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In Depth: Is slowing down 5 mph good for your pocketbook?


SALT LAKE CITY —┬áIs slowing down five miles per hour on the highway worth it? The experts say yes — for your safety and your bank account balance.

Michael Blasky from AAA Utah says speeding can cost you at the pump.

“Every five miles per hour over 50 is like paying an additional 18 cents per gallon. And that’s when you’re talking about fuel prices which are quite a bit lower than we’re paying today. So, slowing down a little bit can save you lots of money,” Blasky said.

Even speeding tickets can hit you in the pocketbook in unexpected ways.

“Just one speeding ticket can result in a 20-30% premium increase. So, you’re talking about not only paying a hefty fine in most cases but also higher prices every month over the next couple years just because you decided to try to get somewhere a little bit quicker,” Blasky added.

But speeding may not even be worth it time-wise, he pointed out.

“You’re talking about six and a half minutes over a 100 mile trip. You’re not talking about a huge time savings. It doesn’t mean much when it comes to the money you could be saving and also the risks that faster driving can cause out there on the road,” Blasky said.

Sgt. Nick Street with the Utah Highway Patrol says you’re also more at risk for a deadly crash if you speed.

“At 70 miles per hour, every second, you’re traveling 100 feet. And traveling over a football field when you need a short reaction time, you’re not going to be able to avoid a collision, and you’re still going to skid that same distance,” Street said.

In 2018, Memorial Day weekend was the deadliest holiday weekend on Utah highways, according to Zero Fatalities and UDOT. Of the 82 lives lost on Utah roads in 2018 due to aggressive driving, the agency reports 67 involved speed.