic, and public opinion about proper speed. Drivers ought to always be cognizant of speed limits, which may be enhanced by good and strategic signing, in addition to the constant use of road surface marking and demarcation (Brewster et al. 124-126). Road engineering concerning the use of bumps and narrowing assist in the reduction of velocity in regions where low speed is vital. When employed consistently, such approaches help drivers to identify the situation at hand and adhere to the desired speed. Nevertheless, irrespective of these practices, some drivers deliberately choose to ignore them and exceed the required speed. For intended violators, law enforcement ought to be crucial. Before the issuance of the driver’s license, the involved stakeholders ought to provide speed management lessons to educate drivers of the dangers of speeding and why they should abide by speed limits and other traffic rules.

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In this era of technological advancements, new technologies ought to facilitate inbuilt vehicle systems that help drivers to adhere to the set speed limit. Such systems should give information regarding speed limits in effect, caution drivers when surpassing the limit, or even make speeding uncomfortable or impossible (Lee and Kum 159-163). The implementation of such technologies ought to be done gradually while adequately educating drivers of their significance. Novel expertise should also facilitate communication between vehicles and the road, thus enabling completely dynamic speed restrictions anchored in prevailing weather conditions and the rate of traffic. The government ought to encourage the development and implementation of such systems.

The creation of laws regarding road traffic accidents caused by speeding appears to be an excellent, efficient measure for eliminating such incidences as drivers will fear being caught or causing crashes. Nevertheless, for compliance with laws to be achieved, levels of enforcement ought to be greatly upheld over time, thus enhancing the alleged peril of being caught. Furthermore, fines for speeding should be stipulated and drivers should be aware of them to operate as deterrents (Brewster et al. 124-126). Through the application of such particular approaches, the legislation will act as a necessary tool for shaping drivers’ conduct and fostering a culture of road safety that leads to minimal or no road crashes and accidents. In different countries, the law performs a considerable task in handling the driver’s speeding. Numerous nations apply different feasible methods to keep drivers focused when driving and prevent them from exceeding the recommended speed. General laws concerning safe driving require being put in place and strengthened. Public and private stakeholders should warn drivers about speeding, and explain what is careless driving as it results in losing control of the vehicle due to a poor state of the road or bad weather, thus causing accidents.

All countries across the globe should make efforts to execute stringent legislation and policies regarding speeding. Successful enforcement should be ensured by increased awareness, the mandatory use of speed governors in public transport, and policing speeding (Lee and Kum 159-163). It should be stressed that the lateness of drivers to their intended destinations is better than their loss of life, suffering severe injuries, and other dangers associated with speeding. On the other hand, public wakefulness of the dangers of speeding and distracted driving should be undertaken. If penalizing drivers caught speeding does not reduce the rate of associated accidents, the penalties ought to be regularly reviewed and increased to the possible maximum. Another punishment should be the disqualification of drivers from driving for a given number of years if they attain a particular level of penalties. Moreover, there should be an increased prohibition of all young and inexpert drivers from driving. Speeding has to be forbidden as its effects are dangerous.

Automobile crashes are the leading causes of the official death toll in all countries internationally and lead to significant economic effects, human deaths, and shortcomings for businesses and the environment. Companies and organizations need to adopt speed tracking devices and other fleet safety regulations as a means of handling some road safety aspects, counting speeding. Employers have the authority to limit their employees’ exposure to distractive actions while using organizations’ vehicles (Brewster et al. 124-126). This should be realized through some practices such as purchasing roadworthy vehicles, regular fleet servicing, and prohibition from speeding, which could go a long way to lessening unfocused driving and the rate of accidents. Comprehensive training and execution of regulations will control exposure to dangerous behavior.

The licensing board and structure should offer a critical tool for handling the degree of misconduct, speeding, and cancellation of the licenses for the drivers who are found to be in regular violation of the law. Licensing guides, driving institutes, and tutors should provide drivers with knowledge on how to tackle distractions on the road and maintain the recommended speed all the time (Lee and Kum 159-163). Some of the factors that should be addressed include the aspects that make drivers more vulnerable to the dangers of speeding and the most successful approaches to reducing their occurrence.

Conclusion

While it is tempting to speed, the consequences of this action might be detrimental and fatal. Many drivers speed to reach their destinations in time. Tackling the problem of speeding will lead to a noteworthy reduction of road accidents and save countless lives. Aside from speeding drivers, thousands of guiltless drivers and pedestrians die in road accidents annually. Drivers ought to at all times be mindful of speed limits, which may be boosted by excellent and strategic signing, in addition to the constant use of road surface marking. Road engineering concerning the application of humps and narrowing assist in reducing vehicle velocity in areas where low speed is essential. All nations across the globe ought to make efforts to implement stringent legislation and strategies regarding speeding. Successful enforcement may be ensured by increased awareness through mass education. Speeding must be prohibited and violators punished as its effects are horrible.

Works Cited

Abegaz, Teferi, et al. “Effects of Excessive Speeding and Falling Asleep While Driving on Crash Injury Severity in Ethiopia: A Generalized Ordered Logit Model Analysis.” Accident Analysis & Prevention, vol. 71, no. 1, 2014, pp. 15-21.

Brewster, Sarah E., et al. “Conditional or Unconditional? The Effects of Implementation Intentions on Driver Behavior.” Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, vol. 22, no. 1, 2016, pp. 124-128.

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Gregory, Bree, et al. “Differential Effects of Traffic Sign Stimuli upon Speeding in School Zones Following a Traffic Light Interruption.” Accident Analysis & Prevention, vol. 86, 2016, pp. 114-120.

Lee, Chang Hee, and Ki Jung Kum. “A Study on the Speeding Intention and Behaviors Based on a Driver Behavior Questionnaire.” Journal of Korean Society of Transportation, vol. 33, no. 2, 2015, pp. 159-169.

Watson, Brian, et al. “Assessing Specific Deterrence Effects of Increased Speeding Penalties Using Four Measures of Recidivism.” Accident Analysis & Prevention, vol. 84, no. 1, 2015, pp. 27-37.

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