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Similarly to the dangers of drinking alcohol, everyone knows the dangers of speeding, but that doesn't stop them from going a couple of miles over the speed limit every now and again, right? You're most likely thinking to yourself, "How bad can 10 or 20 MPH really be?" Well, as it turns out, pretty bad. In fact, just those small numbers alone can cost your your life. How, you ask? It's not necessarily about a car's physical speed, but about energy!
In the video below from Numberphile, the host explains using simple math just how dangerous those fast and furious habits of yours truly are. We're not suggesting that you drive "like a grandma", but at the very least, do your best to abide by the law — those numbers are there for a reason, guys.
If that explanation wasn't convincing enough to change your driving habits, we're not sure what is! The fact that the red car would crash into the tree at 71 mph, only having gone 30 mph over the speed limit is, as the host said, sobering. Of course, things got a little complicated during his whole kinetic energy equation, but an easy way of remembering is this, as per Popular Mechanics, an object’s kinetic energy is proportional to its speed squared, which means doubling a car’s speed quadruples its energy.
To summarize, even if the red car was only going 30 mph more than the blue car, it's kinetic energy was increased astronomically. Should known of this make any sense to you, that's OK. Our biggest concern is that you have one single take home from this article — don't speed! It doesn't make you look cool, it makes you an idiot.
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