Obeying the Speed Limit to Keep Car Expenses Down
May 27, 2011
All responsible drivers understand that maintaining a legal speed is not just a matter of being right or wrong in the eyes of the law—it's a matter of practicing safe driving to keep yourself and others out of harm's way. Of course safety and avoidance of a hefty fine are great reasons to stick to the speed limit, but surprisingly enough you can also save money by keeping your speed in check.
Car expenses can add up quickly, so why not keep your budget out of the red by slowing it down a bit? This is the easiest way to keep from piling up extra bills. How can driving the speed limit keep your expenses down? In a number of ways:
1. Fines. Depending on how fast you are going, speeding can cost you anywhere from eighty or so dollars to jail time. Of course this can put a huge strain on your budget—not to mention on your driving record. Depending upon your history, how many points you have on your license, whether or not you have the proper paperwork (license and registration), and how many miles over the speed limit you were going, you could lose your license and even your car! This means not only paying the fine, but also paying to reinstate your license (if you can even get it back) and to get your car back. Slowing it down is definitely worth avoiding this risk.
2. When you get a citation for speeding, or for causing an accident—something that is very possible when driving over the speed limit—your insurance is often going to increase. This means that you will pay more for your annual policy, resulting in more money coming out of your paychecks each month and less money to spend on other things. Is getting to your destination five minutes earlier really worth the potential hundreds of extra dollars that you could pay out to your insurance company? Probably not.
3. Gas. To accelerate, your car—which weights over a ton—takes a lot of fuel. The optimal speed for driving for many cars, as far as gas mileage goes, is between 40 and 45 miles per hour. When going over that speed, your car takes up a larger amount of gas, resulting in more frequent trips to the pump. Additionally, hitting the gas as soon as the light turns green and quickly accelerating is also a big waste of fuel—especially when in city traffic where there are several stop lights and signs. Why accelerate quickly if you are going to have to stop again in less than a mile? Keep it slow and steady and you will spend less time pumping gas and more time enjoying the ride.
As you can see, obeying the speed limit can save you a bundle. When driving, try to maintain an even speed and never accelerate too quickly, as doing so can cause a variety of financial and safety issues. Remember, that ticket, hospital bill, or increased insurance premium is never worth arriving at your destination five minutes early.
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