The Anatomy Of What A Speeding Ticket Really Costs You

by Hank Coleman

A speeding ticket being issuedMost people tell you that getting caught speeding and receiving a speeding ticket will have a negative impact on your driving report. It could possibly raise your insurance rates especially if you are a multiple offender. But, very few people actually sit down and factor out what you earn, if anything, when you arrive at your destination a little early thanks to speeding.

The Cost Benefit Analysis Of A Speeding Ticket

I have been wanted to show exactly what little financial benefit speeding has on your life for a while now. So, let’s take my commute into work every day as an example. I work 20 miles away from my home. Most of my commute is on a two lane divided highway where the speed limit is 55mph. For simplicity’s sake, let’s just say that the speed limit is 60mph which would mean that I could cover the distance of a mile every minute. If I drive 70mph instead of 60mph in to work, I can reduce my 20 minute commute down to 17 minutes. So, if I earned approximately $40 per hour before taxes, I saved approximately $2 worth of my time by arriving three minutes earlier than normal, and that is assuming that I was productive during those three extra minutes earning at least my base pay of $2 per minute.

The True Cost Of A Speeding Ticket

Most people realize that speeding, which I am not condoning, can cost drivers hundreds of dollars. Most states have severely cracked down on speeding and raised the fines that are levied against speeders that are caught. In many cases, speeding 10mph over the posted limit will earn you at least a $100 ticket. In many states, speeding over 15 to 20mph over the posted limit can add reckless driving charges to a speeding ticket which of course increase the total amount that will be due on your ticket.

The Damage May Come With Your Insurance Company

While a speeding ticket in and of itself may not warrant a premium increase from your insurance company for the first offense, you may see your insurance rates rise after having multiple speeding tickets. This could happen especially if you have a speeding ticket or two within a close time period. The insurance companies keep how they calculate your insurance premium a closely guarded secret, but a rate increase is something that can follow you for years while you try to rebuild your driving reputation.

Speeding is, of course, not only dangerous and illegal, but it does not have a solid foundation from a cost perspective. A speeding ticket costs too much money for far too little gain. Even if you could capitalize on the time you saved by making it to work earlier than normal, the gains would not offset the potential negative cost implications.

Photo Credit: Flickr – wwworks

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Ron February 14, 2011 at 10:25 am

I had a cop tell me “Nine you’re fine; ten you’re mine.”

Sarah February 14, 2011 at 1:20 pm

Strange story – I got my first (and only) speeding ticket two years ago. Since it was my first, if I did online driver’s ed for $35 (6 hours!) I could only pay $100 and it wouldn’t go on my record. I was also able to send that driver’s ed certificate to my insurance company to show I was a safe driver. In the end, I saved $140 on my insurance for the safety certificate so I actually came out $5 ahead! Granted, 6 hours of my life was taken by an online tutorial 😉

car insurance February 24, 2011 at 6:40 am

What a novel way to look at speeding! What you lose is so much more than what you might have earned if you reached a few minutes earlier. I would rather reach a bit later, or start slightly early than risk an accident, a speeding ticket and higher car insurance rates.
Very cleverly illustrated!

me February 26, 2011 at 1:37 pm

Speeding tickets are costly. However, the claim that speeding is dangerous is badly off the mark.

Speeding as a factor in accidents is measure by checking a box when one of the drivers was going faster then the posted limit. This measure correlates very well with accident fatality, but is flawed because speed limits are set so low everywhere that this is simply an indication that most people just speeds over the posted limit as safe driving speeds.

Supporting this argument is that tonnage which should show a linear relationship to speed as a factor in accidents has almost no impact (the distance travelled in the time needed response to an observation is proportional to both the weight of a vehicle and the square of its speed). If this really was a factor, speed limits should be about half for SUVs and below 10mph on highways for trucks.

Current speed limits and speed limit enforcement are a reflection of how badly municipalities need money and how easy it is to enforce and measure these types of violations.

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