Slow Down And Get Home Safely

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For most of my life I have been a left lane driver. At times I have been a middle lane driver, but I have practically never been a right lane driver. Get out of the way minivan going only 5 mph over the speed limit! However, since my wife became pregnant, my driving habits have been progressively changing.

Even more so as a father, I feel the urge to come blazing home from work as fast as possible, but this feeling is now balanced by the reality that I need to actually arrive home. Not only would it be inconvenient and costly, but it would also be a burden on my wife, and thereby extension a burden to my son, if I had an accident on the way home because I was not willing to be a more careful, law abiding driver. Additionally, it would make me a short lived father if I were to never come home due to a fatal accident, and in truth, it could certainly be called bad fathering if such an accident reasonably could have been avoided if I had just been a more cautious driver.

I am not implying that having an accident is grounds for being a poor parent. Rather, I mean to say that being too shortsighted to either not be aware or intentional enough to consider that arriving home a few minutes later is always a better option than not arriving home at all, is failing to properly respect and appreciate parental responsibility. Even though it may mean your partner pointing out to you that you are late, doing your part to arrive home well is certainly more valuable than arriving home in a tow truck, or not arriving home at all.

As if this is not already reason enough to reconsider your need to speed, let us also consider the financial implications for not obeying the speed limit.

Goodness gracious, does everything involve math wth this guy. Well, pretty much yes, and that’s “this New Dad” to you!

Let’s assume that I have a 30 mile drive home from work, and that if I safely drive at the speed limit, I will arrive home in 30 minutes. Not only does driving the speed limit drastically improve my gas mileage, but it also eliminates the possibility of being pulled over by a police officer for not obeying the law.

Now, if I were to drive at 75 mph instead of 60 mph, I may arrive home in 24 minutes (6 minutes faster). However, in the rather probable event that a disguised minivan turns on his flashing lights and pulls me over, not only will I likely be issued a $150 traffic ticket, but as a result, I will also arrive home 20 minutes later (14 minutes later than if I had just obeyed the speed limit).

But that’s not all, since I will have to pay the $150 speeding ticket using after tax dollars, I will need to earn approximately $200 to pay for it ($150 post tax dollars at a 25% tax rate = $200 pre tax dollars). Hey New Dad, 25% seems high? Well, actually, if you factor in your state taxes you might be surprised! Considering that the median income in 2017 was $61,372, it is reasonable to say that it will take close to 7 hours of work to pay for this ticket. That means that nearly the entire work day from which I was racing home has become only useful for paying this ticket!

Based on this example, if I get pulled over just one time and am issued a $150 fine, I will need to make it home 6 minutes early a total of 73 times just to break even on the cost of my time. That is nearly four months of going significantly over the speed limit on the way home from work without being issued a speeding ticket!

Is arriving home 6 minutes earlier really worth the increased risk of not arriving home at all? Not a chance. Is potentially arriving home 6 minutes earlier really worth the risk of costing 7 hours and 14 minutes of your time? Definitely not.

Have enough consideration and respect for yourself, your partner, and your child to become a safer driver!

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