Does Speeding Really Save You Time?

policelightsWe live in a busy world. Our time is valuable and most of us would prefer to spend time at our destination, rather than on the road. This is often a contributing factor as to why many drivers speed, along with a need to get to appointments on time, and a desire to be somewhere where we can check our phones without fear of legal repercussions.

But is speeding really saving that much time?

With the exception of long trips, speeding does not save more than a few minutes. The chart below details several scenarios involving trips of different lengths: 15, 30, 50, and 200 miles. Each trip length is calculated at 35, 50, and 65 mph speed limits. It then shows how long those same trips would take at 10 and 20 mph above those limits.


The average American has a commute of about 15 miles. Looking at the chart above, ignoring traffic signals and road congestions as a factor, Trip #1 shows that going 10 mph over the limit will save less than six minutes on a commute that is already less than half an hour (assuming the posted limit is 35 mph the entire way).

For longer commutes, assuming a low speed limit of 35 mph, going 10 or even 20 mph over the limit can show serious savings. In all likelihood, however, as commutes reach 30 and 50 miles in length, it’s more realistic to experience a posted limit of 50 or 65 mph. In those scenarios (Trips #5, 6, 8 & 9), the time saved for going 10 mph above the limit still hovers around six minutes.

Is that really worth it? Consider that a typical speeding ticket in New York costs about $150 (not including court fees and driver responsibility assessments). In order for six minutes of your time to be worth $150, you would have to make $1,500 per hour, or about $3 million per year.

Most of us are not worth that much. Looking at it another way, let’s say you go to court to fight the ticket. Assuming you save 6 minutes to work and back (12 minutes per day) and spent 8 hours in court, you would have to speed for 40 days to make back that lost time. It’s worth noting that hiring a lawyer could save you much of that time and increase your odds of beating the ticket.  

Another interesting revelation from the chart above is that the higher the speed limit is already, the less time you save by speeding. That might seem strange at first, but it makes sense—the faster you’re traveling to start with, the more you have to exceed the speed limit to achieve the same proportionate increase. If you’re going 45 mph in a 35 mph zone, you’re traveling almost 30% faster than the posted limit. If the speed limit is 65 mph and you’re going 75 mph, that’s only about a 15% increase, even though in both cases you are going 10 mph over the limit. Obviously you can increase your time savings by traveling even faster, but once you break the speed limit by more than 10 mph, your risk of getting a speeding ticket increases substantially and the consequences for the ticket go up as well.

Of course, real life isn’t as simple as a chart. Traffic lights, stop signs, and the ever-dreaded traffic jam can and will whittle away at any gains, even on the longest of trips.

Are the time gains worth the potential consequences? In addition to the $150 fine, a speeding ticket in New York will also carry at least 3 points on your license. Drivers will also be expected to pay up to $93 in court fees and possibly a $100 driver responsibility assessment. Speeding tickets can also increase your auto insurance premiums by hundreds of dollars.

If you or a loved one has been caught speeding, it is essential that you consult an attorney to help you avoid the costs associated with a ticket. The lawyers of the Rosenblum Law Firm are skilled New York traffic ticket attorneys who are experienced in handling tickets for speeding as well as other driving-related offenses. Call 888-203-2619 or email the Rosenblum Law Firm today for a free consultation about your case.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *