Speed Kills

I used to drive fast. Very fast. I was the type of guy who had the latest radar detector and knew how to use it. Along with consistently exceeding posted limits I was an extremely careless driver. I had a friend ride with me once and when he got out he characterized my driving skills as comparable to “Mr. Toads Wild Ride.” And not in a good way.

Everyone thinks they are good at two things. Driving and sex. I have empirical evidence that I am not good at one. I used to crash. I got enough moving violation fines to buy a Ferrari.

I speak of all of this in the past tense because now the radar detector has been replaced with a GPS unit. I am more interested in getting where I want to go then how fast I get there. What changed? Possibly years of reading stories in the newspaper and seeing mangled cars on TV. Probably the real turning point was when my son twisted up a car, tore it all to pieces as Brooks and Dunn would say, and how he managed to live for sure God only knows.

So now I go slow. Sometimes slower than the posted limits. This drives drivers behind me into red faced, eye popping, frothing, spitting paroxysms of road rage. I couldn’t give a bowel movement less. Here is some news, speedracers. If you go 75 miles per hour in a 65 mile per hour zone you save just over a minute every ten miles. 75 in a 55? About 3:00 minutes.

Let’s look at this another way. Most NEPA commutes average 10 minutes. Most side roads are posted 35 miles per hour If you drive 35 you will get there in 15 minutes. Go 55 MPH and you will get there in 11 minutes. Do you think the four minutes is really worth it? The moving violation for 55 in a 35 is around $135. That’s 33 bucks per minute. Setting the alarm clock a little earlier sounding good?

But the real cost? I point to the newspaper the other day. In three pages there were stories of a horrific hit and run leaving a body so badly mangled it was hard to ID it. A 16 year old hit a tree and died. An 18 year hit an old lady and killed her. And someone hit a school crossing guard who ended up in the hospital. Now I am not saying speed factored into these accidents. I am not trying to blame anyone as I am not privy to all the circumstances. But I can say without any fear of retribution that speed kills.

I don’t think I am wrong.

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About James Rising

A recovering radio addict wrestles with the written word.
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