The average Californian admits to exceeding 10 miles-per-hour on three occasions over the past month

  • 60 percent of drivers do not know what the penalties are for speeding in California.
  • One in 10 do not think highways should have speed limits at all.
  • 46 percent would prefer that each state’s traffic violation data should not be shared with each other.
  • More than half admit they would speed more if speed cameras didn’t exist.

These days, everyone always seems to be in a hurry. We want to get to where we’re going — fast. But are we doing that at the expense of breaking the law? Here in the U.S., the maximum speed limit on rural interstate highways is broadly 70 miles-per-hour, on four-lane divided highways it’s 65 mph, and on all other highways it’s 55 mph (although each state sets their own limits, with some allowing up to 85 mph).

So how many of us obey the rules? Gunther Volkswagen Daytona Beach carried out an anonymous survey of 3,500 drivers and found that, over the past month, the average California driver admits to having exceeded 100 mph on three occasions — and if that trend were backdated, that would mean they sped over 100 mph 36 times over the past year.

That obviously raises the risk of accidents; and in the U.S., of the more than 37,000 fatal accidents that occur every year, around one in 3 collisions involve a driver going above the legal speed limit. Shockingly, Gunther Volkswagen Daytona Beach found that the drivers who’d gone over 100 mph the most times over the past month — a scary six times — are from Utah. The second most guilty drivers, who have gone over 100 mph four times over the past month, were from Hawaii, Kansas, Missouri and Virginia.

Those who are the least likely to speed, and who only exceeded 100 mph once, are from Nebraska, South Carolina and South Dakota — which is encouraging, but they could still do better. After all, speeding can make the risk of an accident even greater if the road conditions are poor — for example due to bad weather (particularly now in January), needing repair or in badly lit areas at night.

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Gunther Volkswagen Daytona Beach also found that 60 percent of drivers do not know what the penalties are for speeding in their own state, which can be anything from a fine and points on their record, to a license suspension and even jail time, if it’s elevated to the status of a misdemeanor. Two-thirds of those interviewed do not think the penalty is harsh enough for drivers who are caught speeding at 100 mph (fines generally start at around $25).

Strangely, and considering the risks, more than one in 10 drivers (13 percent) do not think highways should have speed limits at all, as is the case on Germany’s autobahns (a recent New York Times report found that the number of deadly accidents on stretches of autobahn that have a speed limit was 26 percent lower than on those without).

The findings also revealed that 58 percent of drivers admit they would speed more if speed cameras didn’t exist. And half (49 percent) somewhat hypocritically admit to condemning people who speed, even if they speed themselves.

Finally, 46 percent would prefer that each state’s traffic violation data should not be shared with each other, so that if they incur a penalty out of state, then they would not incur a penalty.

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