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Beyond the Ticket: Why Speeding is a Costly Mistake

speedometerA speeding ticket can cost over $200 in New York, along with at least three points on your license. “But,” you say, “there’s no guarantee I’ll get caught!”

That may be true. However, it is guaranteed that you will spend more money speeding, even if you never get a ticket, because excess speed almost always means excess fuel consumption.

Each vehicle reaches its optimal fuel economy at a different speed. On average, gas mileage peaks around 45 to 55 mph. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that every five miles you drive over 55 mph is equal to paying an additional $0.18 per gallon for gas (assuming $2.50 per gallon).

It’s like the old math problems from grade school. Jack and Jill both need to drive 60 miles on a highway from Point A to Point B. Both cars get 30 mpg if the driver stays at the posted limit of 55 mph.

Jill drives at 55 mph, but Jack puts the pedal to the metal and does 75 mph. It will take Jack 48 minutes to reach his exit, while Jill will get there in 65 minutes.

At 55 mph, Jill used 2 gallons gas. If gas costs $2.50/gallon, the highway trip cost her $5.00. Meanwhile, Jack used 2.5 gallons, which cost him $6.25 to go the same distance.

An extra $1.25 probably doesn’t sound like much, but it adds up quickly.  Assuming again 30 mpg  and $2.50 per gallon, for a 20-mile commute to work each way (40 miles per day), here’s how much it would cost at various speeds:

SpeedDaily Travel TimeMPGCost/dayCost/year
(5 days/week for 50 weeks)
554430.0$4.67$1,167.50
604029.1$4.81$1,202.50
653727.6$5.07$1,267.50
703424.9$5.62$1,405.00
753223.1$6.06$1,515.00
803021.6$6.48$1,620.00

If you normally drive 75 mph, you could be saving $312.50 each year by slowing down to 60 mph – and you’d only be making your commute 8 minutes longer.

You could argue that the opposite is true as well – if the speed limit is 30 mph, driving 55 mph could save money on gas. While that’s technically true, slower local roads typically have stop signs, red lights, and a higher number of pedestrians. Speeding on these roads carries an increased risk of other traffic violations like failure to yield, red light violations, or failure to stop for a school bus, each of which carries its own consequences and fines. Getting pulled over even once can negate any fuel efficiency savings. A ticket for driving as little as 11 mph over the posted limit can cost up to $400. Depending on the offense and the number of citations, you may also face additional consequences like a driver’s responsibility assessment or even a suspended license. In case that wasn’t expensive enough, insurance premiums often skyrocket after a speeding citation.

If you or a loved one has been caught speeding, it is advisable that you consult an attorney to help you avoid the costs associated with a ticket. The lawyers of the Rosenblum Law Firm are skilled New York traffic ticket attorneys who are experienced in handling tickets for speeding as well as other driving-related offenses. Call 888-203-2619 or email the Rosenblum Law Firm today for a free consultation about your case.

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