Any driver can fall victim to a potentially fatal disease known as “Velocitization.” Velocitization is common to all motorists; it arises from the tendency of drivers to lose touch with the speed at which they are traveling.
Scientific studies have shown that over a long period of time, drivers tend to increase their speeds without realizing it. The longer a vehicle is in motion, the more accustomed the driver becomes to the speed at which he is moving. The driver who goes too fast causes accidents and the driver who goes too stow contributes to traffic congestion, which in turn, increases the possibility of accidents on our crowded city streets and heavily traveled highways. Both the speedy and the pokey driver need to learn this basic rule: Adjust your speed to traffic conditions.
Speed limits are safe speeds only under favorable conditions and a driver who adjusts his speed to traffic conditions is one who keeps pace with the flow of traffic. Ideally, if all drivers followed this practice, there would be little need for anyone to pass other vehicles, and our accident rate would plummet. Regardless of posted speed limits, the driver must always adjust his speed to the existing conditions of the road, weather, traffic and the driver’s own vehicle. The driver must also take into account his own physical condition and his experience in high-speed driving in selecting his maximum safe driving speed.
Adjust your speed so that you can stop in the clear distance ahead. When you can’t see far enough ahead, you should slow down. It takes more than 300 feet to stop from 60 miles an hour. Sports fans, remember that this is the length of a football field. Even if you don’t value your life, you should think of your license and your pocketbook the next time you are tempted to speed. Enforcement of speed limits is being stepped up in most areas to combat the rising number of traffic accidents, so are the penalties for speeding and fines are being drastically increased. In many states, two speeding convictions in a year can mean a license suspension.
Minimum speed limits are among the latest devices to keep traffic moving. It has been recognized that the too-slow driver is as bad as the too-fast driver, particularly on the open highway. If you are driving more than 15 miles an hour under the speed limit, look behind you. If you have a long trail of traffic behind you, you are going too slow and should pull over far enough for the other drivers to pass safely, or stop and let them by.
Radar and electronic devices are being used to check the speed of large volumes of traffic. In some states, airplanes are being used in conjunction with regular patrol cars in the apprehension of speeders. Police departments are using an increasing number of unmarked cars for traffic enforcement. Some areas utilize road side cameras with radar guns to photograph your vehicle and record the speed at which it is traveling.
There’s one sure way to immunize yourself against the Velocitization Virus, and that is to look at your speedometer frequently.