I can’t drive 55 – The Need for Speed – Fast and Furious – Lead foot – Motorin – Hooning– Speed demon. Most of us “Gearheads” are very familiar with these terms, in fact, most motorist will be familiar with a majority of them – all slang for someone who enjoys driving fast – and all applicable to me – and from my experience driving on I-285, I am not alone.
HOWEVER – there are safe places to exercise our passion for spirited driving – and public roads aren’t one of them. There are private driving clubs, race tracks with open track days, driving experiences, and driving schools that allows to safely exercise our inner speed demon.
A few years ago, I had my first experience with a driving school. My Dad and I went to Virginia International Raceway and spent a weekend at Dodge’s SRT (Street Racing Technology) driving school – and it was absolutely exhilarating.
Hitting 140mph down the backstretch of VIR in a 475 horsepower Jeep Cherokee before you rapidly pull the downshift paddle, push your foot hard into the breaks, and dive into sharp corner is somewhere between terrifying and breathtaking. The experience is equal parts your brain screaming that a vehicle as big and heavy as the jeep shouldn’t be capable of this, electric feeling in your body as your breath gets colder and hearts beat faster, and the car begging you to trust it and push just a little harder – just like the instructor in the car in front of you.
I say all of that to say this – this isn’t a feeling you should experience on public roads with families driving their children to Chick-Fil-A or on the way to a beach trip – or even just on the roads with people making their everyday trek to work and back. We all occasionally speed in our everyday travels – I’m not talking about going 5mph or even 10mph over the speed limit as your keeping up with traffic on the interstate before you notice – I’m talking about the dumb things we did in high school, racing up a certain hill in town whenever your buddy got a new truck or meeting in an adjacent town for lunch with an agreement the last person to arrive had lost.
I am certainly not condoning these activities, these are the things that result in far too many accidents, wrecks, serious injuries, and even deaths on our roads – the things I hope my children avoid when I warn them about the dangers of speeding. I have represented far too many victims who were catastrophically injured in a car wreck, because the other driver was traveling far too fast. On a public roadway, no matter you level of skill, the road conditions, or what type of car you are driving the dangers posed by excessive speed to you, your loved ones, and everyone else on the road is far too great.
So, if like me, you have a need for speed – please find a safe place to act as an outlet for you to exercise your inner speed demon – and get back home safely the ones you love.