Indianapolis has long been known for speed. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Lucas Oil Raceway stand as monuments of that. So do I-69, I-70, I-74, I-65, I-465, I-469, and I-885. The “Crossroads of America” is well connected with a host of freeways and highways. Far too many local drivers and those passing through the center of Indiana seem to be in a hurry to get where they are headed. Why do these drivers feel the need to speed, and what are the potential financial and other costs associated with speeding?
Why Do People Speed?
People speed for a variety of reasons, some of which they may not even be aware of themselves. Here is a look at some of the more common reasons people speed while driving.
- Lack of time, in a hurry. Many people who speed do so intentionally because they may be late for an appointment or work. They simply do not give themselves enough time to get to their destination at a safe speed. Of course, there are factors that can contribute to drivers being unintentionally late, like heavy traffic or an accident along their route. This can cause them to “make up time” when traffic finally frees up.
- A sense that the speed limit isn’t the “limit.” Some drivers believe that they won’t be stopped for driving 3 to 5 mph over the speed limit. Still others subscribe to the “Nine is fine, ten you’re mine” theory, where police may not ticket you for exceeding the speed limit by 9 mph but will at 10 mph or over.
- Driving familiar roads. Sometimes familiarity can cause speeding when a driver becomes so used to the road that he pays little attention to the speed.
- Driving an unfamiliar vehicle. You may not have a “feel” for the speed of an unfamiliar car, and this can cause speeding.
- Driving in the left lane. Some drivers feel more comfortable driving in the left lane of a multi-lane roadway and will speed to justify it.
- Distracted driving. Drivers can become so engrossed in a conversation with someone in the vehicle or on a cellphone that paying attention to speed becomes a secondary concern. This can be a particular problem where speed limits may decrease along the road they are driving on.
- Egocentric and risk-taking. Face it, there are drivers who speed simply because they believe they are the most important person on the road. They may feel others need to get out of their way and that they won’t get caught.
For those who are ticketed for speeding, rarely will any of the above reasons serve as acceptable justification. If an injury accident occurs and speed is cited as a cause, it can have even more serious ramifications.
The Costs of Speeding
The more a driver exceeds the speed limit in Indianapolis, the higher the cost of their speeding ticket. Exceeding the limit by over 30 mph is considered reckless driving and will take costs to an even higher level. Fines aren’t the only costs to consider, however. There are court costs and potentially higher insurance rates to consider. Speeding is expensive, nationally costing the U.S. economy over $40 billion dollars annually.
Speeding that is shown to be the cause of a personal injury accident can take fines from the hundreds into the thousands of dollars and could result in criminal charges and even jail time. Speeding may also lead to a personal injury lawsuit.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), out of over 35,000 traffic deaths in 2015, speeding was the cause of death of 9,557 people.