It’s 8 am and you’re running late because you overslept and woke up late. You make your way to your car, drive out to tear the streets up at blazing speeds so you can beat the rush hour and meet up with a meeting at 8:05 am. Sounds familiar, right? Well, you’ve just successfully made yourself the perpetrator of a driving evil known as “overspeeding”.
According to the Federal Road Safety Commission of Nigeria (FRSC), a third of all fatal automobile crashes involve drivers who were overspeeding. The FRSC also reports that these overspeeding incidents cause over 13,000 fatalities, 40,000 critical injuries and 130,000 minor to moderate injuries. Overspeeding comes in only second to drink driving as the main factor in vehicular fatalities.
The dangers of overspeeding are certainly well known to most drivers ranging from getting flagged down by law enforcement officials to having a loved one be a victim of an accident at high speed. While it is tempting to drive fast, the dangers of excessive speeding are extremely significant when compared to the few minutes gained by driving over the speeding limit. But do you really know the implications your driving speed has on yourself and others?
What does overspeeding mean?
Breaking the speed limit means driving beyond the permitted driving speed or driving too fast for the road’s or weather conditions. Most people speed in order to get to work or an appointment on time. Some just aren’t paying attention to the manner in which they are driving. A handful of others do it just to have fun. While you won’t always get caught while speeding, you might inflict horrible damage on yourself, your vehicle and other people.
When does speeding become dangerous?
Speed Kills. Speeding above the limit is illegal. While it might be fun to drive fast, it is incredibly dangerous. When you drive at fast speeds, the following happens: your ability to control your vehicle reduces, you have less time to react to an unexpected incident and the impact of a collision are much more severe. Going from 40 km/h to 50km/h increases the risk of serious or fatal injuries in the case of an accident by a factor of 3.
Are there ways to avoid speeding dangers?
*The 30 km/h limit usually applies to all traffic on all roads within streets unless signs show otherwise.
The most effective way to avoid speeding dangers is to drive within the stipulated speed limit on the road. However, adopting some other safe speeding practices will help you veer off the dangers of overspeeding. Some of these practices would include:
- Routinely check speedometer while driving to monitor your speed
- Leave early so you can beat the rush hour and not feel rushed
- Listen to mellow drive through music that won’t get you too pepped up
- Use the “cruise control” option if your car supports it
- Take more car when driving in poor weather or in heavily populated or suburban areas
- Bear in mind that there are road safety officials at every turn, with heavy fines.
- Know the law – Reckless driving is against the law and is defined as driving in a way that shows you really don’t care about the safety of people or property.
As a driver, you should always consider road weather conditions, road design and slow down when those change. It is easier to lose traction when speeding around a curve and the high center of gravity makes it easier to roll over. You should slow down before curves; the faster your vehicle is going, the harder it is to stop, so the next time you have the need for speed, be aware that:
* at 20 mph a person hit by your vehicle has a 90 percent chance of survival
* at 30 mph a person hit by your vehicle has a 50 percent chance of survival
* at 40 mph a person hit by your vehicle has a 10 percent chance of survival
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