Friday, August 3, 2012

With great speed comes great responsibility...

Texas' constantly rising speed limits are becoming becoming a national topic as of late. There are two sides to the coin. There are the "pepokes" as you call yourself in your article, and the speed demons. While I am more of a speed demon myself and (admit-tingly) drive about 5 over in that "buffer zone," I don't necessarily feel more dangerous than any other person on the road. In an article on slate it is confirmed that driving faster doesn't equal more accidents at all. New York raised its state-wide speed limits in 1995, to find out that this increase actually dropped the crash rate by 4%. A similar study was conducted in California, and found the same results. How is this so, you may ask? It all has to do with the driver's comfort zone and the conditions that day. Studies have shown that drivers rarely ever drive over their speed "comfort zone" as this article calls it. Even with legal encouragement that they can drive faster, a driver won't. This simple explanation could be the reason why you feel as if you're a "pepoke" on the streets, while there are people flying past you. They just may have a higher comfort zone than you. The perception of hazard on the freeway (the insane speed) actually has been shown to boost safety by heightening drivers' caution.
The other topic, provoked by your motherly instincts, is the chances for fatal accidents. While I stated that increased speeds don't result in more accidents, they do result in more fatalities...This is what could be perturbing to you as a mother. Realistically, any accident at 60+ miles per hour has the easy possibility of being fatal, an accident around 80+ does seem to make that risk for death worse. With "pepokes" and speed demons on the road at the same time, this becomes even more of a problem. That's a whole other topic of discussion. What should the range of the speed minimum/maximum be? The greater the range, the more dangerous the two types of drivers become for each other. The age old feud lives on. Fast drivers will always despise the slow drivers, and slow drivers will always feel at risk when a fast driver zooms by. The question is, who is to say that their isn't a way to make everyone feel safer on the roads? Maybe we should look into a fast and slow lane, so drivers don't feel endangered by the other "species." That may be a bit of a stretch, but at least it's a step in the right direction. Both parties would be catered to, and maybe there'd be less interaction between the two species of drivers...thus equaling less accidents and more importantly less fatalities.

That's the way Scott sees it...

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