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Being in a hurry gets you no where

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Ashlee Galloway
  • Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs
Have you ever sped to work because you felt like you were running late? Have you ever watched the cars around you that are in such a hurry? Have you complained multiple times about the cost of gas?

When you are running late for work, or trying to get to your destination quickly, you tend to speed. Rushing around, swerving in and out of cars because you feel like the person in front of you is going "too slow," when in reality they are going the speed limit.

I'll be the first to admit that I have done this a time or two. But did you ever stop to think how much faster you are actually getting there? How much is that extra five to 10 miles per hour really getting you? That's the thing ... it is not getting you to your destination any faster; you are just making your trip unsafe for yourself, your family if they are in the car, and even the people around you.

On top of all that, you know those gas prices you were just complaining about? Well speeding around everywhere wastes gas, it makes your gas gauge go down even faster.

As stated on, aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration, and braking) wastes gas. It can lower your gas mileage by 33 percent at highway speeds and by five percent around town. While each vehicle reaches its optimal fuel economy at a different speed, gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 50 mph . You can assume that each 5 mph you drive over 50 mph is like paying an additional $0.25 per gallon for gas.

I recently started watching the cars rushing around everywhere. For example, in my observance, a car sped around me while I was going the speed limit, and then got right in front of me. What did that do except only allow him to get one car ahead? Then I saw this car do it again, and they accelerated down the road. Then I pull up to the next stoplight. Guess who was at the same stoplight as me, only TWO cars ahead in the other lane? You guessed it, the car that was speeding around everyone in such a hurry. And where did that person end up? That person ends up in the same spot as everyone else.

I see this multiple times daily. Everywhere you go, you will see people doing this, and what they don't realize, is that they are not getting anywhere any faster. They end up at their destination at about the same time as they would have if they went the speed limit.

There is a speed limit for a reason. That is so a motor vehicle does not exceed the number on the sign. If you go over this number, you are only wasting your own gas and money, and putting others in danger.

According to, the National Safety Council has determined, by survey that drivers speed because they are in a hurry, they're inattentive to their driving, they don't take traffic laws seriously; they don't think the laws apply to them, they don't view their driving behavior as dangerous, and/or they don't expect to get caught.

What does speeding result in?

There are more than 13,000 lives lost each year, in work zone crashes and fatalities - speed was the factor in 27 percent of fatal crashes in construction and maintenance zones in 2005, unsafe school zones - compliance with lower speed limits is poor, and economic costs. The economic costs that are from speed related crashes, cost society over $40 billion annually, according to the National Highway Traffic Administration, and every minute "gained" by speeding to a destination costs the United States society over $76,000.

Is all of this really worth trying to get somewhere a little bit faster? In my opinion, the answer is no.

If you find yourself rushing to work every day, then set your alarm five minutes earlier. If you need to get to an appointment on time, then make sure you give yourself enough time to get there. If you don't like the gas prices and feel as though they are too high, then accelerate your car a little slower instead of stepping on the gas when you are at a stoplight or stop-sign and go the correct speed. And if you go the speed limit that was set on the road, by law, then there may not be as many accidents every day, and people just might start to feel safer on the roads. This is all worth it in the long run.