The song was inspired by an event the band experienced during a plane ride while touring in Australia. Thursday's vocalist Geoff Rickly stated: "We were on tour a couple of years ago with the band called The Mars Volta... we were in Australia and everything over there is so far apart that you have to fly to each show when you tour, you can't go on a bus or a van or any of that stuff. So we were on a flight going to our last show of the tour, and about 15 minutes before landing a little beep went off in the cabin, and at first I thought it was seatbelts. Instead it was the inflight movie with Haley Joel Osment, the worst little fuck ever, just froze on his face, and the whole plane started to drop very quickly and it was obvious that we weren't making a landing, that we were about to crash. So the whole thing went sideways, and I looked over at Ryan from Poison the Well, and I said, 'Dude, what the fuck is going on?' And he said, 'I'm pretty sure we're about to die. Is there anything else you can think of?'"
The music video for "At This Velocity" was directed by Travis Kopach, and features the band playing in an airplane (supposedly mid-flight) with mannequins for passengers, when suddenly the plane begins to experience turbulence as the band performs.