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Hey Dude, Easy On The Gas!

People go over the speed limit for different reasons. Let's examine four different kinds of drivers on a Monday morning coming from north, south, east and west of a major interstate highway:

North driver: his 8-1/2 month pregnant wife wakes him up, announcing her contractions are more frequent. She's in pain. Both husband and wife hop into a car and he drives at top speed.

South driver: her parents were fighting... again - something about unpaid debts and frivolous spending. To escape the screaming, she drives off to school, depressing the accelerator in anger.

East driver: "You'll appreciate this car's engineering at high speeds. You ought to take it for a spin to see what I mean. A real fast beauty," was what the salesman said. Beautiful day, he'll put the top down, play the CD, see if the salesman's words are true or just hype.

West driver: 33-year old lawyer has to plead his case in 20 minutes. He should have left 15 minutes ago but his hangover... The judge is rumored to be a stickler for punctuality; if he drives faster, he just might make it on time.

The motivators of speed are what psychologists call stressors: our nation's highways are breeding grounds for stressors. A diversity of personalities, backgrounds and cultural values all merge on the fast lane, and for a split instant, they all lose the emotional intelligence all drivers must have when on the road.

Speeding tickets are feverishly being meted out by traffic officers because this psychology of speed is determined by certain factors according to Doctors Leon James and Diane Nahl. We'll mention a few:

Immobility - when the body is confined behind the wheel and stays immobile for a period of time, it tends to react. Speeding is one way of reacting.

- Regulation - drivers like to challenge authority and hate any form of infringement on their freedom. Solution? Step on the gas.

- Lack of control - drivers cannot avoid traffic snarls and feel helpless when a stalled vehicle blocks lanes and highways, so they tend to pick up speed in relief once out of the bottleneck.

- Territoriality - drivers define themselves by their vehicle and their space. If this space is violated, the urge to speed and show who is boss comes naturally.

The way we see it, speeding is the fruit of both road rage and the delicious taste of freedom. These two ends of the spectrum - when they meet and clash at some point in the highway network - can end up as another statistic in the accident roster.

If we could just ease up on the gas the roads would be a bit more safer.
About The Author John Murray publishes a speeding ticket blog filled with helpful articles about how to avoid, fight, and beat speeding tickets:
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