We all like our cars and the speedy transportation they provide. Let’s be honest, stomping on that accelerator and getting 300 horsepowers to pull our car fast is just fun. So why not speed in National?
Let me tell you my story: A few years ago I was driving to the National gate on a beautiful spring day. I rounded a curve, went down a hill and put my foot on the brake to slow down slightly. As I braked, a child on a scooter popped out from a side street. She came from my right and rode all the way across the road to the other side. She never saw me, did not look in my direction, was too intent on having fun and getting to her waiting friends. I slammed on the brakes and stopped a mere 5 feet from that child.
The sun was still shining, the birds were still singing and the happy children continued to play. However IF I WAS GOING JUST 3 MPH FASTER I would not have been able to stop in time and that day I would have ruined a child’s life, her parents’ lives and my life.
We were all lucky on that beautiful spring day. Do you know what speeding just 3 mph over our 25 mph speed limit means? It means it will save you at the most 14 seconds to the gate. It also means that it will take you an extra 15 feet to stop your car, for a total of 100 feet or 7 car lengths!!!
So next time you feel the need to speed in the neighborhood, evaluate the time savings vs. the risks to our children, pets and neighbors. We have 86,400 seconds per day so saving 14 seconds should not be a high priority. Slow down and save a child.
Parents please talk to and share these numbers with your teenage drivers, adults please read and understand how long it takes to stop, it is much longer than I would have thought.
Speed Stopping distance Time to gate
25 mph 85 feet 2 min 17 sec
28 mph 100 feet 2 min 3 sec
30 mph 109 feet 1 min 56 sec
35 mph 136 feet 1 min 42 sec
Front gate to back gate is 1.9 miles, above numbers based on a median distance of 0.95 miles (halfway between gates)