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Speed is perhaps the biggest single contributing factor in causing automobile accidents, inflicting hundreds of thousands of casualties and deaths annually. The relationship between speed and accidents is simple. As the speed of a vehicle goes up, the likelihood of an accident also rises. Increased speed is not accompanied by an increase in the driver’s reaction time. As speed goes up, the severity of accidents also increases. Driving too fast for conditions is the major factor in about one half of all accidents. Reducing speed directly reduces the chances of a serious accident, as well. For every one mph reduction in speed, the chance of an automobile accident decreases by 5%, and the chances of a death from such an accident decreases by 7%. Studies at specific locations have shown even more drastic reductions in fatalities and accident rates.
The Florida Legislature took aim at speeders by enacting a new law that took effect this month. Under the new law, drivers speeding 50 mph over the speed limit face a $ 1,000 fine, and the second time they’re caught, they pay $ 2,500 and lose their license for one year. Get caught a third time, and the speeder pays $ 5,000 and loses their license for 10 years.