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A Little Math...



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Bitter

lets say you're moving at 55mph which is 80 feet per second. your low beams project ahead about 50-60 feet visibility...but you're covering 50 feet in under one second now. so you see something 60 feet ahead, you have less than one second to react and hit the brake pedal. maybe if you drive with your left foot hovering over the brake pedal all the time it would work out? lets say you have your high beams on, and now you can see 100-120ft down the road with clear visibility, you now have about 1.3 seconds to react and hit the brake pedal, whats the 60-0 stopping distance of a 3G Eclipse? 135 ft. even going 5 over the speed limit, with your high beams on at night and seeing the deer 120ft out and reacting in under one second, you'll probably hit that deer unless you have upgraded brakes, matching tires, or can swerve at the right moment to miss it and not run off the road. granted by the time you're on the deer you're probably only going about 20-30mph so swerving isnt going to be such a problem, however deer are unpredictable and theres often more than one.__________________

a little math changes for the corolla, they have a slightly (10ft or less) stopping distance, the rest still rings true. dont speed at night!

you could argue that you can see further than 100ft with your highbeams, you can...but you've got less than a second to figure out what you're seeing and decide what to do about it. my high beams can light things up 200-400ft away with ease, but that doesnt mean that traveling at 60mph i can discern what they are in under one second.

Larry Roll

I think your post makes an excellent point -- we simply must slow down at night, regardless of what kind of road we're driving on! Unfortunately, while on the PA Turnpike at night, I'm in the right lane doing 65 and the rest of the world is flying past me on the left at 75 - 80! The speed enforcement isn't there where it's needed -- it's only there where the speeders can be caught quickly and easily. Therein lies my main gripe against speed enforcement. It's deliberately done in as ineffective and inefficient a way as possible, and the really dangerous drivers never seem to get caught.

Bikeman982

There is such as thing as normal traffic flow and a lot of times it is faster than the posted speed limits.

The police only get concerned when someone is either going too slow and obstructing traffic, or going too fast and driving dangerously.

They like to keep the traffic flowing and will get an accident cleared up as quickly as possible to keep it going.

Larry Roll

If this concept of "normal traffic flow" is a real thing, then why do state highway departments bother to post speed limits? What is the point of doing that, when everyone is going to naturally travel at this "normal traffic flow" speed anyway?

I think that speed limits are not set artificially low in this country. Two days ago, I drove from Dover, Delaware to Alden, NY, a distance of just under 450 miles, and I did it in just over 8 hours, including four brief stops. I was doing 65 mph or less the whole time. I never once exceeded the posted speed limit at any point on the journey. Now, of course, the world was whizzing past me at velocities which made their cars nearly invisible streaks, but for the most part, I was within safe following distances of traffic which consisted largely of trucks. The over-the-road passenger buses were also whizzing past at 75-plus. I'm glad I wasn't riding in one of them.

The simple truth is that most highway traffic accidents are speed-related. People simply have no understanding of the way the forces acting on their vehicles are multiplied at an exponential rate as their speed rises even 10 mph. They also misjudge their own reaction times, the condition of their vehicles, the condition of the road surface, and many other factors which are all scientifically factored into the speed limits used across the country. It just happens that for the average American or imported car, 65 mph is a speed where all of these factors can be easily controlled by most drivers under most conditions. If anything, changing conditions, such as night driving, dictate a reduction of speed, but my own experience is that most people never slow down for anything. Unfortunately, when they injure or kill themselves in the process, they usually take others with them.

Bikeman982

If this concept of "normal traffic flow" is a real thing, then why do state highway departments bother to post speed limits? What is the point of doing that, when everyone is going to naturally travel at this "normal traffic flow" speed anyway?

I think that speed limits are not set artificially low in this country. Two days ago, I drove from Dover, Delaware to Alden, NY, a distance of just under 450 miles, and I did it in just over 8 hours, including four brief stops. I was doing 65 mph or less the whole time. I never once exceeded the posted speed limit at any point on the journey. Now, of course, the world was whizzing past me at velocities which made their cars nearly invisible streaks, but for the most part, I was within safe following distances of traffic which consisted largely of trucks. The over-the-road passenger buses were also whizzing past at 75-plus. I'm glad I wasn't riding in one of them.

The simple truth is that most highway traffic accidents are speed-related. People simply have no understanding of the way the forces acting on their vehicles are multiplied at an exponential rate as their speed rises even 10 mph. They also misjudge their own reaction times, the condition of their vehicles, the condition of the road surface, and many other factors which are all scientifically factored into the speed limits used across the country. It just happens that for the average American or imported car, 65 mph is a speed where all of these factors can be easily controlled by most drivers under most conditions. If anything, changing conditions, such as night driving, dictate a reduction of speed, but my own experience is that most people never slow down for anything. Unfortunately, when they injure or kill themselves in the process, they usually take others with them.

Larry,

 

We all know you are the exception, when it comes to driving.

Of course slower speeds will be less damaging in an accident, but people just want to get from point "A" to point "B" quickly.

Everyone who drives believes - "It will never happen to me", even the ones that have an accident.

Speed limits are posted so that the police (if they choose) can pull you over and get a ticket if you exceed it.

They are intended as a maximum amount for the road that people (are supposed) to drive.

If you drive 65 mph in a 65 mph zone, then you are doing the maximum.

If everyone else whizzes by you, then you are actually obstructing (and slowing) everyone else.

That is why people want to get around trucks - they can't see and they are going slower than car driver wants to go.

Driving accidents are one of the leading causes of injuries and deaths and people should just ride bicycles!!

Too bad it is so far to where I work now. I used to ride my bicycle everyday. Good exercise and low on gas!!

Let's all car pool and save gas, or take public transportation.

Can you give me a ride??

Larry Roll

Bike:

If you're ever in Delaware, and you're eligible for Paratransit service, I'd be happy to give you a ride! We can talk about bicycles and Corollas!

I've spent most of my post-Air Force career as a professional driver. I work on the roads every day. Fortunately (so far!) for my passengers, I have the attitude that a public transit vehicle must be professionally driven at all times. I always stay within the speed limits, and if the "flow" of traffic is faster, they may feel free to pass me, which they generally do. And since I have a CDL and I make my living with it, and it carries with it only half the "point" tolerance of a regular Class-D driver's license, I don't play the same silly games other drivers do when I'm in my Corolla. So far, so good. I've never been in a situation where my maintaining the speed limit within 2-3 MPH has ever caused a situation where I was a hazard to other traffic. When I'm passing someone slower than me, I always get back in the right lane ASAP and let the impatient majority zoom by me in their entry-level BMW's, Mercedes-Benzes, Rice Rockets, etc. If they really want to spend the next 15 minutes or so saying "yes sir no sir" to a State Trooper, they can be my guest!