The Side Effects of Driving Fast

 The pandemic has changed the world of commuting.

Before the pandemic, thousands of Irish would sit in their cars and commute to their workplace. During that journey, some would drive faster than others. As roads empty in the wake of COVID-19, one question remains – are the drivers who remained slowing down?

Speed is the most significant contributing factor to road deaths in the Republic of Ireland.

It is tempting to drive fast, but the dangers of excessive speeding don't outweigh the benefits. Different drivers speed for various reasons:

  • Not paying attention to their driving speed
  • Driving a car with a powerful engine
  • The thrill of accelerating hard and taking the risk

Speeding is driving beyond the posted speed limit's rate. And while not all drivers get caught speeding, they might inflict horrible damage on themselves, their vehicle, and other road users.

Speed and Accident Risk

Between 2008 and 2012, 983 fatal collisions occurred on Irish roads with excessive speed as a factor claiming the lives of 1,077 people.

Be aware that:

  • at 20 mph a child hit by a vehicle has a 90 per cent chance of survival
  • at 30 mph a child hit by a vehicle has a 50 per cent chance of survival
  • at 40 mph a child hit by a vehicle has a 10 per cent chance of survival

What are the other side effects of driving fast apart from the most obvious one – road accidents?

1.  Speed Affects Braking and Stopping Distance

Braking distance is the time it takes to stop once you apply the brakes. It is affected by road conditions, car conditions, and how fast the car is travelling.

Stopping distance is the time that it takes to bring a moving car to a stop. However, stopping distances vary depending on factors like the weather and the driving speed.

The faster you go, the longer it takes to stop and, if you crash, the harder the impact. Faster driving will affect braking distance, so keep your brakes in good working order.

2.  Tyres

Travelling at high speeds can cause your tyres to wear down more quickly as it gives them little time to cool down.

Remember that your tyres have their speed rating displayed on the tyre's side, which shows the maximum speed at which a tyre can perform.

If you tend to accelerate continuously or brake suddenly, your tyres might suffer rapid air loss, leading to a possible accident.

3.  Loss of Vehicle Control

A driver that pays attention to something else while driving is a distracted driver. Speeding and distracted driving is a deadly mix behind the wheel. One place where multitasking is unwelcome is definitely inside a vehicle! Texting and driving, or talking on the phone while driving is unacceptable behaviour on Irish roads.

When speeding, you're more likely to lose control over your vehicle. When you drive fast, you lose your ability to control your car and put everyone else's well-being on the road at risk.

4.  Speeding Violations Add Points to Your License

If you drive over the Republic of Ireland's speed limit, you will get a fixed charge of €80, together with three penalty points. If you get 12 penalty points in any three years, you will be disqualified from driving for six months.

In Northern Ireland, if a police officer catches you for speeding or for having defective tyres; or you're caught speeding on camera, you will get a fine of £60.00.


Be part of eliminating risky behaviours on Irish roads. Reckless and fast driving is against the law. Obey the speed limits, reduce the risk of being involved in an accident, or be issued a motoring penalty. Responsible driving shows that you care about the safety of people and property.