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I Can’t Afford to Speed

The other day, when I was talking about how I save money flying the friendly skies, I mentioned that I can fly out of either Rochester or Buffalo. I do this because the flexibility saves me a ton of cash. On this particular trip, flying out of Buffalo cost about $100 less than flying out of the more convenient Rochester airport. The trouble is, I had to drive 80 miles yesterday to get to Buffalo.

Making the hour and a half journey to Buffalo yesterday reminded me of something I do with my car that’s a little odd – at least for someone in my age bracket. Starting in January, I gave up speeding. And I did it because speeding is expensive.

Sticking to the speed limit can improve your fuel economy by 7-23%. With gas prices what they are, I really don’t feel like paying more for gas than I have to. On the open highway, I stay in the slow lane and put my cruise control right on the speed limit.

I’ve never received a speeding ticket, and I’m really working on keeping it that way. I saw a friend pay $800 for one speeding ticket during a road trip of ours. Can you say “ouch?” Not to mention, I have a relative that receives frequent speeding tickets. We compared her insurance rates for her one car, to my sister’s insurance rates for three cars. My speedy relative is paying twice as much on her one car as my sister pays on all three. Just like I don’t want to pay more for gas, insurance is expensive enough as it is without paying six times as much because of speeding tickets.

I have to say, aside from saving me money, not speeding gives me piece of mind. Not only is it safer, but the other day, I passed a State Trooper aiming a radar gun at me. But I didn’t have that fleeting moment of panic that I usually feel when I see a cop on the road, because I knew that my cruise control was set exactly to the speed limit. Better luck next time, Copper!

15 responses to “I Can’t Afford to Speed”

  1. Don

    I’ve often thought George Bush should use some of that Christian ethos he got elected on and do something about speeding, for the sake of fuel consumption. I suppose he’s so unpopular now that the opportunity is lost. Way back when, in war, when oil was short, we had “55 saves lives.” It might have been advertised on safety, but a big part of the point was saving oil.

    Would it be hard to say that it is patriotic to drive slower? Could a leader come out and say, “It should be your Christian duty in our war on terror to use less oil. Let’s start by slowing down and driving the speed limit. It’s American. It’s Christian. Yes, it means your travel time is longer. Yes, it can be less convenient, but war is war.”

    Unfortunately, there is no way you can safely drive the speed limit in all situations. I am generally not a speeder, but you definitely have to be near the median traffic speed on some interstate highways or you are not in a safe situation, and sometimes that is pretty fast.

    But I commend you for driving slower. I agree, it totally makes sense.

  2. New2TheRatRace

    I’m 24 next month and haven’t recieved a single ticket ever in my life until a couple months back for speeding. I going with the flow of traffic and I was unlucky enough to be picked off. He gunned me for 54 in a 40 (it was a pretty large 3-lane road). Ticket was around $300 and had to take 8 hours of traffic school. You actually learn a lot in traffic school and after taking it, I’m glad they make these programs required. Anyhow…point being, I’ll never speed again and I’m glad you won’t either. 🙂 It’s not only cheaper, but most importantly, it’s safer.

  3. Juan Millon

    I dunno Steph, when youre 15 minutes late to work, speeding can be the difference between having a job or not — especially if you have ADD. haha. Then again I have been so traumatized by police that I can spot one 3 miles away. I won’t brag about driving in the carpool lane without fessing up to the 5 or 6 close calls I’ve had in the past hmm 6 months. =)

  4. Sam

    Wow can I relate! Just recently got my first speeding ticket and it really made me think about the entire situation. I’m not rich, and certainly don’t have money to burn. Getting a speeding ticket is a needless cost of driving a vehicle. Very true about the gas mileage too! As a country, we could save millions of barrels by simply driving slower.

    Great post!

  5. Peter Mottola

    I don’t speed either. I obey traffic laws. You know how when other people are trying to go 50 in a 35 some jerk is actually going the speed limit even though 50 is totally reasonable and safe? Yeah, that’s me up there.

    I’m glad that I now have a bunch of other excuses to add to my litany of reasons why I don’t speed.

    I should say, though, that it is necessary to go over the speed limit at times. I’ve been on the Parkway in New Jersey where I’ve been traveling 15 or 20 over the limit in the far right lane on a six lane road and had people passing me in the other 5 lanes and right on my tail as well. Man, New Jersey is a horrible state.

  6. CT

    I drive a Civic Hybrid so I get pretty good gas mileage (40+ MPG). I do speed though, about 9 miles over on average.

    My car has a readout of my MPG at all times, and I montior my MPG for each trip. Here are the main things that cause my MPG to drop:

    1. Heating and air conditioning. Air conditioning is obvious, but I actually get worse gas mileage in the winter than any other time. If I turn on my front windshield vents and my rear defroster, I get an automatic 10 MPG drop.

    2. Stop and go driving. My engine shuts off at red lights, but if I’m averaging 2 MPH in traffic my MPG goes down to around 5-10. This can kill my overall MPG if half of my 40 minute drive to work is spend going nowhere with the engine running.

    3. Driving over 60 MPH. Wind resistence at anything over this really hurts the car’s ability to maintain speed. Anything slower than this is fine though, I get much better gas mileage going a contant 55 MPH than if I’m driving 40 MPH on a road that has a lot of stop lights.

    So in general, the best way to get good gas mileage for me is to pick the route that has the least stops and to try not to use too much AC/heat. Staying under 60 MPH helps, but it is much less of a factor than the others.

  7. The Sunday Review #18: Parents Of Obese Children Edition

    […] I Cant Afford to Speed by Stephanie @ Poorer Than You. Hmm…I guess people would be better off reaching 5 minutes later for watching Borat than raking up hundreds of dollars on a speeding ticket. Speeding for the adrenaline rush? Try Six Flags. I did some detailed analysis on the speeding issue a while back…perhaps that will provide some additional discouragement in case this post doesn’t quite convince you against speeding. […]

  8. dreamy1

    I have flown out of Rochester myself these last few trips. I will be flying out of there in 12 days for a trip to NC. It was about $130 cheaper than flying out of Syracuse which is about 15 minutes from my apartment. Sometimes the planes fly right over my house on the way to the runway. Where was I going with this? I too set my cruise control when driving the 1 1/2 hours to Rochester and the 2 1/4 hours to see my parents in Buffalo. Too bad I have to spend $48 for parking at the airport. If you know anyone in Rochester who will let me park there from May 25 through the 28th, drop me a line!

  9. New York Traffic Ticket

    People only care for two things.. Sex and Pain. So the only way you’ll get anyone to do anything is if you use either one.

  10. Ontario Highway Traffic Act

    “Making the hour and a half journey to Buffalo yesterday reminded me of something I do with my car that’s a little odd – at least for someone in my age bracket. Starting in January, I gave up speeding. And I did it because speeding is expensive.”

    I did the same thing! Speeding costs money for sure!

  11. Janni

    In the wake of Hurricane Katrina and the devastation that has followed, consumers are feeling the economic consequences of the disaster. Record gasoline prices are constantly in the headlines, which leaves many asking why prices are so high.

  12. Speeding Ticket

    It’s like anything else, once you decide to stop speeding for your own reasons, and drive the speed limit for a couple months, it doesnt seem as painful – or slow.

    Also, when you pass that cop with the radar you dont get that panic feeling like you mentioned. Heck, you almost wave ’em now and again.

    Cheesy but true!

  13. Plus Size Gowns

    I agree with ST – once you drive the speed limit for a couple of months you dont feel like youre going slow.

  14. jake griner

    800$ is one really steep speeding ticket i must say,but i am not surprised about the insurance being doubled. I guess the best way to avoid a ticket is too really just avoid them. I also wrote something i think would be helpful , it helps once you do actually get pulled over.

  15. Philhippus

    I have to admit, the feeling is great when the cop thinks he’s going to get an easy bonus out of you, and you are under the speed limit. With all the money save NOT speeding, you could drive all the way to Six Flags. Thanks very much.

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