Nationally, more than 13,000 lives were lost in speeding-related traffic crashes during 2005 making speed a contributing factor in 30 percent of all fatal crashes. In Maryland, speed was a contributing factor to more than 200 deaths and 11,000 injuries.
The goal is to save lives. Drivers need to remember that there is a reason for posted speed limits. Speed limits are designed to protect everyone – drivers, passengers, pedestrians and cyclists. The next time you get behind the wheel, please remember to Stop Speeding Before It Stops You. Maintaining a safe speed at all times is a serious responsibility shared by all motorists.
Reduce Your Speed
The faster you drive …
… the less reaction time you have to brake,
… the more distance you need to stop,
… the harder it is to control your vehicle,
… the harder your impact in an accident, and
… the greater the chance of serious bodily injury or being killed in an accident.
- #1 - Don't speed! - Driving at a higher than reasonable speed increases your risk in two ways: it cuts your reaction time and results in more "stored" energy that must be dissipated in any collision.
- #2 - Leave early, plan to arrive 10 minutes before the appointed time. Speeding does not increase your ability to arrive on time, rather it only increases your chances of not arriving at all.
- Maintain a safe distance (at least 2 or 3 seconds) from the vehicle in front of you - when it passes some point, count "1001", "1002","1003", etc. If you pass that same point before you get to 1003, you're following too closely!
- At highway speeds, a two second following distance will NOT give you enough time to stop if the road ahead is suddenly blocked by a collision or a vehicle stopped in your lane.
- As your speed increases, so does the time and distance required to brake to a stop. At 55 mph, you need nearly 4-5 seconds to stop.
- It isn’t always safe to drive the speed limit – sometimes you may have to go slower.
Speed limits typically are set for ideal conditions. Therefore, drivers must recognize and appropriately respond to adverse conditions. Maryland vehicle law requires that motorists drive at a reasonable and prudent speed and with a regard for existing and potential dangers. Motorists must adjust their speed according to the existing vehicle and pedestrian traffic, road surface, lighting, and weather conditions.
- Speeding carries fines and points.
- If traveling 1 - 9 mph over the speed limit, the penalty is a $80 fine and one point. If the speeding causes a crash the fine goes up to $120 and a penalty of three points.
- If traveling 10-19 mph over the speed limit, the penalty is a $90 fine and two points. If the speeding causes a crash the penalty increases to a $130 fine and three points.
- If traveling 20-29 mph over the speed limit, the penalty is a $160 fine and two points. If the speeding causes a crash the penalty increases to a $200 fine and three points.
- Exceeding the signed speed limit of 65 mph by 10-19 mph results in a penalty of a $160 fine and two points. If the speeding causes a crash the penalty increases to a $200 fine and three points.
- Exceeding the signed speed limit of 65 mph by 20-29 mph carries a penalty of a $290 fine and five points.
- Exceeding highway work zone speed limit carries a penalty of a $290 and one point. If the speeding causes a crash, the penalty increases to a $330 fine and three points.
- A crash on a road with a speed limit of 65 mph or greater is more than twice as likely to result in a fatality than a crash on a road with a speed limit of 45 or 50 mph and nearly five times as likely as a crash on a road with a speed limit of 40 mph or below.
- Only 14 percent of the nation’s speeding-related fatalities occurred on Interstate highways that year.
- Speed is often a factor in incidents involving pedestrians. If a pedestrian is hit at 40 mph, there's an 80% chance they will die. If hit at 20 mph, there's a 95% they will live.