Is Speed Worth It?

By: Sanjeev Massey

Is speed so important nowadays? Other than bragging rights, do people really care about the top speed of their cars. Outside of a race track, there are very little opportunities to test the limit of your car. So given that the speed limit in the UK is 70mph, and allowing for some overtaking speed, a top speed double this seems pointless.

Sports cars, which will have more powerful engines and thus higher tops speeds, also have exotic and distinctive looks. So, the sports car may say more about the status of the owner, rather than any particular need for the car to travel at the speed it was designed to do so. The question is not really targeted at these owners, but more for the person who would sacrifice features in a car for a gain in speed.

The obvious reason against driving fast would be to reduce the risk of accident to you. Driving fast does not necessarily kill you, but stopping does. You may be familiar with the road safety tests, where the stopping distances needs to memorised against the speed of the car. So at higher speeds, there is less reaction time to danger ahead, and so there is more of a chance of being involved in an accident.

Another reason for driving slower, would be increasing amount of surveillance techniques used by the police.

Here in the UK, there are speed surveillance cameras, such as Gatso's, that are placed at roads where the police consider to be hotspots for over speeding. So we have constant monitoring in place, which means that there is more chance of being caught and prosecuted with 3 points or more on your licence. 12 points in the UK, means an outright driving ban for 2 years.

Before cameras, a 'human' police officer may consider the conditions of the road, or the number of others vehicles in proximity to you, before deciding to issue a fine. You could have probably been let off with a caution if you were not travelling too much over the limit or driving recklessly. A camera however, is ignorant of such factors. So once you are photographed, there is little you can do to escape the penalty.

As electronics become more sophisticated, there are more advanced ways of detecting your speed. Sure there are ways of detecting the camera's themselves, including advanced detectors that use GPS, but speed cameras are relatively cheap to install. So for most of your journey, you'll will be driving within the speed limit as you slow down to avoid the speed traps, especially as speed camera's become more common.

So next time you shop for a car, you may find that a model with more luxury items may be more desirable than a model with a higher top speed.

Top Searches on
Performance Cars
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Performance Cars
 



Share this article :
Click to see more related articles