Driving under the speed limit

I’m what you might term an “aggressive” driver.

It really pisses me off when some ass is doing 35 in a 40 zone. I usually do the standard ~5 mph over the speed limit, so losing those 10 mph is really a f*ing drag. Every grandma with a Bush/Cheney 2004 bumper sticker inspires curses. And god knows why they don’t freaking accelerate when they’re supposed to.

Anyway… while driving under the speed limit can be illegal as far as reckless driving goes, is it necessarily wrong? Are there safety benefits? Do they make up for the slow traffic and eventual heart attack I’m going to have behind the wheel waiting for some jackass to accelerate to 35? Is there some reasoning behind driving below the speed limit? Do they do it on purpose, or are they just oblivious morons (as I classify them now)? Or, as I suspect, is the world out to get me?

I used to be like you. Then one day I realized that being aggressive never got me to my destination appreciably faster. So now, I try to just relax. Go with the flow. The flow is going slowly? Well, that sucks, but there’s nothing I can do to change it, and stressing myself out over it is just unpleasant. Turn up the radio and sing along.

Sometimes I still get frustrated with the idiot in front of me, but for the most part, I still get where I’m going as fast as I ever did, and the time spent in my car is far more pleasant.

I understand and sympathize with your frustration.

When I reach the point in my life where I’m no longer able to maintain ~5mph over the limit, I’d like to think that I would voluntarily take myself off of the road.

The speed “limit” is the maximum speed you are legally allowed to drive. Anything over that may be ticketed in some areas. Very slow drivers can be a hazard, but five miles under the limit hardly qualifies as being pokey.

Driving 70 miles an hour for three hours instead of 65 miles an hour for three hours saves you only a few minutes of time. So the wasted time is probably not the real problem. Impatience and stress or something else may be. If that shows up on road trips, it probably manifests itself in other ways in your life also.

You’ll have that heart attack one way or the other unless you learn that there’s no real hurry except what you place on yourself.

This wasn’t being contested. Whether I’m going 70 or 90, I understand that I run the risk of being ticketed.

Or there is no “problem.” I drive at whatever speed I feel comfortable handling the car at. If that just so happens to be 70 in a 60mph zone, that is no indication that I’m stressed or impatient or whatever. Just that I feel comfortable with it. Don’t read too deeply into it when I pass you going 10mph faster.

ABSOLUTELY!!! It is illegal for a reason. I’m suprised that someone who classifies himself as an aggressive driver hasn’t had to take defensive driving at one time or another. If you did you would know the answer to this question.

Slow driving is the #1 cause of traffic accidents.

Now, why people drive under the speed limit? I have no idea except that they must be weak scaredy cats who shouldn’t be driving because it’s obvious that any kind of emergency will freeze them cold (or give them a heart attack) and they will end up making things worse.

More info:

In some Canadian jurisdicitons, there is a highway traffic offence of “driving too fast for road conditions.” Even if you’re doing the speed limit, you could be liable under this provision if the road conditions are bad, such as a blizzard or fog or heavy rain. YMMV, obviously.

It’s not the speed folks. Why wasn’t the rant opened last week?

I’m thinking of opening a thread about people too damn stupid to hit the vertical pedal on the right and pass a slower driver. It’s legal and easy to do at some point if you’re sitting back there so long as to get so worked up. :rolleyes:

Just hitting the accelerator and passing works okay on divided, Interstate highways/motorways with multiple lanes, much less so on narrow, two lane undivided highways, where one overly-slow driver can cause twenty people to have to engage in not-really-necessary passing maneuvers with the attendant risk of head-on collision with oncoming traffic.

Well, this is California, so “road conditions” are limited mainly to potholes and occasional flash floods.

I’ve noted previously that I have recorded a correlation between stupid driving and stupid voting. I added it to this thread merely for entertainment purposes.

Oh, believe me, I do. But sometimes there is this condition called “traffic” where there are - get this - more than two cars on the road at the same time. And there is no rain, or no accident, or no stoplight, yet somehow, magically, you’re doing 10 mph under the speed limit, and all the lanes are moving at the same speed. You may even have encoutered this at some point in your life, but I bet you prefer to be one of the asshats who drives on the shoulder to get around it?

We’ll talk about those mysterious objects called “one lane streets” tomorrow, I think you’ve learned enough for today.

While I’m venting (sorry Huerta88 I didn’t notice that you addressed the 2 lane highways), let me also vent my frustration at people who fail to utilize their turn signals and lack all comprehension of a right turn lane when it isn’t painted on the ground for them, much less people who feel it necessary to slow to 5 mph in order to execute a turn into a shopping center driveway.

As to the people who drive at 50 mph on 65 mph California highways, I am absolutely mystified. Even doing the speed limit exactly, the number of cars I blow past just defies any logical explanation. I refer again to my theory that they are put on this planet to get me.

People that say that it’s just traffic… have you ever looked AHEAD of the slow moving traffic. Can you logical brainy people look at an extremely complex system and intuitively pick out the culprits of certain behaviors in the pattern? Well, I’ll bet you that in a lightly congested freeway you can pick out 3 slow moving vehicles that are driving slowly as if there is no one else on the road and causing the congestion. They are blocking all other traffic. Often it gets so bad that you can see an empty stretch of road a mile long, followed by a totally congested stretch of road. This isn’t traffic folks. IT’S RUDENESS!!!

Please do. As a former semi driver with over 500k accident free miles under his belt, I’m interested in a driving lesson.

Oh, and I’ve seen plenty of Kerry/Edwards stickers on idiot-owned cars, most of them oldsters. If you have time this weekend, I’m thinking of a new color to paint the house. With that brush, you could probably bang it out in about 10 minutes. :slight_smile:

Traffic is also often caused by people changing lanes too frequently or en masse - when one person switches a lane, the person they cut off brakes, then the person behind that person brakes for a little bit longer, and the brakes continue up until someone eventually changes lanes to get to the faster one, causing more braking, until eventually everyone is following the appropriately named duffer’s advice and is switching lanes to get to the faster lane, causing everyone in every lane to brake, leading to traffic. This is especially noticable at interchanges when people are merging across 3 lanes to get to their proper ramp.

Or by some curiosity by the side of the road. A good 40% of the time (number pulled out of arse) I’m stuck in traffic it is because of rubberneckers looking at a cop pulling someone over, and once you get past the cop, the traffic magically disappears. An accident is even worse.

But if everyone drove at the speed limit, it would all be good and we could all be a little bit happier.

God, I can’t wait for cars that drive themselves. Eliminates the moron problem until you get out of the car and have to walk behind slow morons.

Then I’m willing to bet that somewhere, some time, on some freeway, you pissed me off once.

I live in an area where I have to contend with two lane roads for long stretches of time. It’s no fun getting stuck behind someone who won’t do the speed limit for whatever reason. Even more frustrating is people who can’t decide what speed to travel at which makes it difficult to pass them even if traffic in the other lane is light.

The speed limit here on most roads is 55 mph and I travel at 60 mph. Even still I am often the guy who has nothing ahead of him but in the morning I can have 10+ cars behind me. I refuse to go any faster on this road because I was given a warning from a state trooper the year before for speeding.


You should probably be aware that some information in those cites directly contradicts your conclusion:

Rather, let’s look at the information presented:



In addition, drunk drivers often exhibit slow speed, and the cause of accidents may be their intoxication, rather than their choice of speed: (this is called a confounding factor)

Even your other cite, which is considerably less rigorous, admits:

Which would indicate that low speeds also do not share a correlation with accident rates.

I can see why you jumped to the conclusion that slow speeds cause accidents:

But it’s not the whole story.

There’s enough reason to encourage people not to go too slow and block or impede traffic without falsely claiming they cause more accidents. Jeez, I like traveling about 5 mph above the limit most of the time, but let’s just encourage the driver who’s going too slowly just to move to the right and make room, let’s not scare 'em. :smiley:

Oh, trust me, you were more likely to piss me off. See, I was at work at the time. And what does “appropriately named” mean? You realize it’s a reference to golf? Nah, couldn’t have been that. But I am interested to know what it meant as I’m sure you weren’t going for a childish insult that made no sense. Right? :dubious:

You describe heavy traffic. I was speaking of lightly congested traffic, like the traffic you get while you are driving to church on Sunday morning. :smiley: When in heavy traffic, you have absolutely no choice but to drive with the flow. To do otherwise (slow or fast) is dangerous, period. But in reasonable traffic in good weather and conditions, it is perfectly safe to go a few miles above the speed limit. If it weren’t then there would be millions of more deaths every year because just about every person I know and his uncle and his uncle’s uncle speeds by at least 10mph.

Hee hee. Those weren’t cites. They were info. I got the conclusion from attending about 5 defensive driving classes. Every one of them said the same thing. Of course I haven’t been to class in awhile, so it could be #2 or #3 now. Anyway, I suppose you caught me. :smiley: I checked out the diagrams and quickly perused the websites but was too busy to really check it out in depth. But I didn’t provide them as evidence to my claim. Just info. Still… :smack: