Speeding risk: AAA urging drivers to hit the brakes

Despite the risks, drivers continue their ‘need for speed.’

From city streets to our local rural highways this growing threat has AAA urging motorists to hit the brakes.

“When we have wet roadways, we have fog, in the wintertime of course we have the snow and the ice. All of those kind of conditions can mean that even that posted speed limit isn’t safe,” said AAA Bluegrass public and government affairs manager Lori Weaver Hawkins. “So you need to slow down further, and if you don’t do so, that’s still considered speeding and it’s a dangerous behavior.”

According to Hawkins, male drivers from the time they get their license through their 20s, are most at risk of speeding. This ‘need for speed’ is killing people — a sobering lesson young drivers need to learn.

“Just as parents and other family members hopefully are teaching them not to drive impaired, not to be on their phone and drive distracted, we also need to remind them to keep at the speed limit or below, if conditions necessitate it — to keep them safe,” said the public and government affairs manager.

Reasons for putting the petal to the metal Hawkins says include a ‘me first’ attitude, aggressive driving behavior and habitual speeders.

“Goes with ‘I don’t need to obey the law, I’m more important than other drivers, where I’m heading is more important,'” she said it’s no longer in some people’s minds to give the other drivers the right of way (and) ‘I should stay under the speed limit so that I don’t cause a crash.’ “A couple of minutes that’s not a good tradeoff when you’re putting other people at risk, as well as yourself.”

Hawkins says when pedestrians are hit at these high rates of speed their chances of survivability plummet. Make sure if you’re first in line and the light turns green don’t just pull out, because someone can run the red light speeding from the other direction.

“You can’t react as quickly to a pedestrian, a car changing lanes, a car at a standstill, roadside workers, all of those — you’re putting all of those folks in danger because you’ve developed this habit of speeding,” she said.

“You kind of see yourself, you’re like ‘yeah, that is kind of me’ — you really need to make an effort to break that habit because it’s way riskier than I think a lot of people are thinking it is.”

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