Speeding is the main cause of about 31% of fatal auto accidents on the road. As shocking as this number is, it doesn’t even include non-fatal speeding-related incidents. Accidents in which speeding could have been a factor but wasn’t recorded aren’t included, either.
If this isn’t enough to remind you just how dangerous speeding can be, here’s one more thing you should know about speeding: it kills about the same number of people as drunk driving does each year.
When you think about it like that, the need to speed becomes much less important when you’re behind the wheel. It’s one thing to say you’ll stop speeding and another to actually change your ways, though.
Here are 7 tips to help you avoid not just a speeding ticket, but also a dangerous crash.
1. Get on the Road a Little Earlier
Maybe it’s not that you “like” to speed, but that you usually find yourself speeding because you’re running late. The simple fix to that is to start leaving earlier whenever you have somewhere to be!
Committing to leaving just 5 or 10 minutes earlier than your usual time can have a significant improvement on your driving. It leaves you with no excuse to speed anymore because you won’t have a “valid” reason to do it. Plus, you’ll be improving your punctuality while also lowering your chances of getting a speeding ticket.
2. Relax Before You Start the Car
No matter how early you leave, it is possible for you to still get a little anxious when behind the wheel. This is especially true if you know you’re just an impatient person or if you don’t like driving behind “slow” cars.
The best thing to do is just relax.
Take a few deep breaths before you pull out of your driveway or parking spot. Give yourself a little bit of encouragement and play relaxing music if you have to, too. Anything that helps you relax is worth trying out, so long as you can do it in the comfort of your car and it doesn’t hinder your driving ability.
3. Use Cruise Control
Speaking of your driving ability, how often do you use cruise control?
This can do much more for you than just helping you avoid a speed ticket. It can improve your driving as a whole and make you more aware of other things on the road because you won’t be as worried about your speed.
The trick is to learn how to use cruise control in the first place, and to get good at determining when it’s appropriate.
Having it on during rush hour, for example, is not the best idea because you’ll be stopping and going a lot. When you’re driving down a back road or on the highway without too much traffic, though, this could be the tool you need to cut back on speeding.
4. Set a Lower Speed Limit for Yourself
As you’re setting cruise control or watching the odometer while you control the gas, try to aim for a speed that’s lower than the actual limit. This gives you a bit of leeway in case you do happen to go a few miles over.
If the speed limit is 75mph, aim for 70. If it’s 45, try going 40. When you’re in work zones or school zones, go even lower to be sure you’re not above the maximum speed. This may sound like a total drag, but it’s not as bad as you think and it does more good for your road safety than you can even imagine.
5. Think About the Cost of Speeding
Another way to stop speeding is to think about what the cost of speeding is really worth. For starters, you’re putting your life and the lives of others at risk when you push the speed limit.
From a financial standpoint, you could be out at least a few hundred dollars if you get just one speeding ticket. Most states raise your fee if it’s not your first time getting a speeding ticket. The price can also go up from that of a standard ticket’s, depending on how much more above the speed limit you were driving.
There’s also the matter of having to pay for driver’s school afterward and doing other things to get points off your license. When all is said and done, you can end up paying a lot of time and money to take care of your speeding ticket!
6. Try Carpooling
Here’s something you may not have thought of yet: you probably drive a little better when you have other people in the car.
Even if it’s not a conscious decision you make, on some level, you know you’re responsible for the wellbeing of passengers when they ride with you. This increases your chances of following road rules.
If you start carpooling, you could end up driving with passengers more often than normal and thus improving your driving as a whole.
7. Save Your Adrenaline for Something Else
The final way to take care of your speeding habit is to put your adrenaline into something else. If the need for speed is still in the back of your mind, find a healthy outlet in which to express that.
This could be some sort of racing video game or an adrenaline-packed activity like going for a run or doing a HIIT workout. Such things get your blood pumping and stimulate your senses very well. They give you a place to release any built-up energy without endangering yourself or others.
What To Do If You Get a Speeding Ticket
The thing about all of these tips mentioned above is that they won’t fix your speeding problem overnight. You have to make a constant effort to change your ways if you really want to avoid a speeding ticket.
Keep in mind that even if you stop speeding the majority of the time, it only takes getting pulled over once to get the ticket you’ve been trying to avoid. If this does happen to you, here’s what you should do.