A large majority of the drivers consider speed as a very important problem for road safety. About 27 percent of young driver and passenger deaths occur in speed-related crashes. In a high-speed crash, a passenger vehicle cannot handle the force of the crash. Teens are more likely than older drivers to speed and allow shorter headways (the distance from the front of one vehicle to the front of the next).

If a driver doubles his/her speed – say from 30 mph to 60 mph – the braking distance does not become twice as long. It becomes four times as far. Traveling at 55 mph, it will take about 6 seconds to stop the vehicle. A driver should consider road conditions, weather and 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. A driver should slow down before curves.

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Speed choice is affected by characteristics of the driver, by factors related to human perceptual skills and limitations, by characteristics of the road and the road environment, and by characteristics of the vehicle. Many drivers prefer to drive faster than the objective risk justifies, but also than what they themselves consider to be a safe speed. Motives for exceeding the speed limit are both rational and emotional and may depend on the temporary state of the driver or the actual situation. There are also more permanent personality characteristics that affect speed choice and explain differences between individual drivers and groups of drivers. These types of driver characteristics are related to speed preferences and speed violations.

The road environment may also elicit speed limit violations. There are large differences in the amount of speeding between individual roads of the same category and with the same speed limit. Incompatibility between the posted speed limit and the (implicit) message of the road and the road environment may be the reason. The road is insufficiently ‘self-explanatory’. Either intentionally or unintentionally an imbalance between speed limit and the road characteristics may cause drivers to exceed the speed limit.

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.