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Driving Speeds
Old 08-11-2016, 06:55 AM   #1
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Driving Speeds

As I mentioned on a another thread, I've been back to the states for a year. We are based near Atlanta and have taken a few trips by car to various states around the Eastern 1/2 of the US. I noticed that as many as 1/2 the people drive usually 20% to 30% over the speed limit. I also noticed except for Pennsylvania, highway patrol cars seemed to be mostly absent. Unless we were in a hurry or trying to get to our destination quicker, we drive no more than 3 to 4 miles over the speed limit. When the limit is 70 mph, I don't like going much higher but people around us are flying past us, Sometimes even when we are in the right lane, cars/trucks get too close for our comfort before going around us. I guess if there were more patrol cars, that type of speeding would be reduced.
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Old 08-11-2016, 07:07 AM   #2
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My experience - drivers around Atlanta are pretty bad. Only South Florida are worse.

We drive about 15K on highways per year, with at least one round trip between Chicagoland and SFl. Rarely drive more than 5 mph over the speed limit. In the long highway stretches away from major cities more drivers stay closer to the posted limits and also stick to the right lane. Around cities, though, there are more drivers on the road, and lots more unsafe driving, and some real dangerous road antics.
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Old 08-11-2016, 07:10 AM   #3
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I don't really notice folks driving too fast. Of course, there are exceptions...but nothing too crazy. I think for the most part, people drive a comfortable speed (the 85 percentile thing) and the only time I see "issues" with road rage and other buffonery are when folks are driving too slowly or when a truck with a speed limiter starts bottling things up...then it gets crazy.

Here's something to ponder:

Quote:
A study conducted by the Florida Department of Transportation says that accidents that were caused by speeding is actually 2.2%. This shows that if people drive faster all together it is actually safer than driving slow.
https://sites.psu.edu/siowfa15/2015/...-faster-safer/
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Old 08-11-2016, 07:11 AM   #4
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More patrol cars cost more, many states/cities don't have more.

I used to drive faster, now I rarely drive more than 5 mph over the posted limit. Distracted drivers and DUI's worry me way more than speeders anyway.
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Old 08-11-2016, 07:56 AM   #5
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When I'm on an interstate, I set the cruise control to 8-9 mph over the speed limit and ride in the middle lane. I follow highway etiquette, moving over for a faster driver, etc. It's a very comfortable way to go, and seems to be pretty much the average speed. On smaller roads I drive whatever seems common and comfortable. On crazy roads like the DC Beltway I try to drive whatever the traffic speed is, mostly staying in one lane. I'm not afraid to drive fast. More afraid of driving too slow, as it creates traffic clogs and angry drivers. But when I'm hauling a trailer or a big load all I can do is hang in the right hand lane and try to stay out of the way.

Btw, never gotten a ticket while inside that 9 mph over range.

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I guess if there were more patrol cars, that type of speeding would be reduced.
I doubt it. Cops seldom give tickets for less than 10-15 mph over. If you're barely at the speed limit, people will still be flying past you while within the ticket safe zone.
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Old 08-11-2016, 08:10 AM   #6
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I also noticed except for Pennsylvania, highway patrol cars seemed to be mostly absent.
The HP cars reduced their presence on the interstates around here when cable barriers were installed in the grass median. They could no longer U-turn to catch the speeders.
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Old 08-11-2016, 08:11 AM   #7
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We do a ton of driving and set cruise to 5-7 over and never vary. If others want to run faster that is there business as long as they don't put me at risk.
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Old 08-11-2016, 08:14 AM   #8
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Btw, never gotten a ticket while inside that 9 mph over range.

I doubt it. Cops seldom give tickets for less than 10-15 mph over. If you're barely at the speed limit, people will still be flying past you while within the ticket safe zone.
Be very careful about that "safe zone". My last ticket was for going 68 in a 60 MPH zone. Sunday morning, two-lane road in the middle of flat farmland without another vehicle in sight - other than the TX Hwy Patrol car driving the opposite direction. Totally chicken-shirt deal.

My max speed now is no more than 2-3 MPH over the posted limit.
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Old 08-11-2016, 08:15 AM   #9
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I typically drive in the +10 unless towing our trailer. However, in parts of AZ, the speed limit is 80 and I don't feel the need to go 90. :O)

And I know it shouldn't because they are actually following the law, but people who drive the speed limit in the middle lane drive me bonkers (although not to the point of road rage :O) ).

The other type I can't stand, who I admittedly will sometimes annoy, is those that weave in and out of traffic when cars are already moving at a good pace above the speed limit or there is in fact traffic, thus people driving slower.

cd :O)
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Old 08-11-2016, 08:16 AM   #10
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When I tow my travel trailer on the expressway, I keep the speed down to 65 max, where the tires are speed rated. It is crazy the way people will pass, then veer off an exit, or come flying up on me, swerve around, then cut back in quickly. With cars often driving 80 or 85 in any and all lanes, it is a dangerous speed differential.

It is like they no longer understand that the right lane is the slow lane.
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Old 08-11-2016, 08:22 AM   #11
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It is like they no longer understand that the right lane is the slow lane.
When hauling my 5th wheel, and until I learned better, I drove in the slow lane.........after moving over numerous times to allow merging vehicles access, and then to have them just sit there and block me from moving back, I learned to stay in the middle.
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Old 08-11-2016, 08:28 AM   #12
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I try to drive a safe speed which I think is at or slightly above what everyone else is driving. I'm on a motorcycle and don't want cars coming up behind me.

Only one speeding ticket in 33 years and that was in an old pickup truck on a deserted road in the country.
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Old 08-11-2016, 08:32 AM   #13
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Several years ago a doctor was pulled over for driving on the highway at 60 where it was posted at 55. (Boston's notorious Rt 128)

He announced a few days later that he and several of his friends would drive the entire length of that three lane 55 mph zone (about 80 miles), side by side at exactly 55.

The police begged and pleaded with him not to do that as he'd back up traffic for miles.

I'm not sure what happened but I think we was convinced to not do it (via charges dropped?)

The reality today is that while still posted at 55, I just came off that road having done 75-80 and only keeping up with traffic.
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Old 08-11-2016, 08:37 AM   #14
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Be very careful about that "safe zone". My last ticket was for going 68 in a 60 MPH zone. Sunday morning, two-lane road in the middle of flat farmland without another vehicle in sight - other than the TX Hwy Patrol car driving the opposite direction. Totally chicken-shirt deal.

My max speed now is no more than 2-3 MPH over the posted limit.
Yeah, well, I don't tend to be in areas where the cops are so bored (or their *non-existent* quotas are so hard to meet) that they would bother with that. I know it can happen, but on the interstates on the east coast it would be vanishingly rare. Just out of curiosity, was it early or late in the month? My cop friends have admitted (under the influence of truth drugs like Jack Daniel's) that they tend to give more chicken-shirt tickets at those times, trying to fill their not-quotas.
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Old 08-11-2016, 08:50 AM   #15
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Run 5-10 over on trips with cruise set. Never been stopped for that. I love driving KS(except the phony drug checkpoint outside of Topeka) and CO as they don't tolerate left lane huggers, that gets you pulled over quickly. Wish all states would enforce that.
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Old 08-11-2016, 08:53 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by harley View Post
When I'm on an interstate, I set the cruise control to 8-9 mph over the speed limit and ride in the middle lane. I follow highway etiquette, moving over for a faster driver, etc. It's a very comfortable way to go, and seems to be pretty much the average speed. On smaller roads I drive whatever seems common and comfortable. ...
Btw, never gotten a ticket while inside that 9 mph over range.....
+1
I cruise control at 9 mph over the speed limit, but I have found my max speed where I feel comfortable is 85 mph.

Generally since I don't use a radar detector, my rule is to go no faster than everyone else.

People who follow the speed limit, really create a hazard as other cars come up fast behind them and for some reason these speeders don't look ahead, so suddenly they have to brake or swerve.

In Chicago, there are some freeways marked at 55 but nobody does less than 75, and one cop I know said they only ticket when they catch someone doing 90 or more mph, otherwise they would be stopping everyone.
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Old 08-11-2016, 09:12 AM   #17
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Here we have "route speed control" for lack of a better term I can come up with, which measures and averages your speed for a long stretch of road.

The end result is that everyone is driving almost the exact same speed, and that is dangerous. Cars end up in each others low visibility corner for miles at a time for example.

Frustrates and scares me to no end, I have frequent near-misses of cars switching lanes, and not seeing my tiny car in their dead zone.

I prefer the German solution: as fast as you want on the autobahn (outside rush hour and major cities). Works remarkably well.

Or the self-driving car ...
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Old 08-11-2016, 09:13 AM   #18
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harley, it was late July - at least I think it was.

Not sure about the quota thing but it did appear to be a "trooper in training" stop. There were two cops in the car and if I hadn't been so miffed at the time I would have probably busted a gut laughing.

One was middle age, large and white and the other was young, slender and black. The young officer got out to ticket me while the older one sat in the car.

I thought for a minute they might be filming an episode of "Mike and Molly in Central Texas." I was really tempted to tell the guy who handed me the ticket and told me to have a nice day to "Say hi to Mike for me," but thought better of it.
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Old 08-11-2016, 09:17 AM   #19
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People who follow the speed limit, really create a hazard as other cars come up fast behind them and for some reason these speeders don't look ahead, so suddenly they have to brake or swerve.
I beg to differ. If I am in the right hand lane doing 70 (in a 70 mph zone), the only hazard is the bozo that zooms up behind me, rides my bumper, and flashes his lights WHEN THE LEFT LANE IS EMPTY AND HE CAN PASS ANY DANG TIME HE PLEASES!!
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Minimal passing, no ticket?
Old 08-11-2016, 09:20 AM   #20
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Minimal passing, no ticket?

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More patrol cars cost more, many states/cities don't have more.
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Originally Posted by harley View Post
I doubt it. Cops seldom give tickets for less than 10-15 mph over. If you're barely at the speed limit, people will still be flying past you while within the ticket safe zone.
DW said "they" announced a zero tolerance speeding ticket initiative in our city (or maybe state...I don't watch the news). I immediately called BS on it. Were they going to increase the number of cruisers on the highways? No. So it comes down to if you are not passing many people, you'll probably not get a ticket. Yes, the cop has an excuse..."you were going 72 in a 70", but if people had been whizzing by you at 85 for the 10 miles leading up to your ticket, I wonder what the judge would say. I'd ask if the purpose of speed limits was to increase safety any more.

When I drive long distances, my speed is controlled by the ratio of cars I pass to cars passing me (rarely, if ever, do I recall being so lonely on the highway were I didn't have the other traffic to allow this to work). I keep it in the 20% range because it takes so much less concentration, and IMHO, it's safer. Next car is going to have the "tractor beam" cruise control to make it even easier. Passing only a few cars might put me over the speed limit significantly, or under significantly, I don't care. I can get more chill and get into the book DW is reading to me. We get up 10 minutes earlier the next day to make-up the difference between my chill speeds and DW's "entertaining" speeds
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