Ornery.org
  Front Page   |   About Ornery.org   |   World Watch   |   Guest Essays   |   Contact Us

The Ornery American Forum Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » Higher Speed Limits, Greater Safety (Page 2)

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!   This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2   
Author Topic: Higher Speed Limits, Greater Safety
Rallan
Member
Member # 1936

 - posted      Profile for Rallan   Email Rallan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
So let me get this straight. When a car goes faster it takes longer to stop, will hit other cars and stationary objects with greater force if it doesn't stop in time, will give the driver less time to react to changing situations ahead before he's at them, and will make handling on corners or in bad conditions more difficult. This is all a given, and I challenge anyone to argue any of those points.

So why have we got a whole thread arguing (based on some cooked statistics) that raising the speed limit by 20mph won't make roads more dangerous?

Posts: 2570 | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dagonee
Member
Member # 2212

 - posted      Profile for Dagonee     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
So why have we got a whole thread arguing (based on some cooked statistics) that raising the speed limit by 20mph won't make roads more dangerous?
Because

1) It's not a given that raising the speed limit by 20 MPH raises the average speed by 20 MPH.
2) It is at least plausible that variable speed with a lower average speed leads to greater danger than a more constant higher average speed.
3) A higher speed allows the same number of cars to pass a given point with more distance between them. Distance between cars (density) can also decrease safety.

I'm sure others can think of a dozen other plausible reasons. I have no idea which, if any, are true. But it's certainly not as clear cut as you propose.

Posts: 2061 | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
javelin
Member
Member # 1284

 - posted      Profile for javelin   Email javelin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
So why have we got a whole thread arguing (based on some cooked statistics) that raising the speed limit by 20mph won't make roads more dangerous?
Gee, I don't know - because the interesting thing is that, regardless of how ever many sensible points you want to bring up, it doesn't make the roads more dangerous, that this has been shown pretty clearly (really, it's hard to deny) - and continuing to say that it's true is denying reality? [Big Grin] I think that's a pretty good reason for the thread.
Posts: 8614 | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rallan
Member
Member # 1936

 - posted      Profile for Rallan   Email Rallan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Dagonee:
quote:
So why have we got a whole thread arguing (based on some cooked statistics) that raising the speed limit by 20mph won't make roads more dangerous?
Because

1) It's not a given that raising the speed limit by 20 MPH raises the average speed by 20 MPH.

This one rests on the assumption that most people are speeding by 10 to 20mph, which presumably means that jacking up speed limits has made no difference not because driving fast is safe, but because lots of people drive fast anyway. Logically wouldn't the intelligent solution be tighter enforcement of the existing limit? Slower cars is safer cars, and if getting caught was a routine enough occurance to be more than just an occasional pain in the ass, most drives would actually abide by the speed limit (except out in the boondocks, where even Australia's relatively hardball approach to speeding has had minimal impact).

quote:
2) It is at least plausible that variable speed with a lower average speed leads to greater danger than a more constant higher average speed.
Yes, because trees, houses, concrete barriers, ditches, deer, potholes, patches of ice, blind corners, and oncoming traffic are all going to be moving at a slower relative speed if the limit is 80mph. Pull the other one, its' fitted with an airbag [Smile]

quote:
3) A higher speed allows the same number of cars to pass a given point with more distance between them. Distance between cars (density) can also decrease safety.
Except that at higher speeds they require a bigger gap, both in time and distance, to safely come to a stop. And the same volume of traffic will be passing any given point at any given time. Even if we're generous and assume there's a nice linear relationship between speed and stopping time/distance, there's no net improvement in safety here.
Posts: 2570 | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
FiredrakeRAGE
Member
Member # 1224

 - posted      Profile for FiredrakeRAGE   Email FiredrakeRAGE   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Velcro said:
quote:
I'm not arguing that everyone should have 55 mph laws. I am arguing that in most cases going faster is not safer. In Nevada, the effect may be negligible, but that does not mean that New Jersey should go to 70, as the article seems to imply.
I've lived in New Jersey. I would estimate that the average driving speed on an interstate highway in New Jersey is significantly greater than that of Ohio.

Changing the speed limit doesn't make a difference if nobody respects the law.

Also - you have to keep in mind that this is supposed to be the maximum safe speed limit. One can hardly argue that 65 miles per hour is the absolute maximum safe speed that you can drive on the interstate.

--Firedrake

Posts: 3538 | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Fel2.0
Member
Member # 2836

 - posted      Profile for Fel2.0   Email Fel2.0   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
So let me get this straight. When a car goes faster it takes longer to stop, will hit other cars and stationary objects with greater force if it doesn't stop in time, will give the driver less time to react to changing situations ahead before he's at them, and will make handling on corners or in bad conditions more difficult. This is all a given, and I challenge anyone to argue any of those points.

By your argument the speed limit should be 1 mph. It would be much easier to avoid other cars and corner better. If the government enacted that there would be riots. You can't just base laws on some arbitrary statistic. You have to take reality into account. 55 didn't save lives because the large majority didn't obey 55.

quote:
Logically wouldn't the intelligent solution be tighter enforcement of the existing limit? Slower cars is safer cars,
See above. Also, highway patrol should be looking for dangerous drivers, not safe drivers going 65 mph.

quote:
Yes, because trees, houses, concrete barriers, ditches, deer, potholes, patches of ice, blind corners, and oncoming traffic are all going to be moving at a slower relative speed if the limit is 80mph. Pull the other one,
I think you will find the vast majority of car accidents involve car to car collisions. Most car to stationary object accidents involve either trying to avoid another car or DUI.

quote:
Changing the speed limit doesn't make a difference if nobody respects the law.

EXACTLY!
Posts: 231 | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dagonee
Member
Member # 2212

 - posted      Profile for Dagonee     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Yes, because trees, houses, concrete barriers, ditches, deer, potholes, patches of ice, blind corners, and oncoming traffic are all going to be moving at a slower relative speed if the limit is 80mph. Pull the other one, its' fitted with an airbag
I'll pick this one because it illustrates my basic point: all these are plausible. But you don't know which one has a greater effect on highway safety.

It was plausible that giving oxygen to preemies would help them develop since, after all, it's their lungs that are the farthest behind the development curve. Then someone did an epidemiological study and found out that the plausible assumption was wrong, and increased oxygen to premature babies causes blindness.

Similarly, spermicide kills HIV in a test tube. So it seemed logical to think it would help stop the spread of AIDS. Until a study of prostitutes revealed that spermicide causes irritation which which makes viral transmission more likely. The overall net effect of the spermicide was to increase (slightly) the chances of getting HIV.

The reason people can spend a whole thread discussing this is that we have a study which seems to suggest that raising the speed limit doesn't cause increased fatalities. I've raised a number of plausible reasons why the study might be flawed. I've raised a number of plausible reasons why your common sense assumption might be flawed. It's fun to speculate, and, until more studies are done, we don't know.

Posts: 2061 | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Ivan
Member
Member # 1467

 - posted      Profile for Ivan   Email Ivan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It's worth noting that crashes are also a function of time spent on the highway. If cars are going faster on average, then their highway time per trip decreases, and you get fewer accidents. The magnitude of this shift is difficult to determine, but it's present.

Then again, you've also got to account for the fact that people are going to use the highways more often now that they can make quicker trips on them, so you have an increase in usage which, to some extent, will increase the number of accidents.

Which one of these effects swamps the other remains ambiguous, so the shift could really go in either direction. Just wanted to point out that the waters here really are quite muddy. [Smile]

Posts: 1710 | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Ron Lambert
Member
Member # 682

 - posted      Profile for Ron Lambert   Email Ron Lambert   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If you are going 80 mph and come up over a hill or around a turn, and there ahead of you in your lane is someone plodding along at 55, there is a 25 mph difference in your speeds. It would be like going 25 mph and finding someone parked in the lane ahead of you.

Maybe you can do a panic brake and avoid rear-ending the plodder. But the fellow following too close behiind you has even less warning. Someone sooner or later is going to do a panic swerve into another lane.

People generally like to travel 75-85. Very few speed more than that. If the speed limit is 75, and the minimum is 65, then there is much less disparity in speeds in most cases. Fewer panic brakes, panic swerves.

Posts: 2645 | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
scifibum
Member
Member # 945

 - posted      Profile for scifibum   Email scifibum   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Also, highway patrol should be looking for dangerous drivers, not safe drivers going 65 mph
My vote for best point in the thread.

I'd LOVE to see the idiots who change lanes more often than they look at their speedometer, and the suicidal teenagers _racing_ each other on crowded freeways get nailed every time. I'd gladly pay the equivalent of quite a few traffic tickets in additional taxes every year for increased patrolling if it would reduce this kind of behavior. I want more safe drivers, not more rules for those of us who already drive safely by using common sense (which serves a driver better than any traffic law).

[ July 12, 2006, 01:44 AM: Message edited by: scifibum ]

Posts: 6847 | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MattP
Member
Member # 2763

 - posted      Profile for MattP   Email MattP   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Maybe I missed it, but no one brought up another factor that may mitigate the theoretical increased hazards of higher speed. On my 20-mile commute, it would take me 22 minutes to get home at 55, while I can cover the same distance in 16 minutes at 75. So, even if it's more dangerous to be driving at 75 (a point I don't concede), it has to be sufficiently more dangerous than spending 37.5% more time on the road while driving 55 to be more dangerous in a practical sense.
Posts: 3481 | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
velcro
Member
Member # 1216

 - posted      Profile for velcro   Email velcro   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
While there is some merit to the accidents/hr being relatively constant, many statistics seem to be accidents per mile.

At the extreme, going 100 mph and getting the trip over with seems more dangerous than going 20 mph. Unless you get hit by the law-breaker going 100.

Posts: 2096 | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MattP
Member
Member # 2763

 - posted      Profile for MattP   Email MattP   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
No argument there. Just providing one metric by which going faster might actually mean you are statistically safer. Obviously there are limits. Most cars are not designed to perform well at 100 mph. Some can barely get going that fast, and once they get there their brakes and suspension aren't up to much. 75, however, is well within most vehicles' performance envelope.

As for your extreme example, on any freeway I've traveled the 20 mph driver AND the 100 mph driver would both be law-breakers.

Posts: 3481 | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Ron Lambert
Member
Member # 682

 - posted      Profile for Ron Lambert   Email Ron Lambert   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
At the risk of being facetious, isn't it true that if you speed, you make yourself an even faster moving target, harder to hit? (OK, I am being facetious.)
Posts: 2645 | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
velcro
Member
Member # 1216

 - posted      Profile for velcro   Email velcro   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If I may summarize (my opinion, if not the thread)

Some studies and reasoning say higher speeds do not increase the danger, based on human behavior or statistics that can be manipulated.

Some studies and reasoning say higher speeds DO increase the danger based on human behavior or statistics that can be manipulated.

Physics says higher speeds DO increase the danger.

Given what is ambiguous and what is certain, the evidence would indicate that faster is less safe.

Posts: 2096 | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Daruma28
Member
Member # 1388

 - posted      Profile for Daruma28   Email Daruma28   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
To summarize your summary based on my own opinion...

Of course getting into an accident at a faster speed is more dangerous...however raising the arbitrary mandatory Federal speed limit from 55 to whatever each state thinks is best given their own Interstate conditions has not resulted in the increase in accidents predicted by those who favor the federal mandate.

Posts: 7543 | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
javelin
Member
Member # 1284

 - posted      Profile for javelin   Email javelin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Here's my opinion of what's being said:

1. It's intuitive to believe that higher speed limits would significantly increase the danger of driving.

2. The facts, however, seem to contradict our "intuition" of the situation - higher speed limits do not, in fact, significantly increase the danger of driving - as a matter of fact, for some reason, the dangers of driving have apparently gone down.

Therefore, in conclusion:

Those who said that removing federal requirements for a speed limit would lead to more fatalities were wrong, plain and simple. It's possible to conclude that raising the speed limit, to a certain degree, may actual reduce risk - which should lead to further studies to understand why this is so. However, this isn't clear cut - which is why we need further studies.

Posts: 8614 | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
FiredrakeRAGE
Member
Member # 1224

 - posted      Profile for FiredrakeRAGE   Email FiredrakeRAGE   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The key thing to keep in mind is that we're not looking for zero fatalities. The only way you're going to manage that is if you cut off all interstate highway traffic. Even then, some moron would probably manage to kill himself on the interstate [Smile]

We should aim for a speed limit that is safe for a moderately competent driver.

With regard to safety - I agree. On the same topic, lane maintenance should be enforced. Often, the reason people pass on the right is that the leftmost lanes are clogged with slower moving traffic, and the rightmost lanes are open. This leads to people passing on both sides of slow moving traffic, and is significantly more likely to result in an accident (particularly when those who are weaving through traffic neglect to signal or properly pattern their lane changes).

I've recently moved to DC, and I've found that the traffic patterns here are significantly different than (for example) Indiana. People tend to refuse to shift lanes, they tend to change lanes rapidly, and they tend to act far more recklessly with regard to passing. This could be a result of increased population. When you're used to the traffic being bumper-to-bumper, you're less likely to shift lanes. These observations lead me to believe that any Federally imposed speed limit is a poor idea. I am of the opinion that the speed limit should be posted at a significantly higher range, and reckless and 'failure to maintain lane' tickets should be given out to increase the net safety of the driving public, without imposing arbitrary limitations upon the public.

--Firedrake

Posts: 3538 | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jesse
Member
Member # 1860

 - posted      Profile for Jesse   Email Jesse   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The reason many people pass on the right is that they are idiots.

Running in the number two lane (CA counts right to left, I know not all States do), with five lanes open and no traffic to speak of on the road, better than half of those who pass me will attempt to do so on the right....always a stupid move since the reason I'm in the number two lane is that I'm passing a slower vehicle or allowing someone to merge on [Smile]

DMV's just pass out licenses like lollipops.

Posts: 11410 | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
velcro
Member
Member # 1216

 - posted      Profile for velcro   Email velcro   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Javelin, I see the difference. Let me rephrase:

I am arguing that in most cases going faster is not safer. In Nevada, the effect may be negligible, but that does not mean that the New Jersey should go to 70, as some posters seem to imply.

Posts: 2096 | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Mariner
Member
Member # 1618

 - posted      Profile for Mariner   Email Mariner       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
If I may summarize (my opinion, if not the thread)

Some studies and reasoning say higher speeds do not increase the danger, based on human behavior or statistics that can be manipulated.

Some studies and reasoning say higher speeds DO increase the danger based on human behavior or statistics that can be manipulated.

Physics says higher speeds DO increase the danger.

Given what is ambiguous and what is certain, the evidence would indicate that faster is less safe.

I don't think your third point is correct velcro. Physics says that the damage done if you crash while travelling at a higher speed is greater, not that travelling at higher speeds is more dangerous.

So, in order to decide whether driving faster is better, we need to know multiple unanswered questions:
1) Does driving faster decrease the risk of crashing?
2) Is the damage done while driving at lower speeds appreciably less than at higher speeds? If I ram the back of a parked semi going 55 mph vs 70 mph, I doubt there'd be much difference.
3) Assuming the answer to both of these is yes, then does the decreased risk outweigh the increased damage?

In other words, I don't see how you can say the evidence favors one side from your position.

And Jesse, that's being a bit unfair. In Michigan, the reason people pass on the right is because the left lane is populated by slow moving idiots who passed an even slower moving truck 10 miles back and apparantly forgot to get back over. [Smile]

Posts: 538 | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
velcro
Member
Member # 1216

 - posted      Profile for velcro   Email velcro   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Physics says driving faster is more dangerous. If a moose runs in front of you, it takes longer to stop, and you have less time to react. Assuming a constant following distance, if the car in front of you stops, you have less time to react. Going around curves, you are more likely to lose traction. You are more likely to hydroplane on wet roads. If Grandma is driving 50, you have less time to react.

In response
1)The only way driving faster decreases the risk of crashing is if Grandma drives much faster.

2) The energy of a collision is proportional to the velocity SQUARED. So in order to survive a collision at 70 mph, the car must absorb over 60% more energy than at 55 mph. Now if you think you will definitely die in a crash at 55 mph, then a crash at 70 will not do appreciably more damage to you. If you think you might barely survive 55, 70 will certainly kill you.

A parked semi is an extreme example. How about a semi pulling onto the highway going 40? How about a guard rail, or a road sign, or an animal on a rural road?

Also, you may want to consider the damage to what you hit. If you hit the cab at 55, the driver will be better off than if you hit it at 70, regardless of what happens to you.

So driving faster does not decrease the risk of crashing, except in very specific circumstances.
In any non-fatal crash, the damage done at 55 is appreciably less than at 70.

The decreased risk (negligible, or more accurately increased risk) does not outweigh the increased damage. So driving faster is not safer, and does more damage, from a physics and reasoning standpoint. As I said, the statistics seem to cancel each other out.

Posts: 2096 | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jesse
Member
Member # 1860

 - posted      Profile for Jesse   Email Jesse   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Mariner, two lanes in one direction of travel is a lot different than five. Some doofs just have no concept of "passing lane". Regardless of how many lanes there are on any highway, the far left lane is for passing, emergency vehicles, and making left turns (obviously not interstates on that last one).

Cops really should focus on creating safer conditions, like busting people for obstructing traffic, failure to signal, unnecessary and unsafe lane changes ect, instead of just serving as revenue generating machines.

Posts: 11410 | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jesse
Member
Member # 1860

 - posted      Profile for Jesse   Email Jesse   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Mariner, two lanes in one direction of travel is a lot different than five. Some doofs just have no concept of "passing lane". Regardless of how many lanes there are on any highway, the far left lane is for passing, emergency vehicles, and making left turns (obviously not interstates on that last one).

Cops really should focus on creating safer conditions, like busting people for obstructing traffic, failure to signal, unnecessary and unsafe lane changes ect, instead of just serving as revenue generating machines.

Posts: 11410 | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MattP
Member
Member # 2763

 - posted      Profile for MattP   Email MattP   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by velcro:
Physics says driving faster is more dangerous. If a moose runs in front of you, it takes longer to stop, and you have less time to react.

So, if the rate of of moose crossings is constant, then I'll encounter more mooses per mile (MPM) at 55 than I would at 70. Provided there's adequate visibility to see the mooses en route, I'd accept a slightly lower reaction time if it meant a lower MPM.
Posts: 3481 | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
DonaldD
Member
Member # 1052

 - posted      Profile for DonaldD   Email DonaldD   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
So, if the rate of of moose crossings is constant, then I'll encounter more mooses per mile (MPM) at 55 than I would at 70
I'm afraid this math doesn't quite add up - but I do love the concept of MPM.

Assuming that you are most concerned with the automobile striking the moose with its front bumper/hood/windshield, how many meese would be struck by a car travelling at 0 MPH? The giveaway here is that MPM becomes indeterminant as MPH approaches zero.

On the other hand, what about when MPH approaches infinity? Ignoring relativistic effects, MPM might approach zero, but as long as there is a single moose on your non-infinitely long highway, I foresee serious bodywork in your future.

Posts: 10751 | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MattP
Member
Member # 2763

 - posted      Profile for MattP   Email MattP   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think it's fair to throw out the 0 MPH "not driving" edge case. If one assumes that a notable moose-car event only occurs at speed above, say, 40 MPH, then the frequency with which mooseses cross a given stretch of road should be factor when determining the safest average speed.

Consider the formula MPM = MCR / MPH

MPM = moose per mile
MCR = moose crossing rate (moose per hour)
MPH = vehicle velocity (miles per hour)

Assuming a MCR of 1 , a car going 55 has an MPM of 0.018. A car coing 70 would have an MPM of .014.

Of course MPM is a little fuzzier than that, as one might consider the sudden appearance of a moose within 200 feet in front of the vehicle to be a notable moose-car event even though the actual intersection of the moose and car has not yet occured.

In any case, the odds of actually encountering a moose in the first place decrease as speed increases. This, of course, will be mitigated by decreased time to respond to meeses and increased damange should an moose be struck or should the vehicle otherwise be damaged while attempting to avoid said moose.

The payoff in driving like a bat out of hell may only be realized while traveling long distances in areas with a relatively high MCR.

[ July 17, 2006, 03:28 PM: Message edited by: MattP ]

Posts: 3481 | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ngthagg
Member
Member # 2737

 - posted      Profile for ngthagg         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
There has been a lot of talk about how the physics of a car crash can be used to determine the relative danger of various speeds. However, physics cannot tell us the whole story because physics is not in control of the car. A human is in control of the car, and so human factors must be considered.

Fatigue is an important one on longer trips. Increasing your speed from 55 to 70 mph saves you an hour every couple hundred miles. If you are tired enough, your reactions and driving abilities are similar to when you are drunk. At risk of excessive hyperbole, forcing someone on a long trip to drive 55mph is like forcing them to take a drink ever couple hundred miles.

This issue needs to be investigated more. We really don't have the information to deterimine if the decrease in deaths and other injuries was due to an increase in speed limit, or other safety improvements. However, the issue needs to be studied with an open mind. We cannot assume that higher speeds = more fatalities.

ngthagg

Posts: 487 | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
velcro
Member
Member # 1216

 - posted      Profile for velcro   Email velcro   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
ngthagg

See my earlier posts. There are conflicting studies, we can hand wave about fatigue, about human factors, about if all drivers will drive faster, or just some.

The only hard facts are physics.

Physics says driving faster is more dangerous. If a moose runs in front of you, it takes longer to stop, and you have less time to react. Assuming a constant following distance, if the car in front of you stops, you have less time to react. Going around curves, you are more likely to lose traction. You are more likely to hydroplane on wet roads. If Grandma is driving 50, you have less time to react. (Yes, Grandma driving 50 is a law of physics)

As soon as someone has really firm reports, statistics, behavioral studies, etc, I may change my view based on new evidence. But while the "soft" evidence is a wash, all we have is physics.

Posts: 2096 | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jon Camp
Member
Member # 192

 - posted      Profile for Jon Camp   Email Jon Camp   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Physics says driving faster is more dangerous.
How many times must you repeat this false statement?

Physics only states that there will be more energy conversion in the event of a collision at a higher speed. That's all that physiscs states.

We can then look at that and say that there is a greater chance of injury in the event of a collision but *only* in such an event.

This latest study states that collisions and fatalities are both decreasing. So even though a collision is more likely to be fatal at a higher speed, the number of collisions has dropped and the death rate has fallen with it.

This has nothing do do with physics at all, so your fallacious appeal to the authority of "physics" is irrelevant.

Posts: 782 | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Mormegil
Member
Member # 2439

 - posted      Profile for Mormegil         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If we really want safer driving, we'd make the driving test harder, and have everyone take a retest every year.
Posts: 800 | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
velcro
Member
Member # 1216

 - posted      Profile for velcro   Email velcro   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Jon, read the WHOLE thread, please. You addressed one component, the higher damage. You ignored all the others:

If a moose runs in front of you, it takes longer to stop, and you have less time to react. Assuming a constant following distance, if the car in front of you stops, you have less time to react. Going around curves, you are more likely to lose traction. You are more likely to hydroplane on wet roads. If Grandma is driving 50, you have less time to react. (Yes, Grandma driving 50 is a law of physics)

The latest studies are conflicting and may be manipulating statistics, as well as exagerating conclusions. Physics, as specified above, is relatively accurate and unbiased.

Posts: 2096 | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ngthagg
Member
Member # 2737

 - posted      Profile for ngthagg         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
velcro: What latest studies are you referring to? The only studies posted on this thread are one showing higher speed limits have reduced fatalities, and another regarding seat belt use. And if you want to claim that a study is manipulating statistics and exaggerting conclusions, you are going to have to back it up.

Regarding the dangers of driving, here's a study that shows what the real problem is: http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/departments/nrd-13/driver-distraction/PDF/100CarMain.pdf
Here's a relevant quote from the study: "Almost 80 percent of all crashes and 65 percent of all near-crashes involved the driver
looking away from the forward roadway just prior to the onset of the conflict. Prior
estimates related to “distraction” as a contributing factor have been in the range of 25
percent."

The problem with your insistence on only using physics to determine traffic laws is that you have to make some enourmous assumptions. Specifically, you have to assume that the only difference between 55mph and 70mph speed limits is the speed. You have to assume that driver behaviour will not change, which is false.

Lawmakers need to create laws that both increase the safety of citizens and are obeyed by the population. If the 55mph maximum does neither, why defend it? "Physics, as specified above, is relatively accurate and unbiased." Physics is a tool, and is only accurate and unbiased if you use it that way. I read all your earlier posts. You have not presented any conflicting studies, and I am not hand waving about human factors, I am presenting evidence that they are much more significant then speed. I am not arguing with your statements about physics, but I am saying you are using them in exclusion because other evidence suggests that speed is not that significant.

Back your statements up.

ngthagg

Posts: 487 | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
talon
Member
Member # 1068

 - posted      Profile for talon     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
One thing that people have not mentioned that I have seen has to do with fuel economy. Regardless of whether or not you're a global warming crackpot (and I will tactfully refrain from mentioning which side of the debate consists of crackpots), anyone who knows someone with respiratory problems can attest to the fact that high milage situations are, in a very real sense, safer. And with todays cars, the EPA (and everyone else who comments on the issue--there's no debate about this one) says that MOST cars' emmissions increase rapidly with increasing speed above approx. 60 mph.

talon

Edited to correct a typo

[ July 22, 2006, 10:47 PM: Message edited by: talon ]

Posts: 158 | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
  This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Ornery.org Front Page

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.1