Speed limits and speeding

If by “the government”, you mean your state legislature, then that’s correct. On a recent trip:
Oregon: 65
Idaho: 80
Utah: 75-85
Arizona: 80
Colorado: 75

In many instances, the road was nowhere nearly good enough to warrant those speeds.

There are some roads around here with insanely high posted speed limits-narrow, lots of sharp turns with no shoulder and a long way down if you don’t make the turn, which you can’t do if you’re going at the posted speed limit. And a lot of people drive way too fast through residential areas where you can expect kids, dogs, and cats to be darting out into the roads.
However, on the highways, I think unless the weather is bad most people can safely manage 85 mph, which seems to the be most common speed, in my experience, regardless of the posted speed limit. I’ve driven on a stretch on the east coast that had a posted 65 mph and everyone went at 85. I’ve driven in the west on a similar stretch of road that had a posted 75 mph and everyone went at 85.
I think the majority of people automatically adjust their speed depending on the road and weather conditions in order to drive safely and don’t pay any attention to the posted speed limits. The few people driving dangerously fast are the ones that should be picked off by the cops.

It’s also the law in most (all?) states. For instance, see 07C.03(3) for the CA DMV.

I drive at +5 if police are present. Otherwise, “safe for conditions” (generally under 90).

I like to set the cruise control for the speed limit and just leave it there.

Here in the UK, slow-moving traffic is required to pull over every so often. I can’t immediately find it in the Highway Code, but it’s there.

I’m with FairyChatMom: “…I don’t like to go fast. It’s not good for fuel economy of my vehicle, it’s stressful, it can be dangerous, and in the grand scheme of things, it would only save me a few minutes on any given drive.”

I live in an area where heavy traffic is 15 vehicles visible over a half mile stretch of highway. I’m aware that most drivers will be going faster than I am and make an effort to track them and stay out of the way. As I regularly mutter when someone comes up behind me, “Do you know what the fast [passing] lane is for?”

As I recall from the driver’s manual, California law requires any vehicle to pull over if it has a certain number of cars (maybe five) behind it and the roadway does not allow safe or legal passing. How this would ever be enforced is problematic.

I’ve had 3 speeding tickets in about 25 years and I speed all the time. Oddly, freeways are where I’m only a couple MPH over. Unless I’m going along with traffic, 70-75 feels quite fast enough. I generally zip around in town. 15 over is not rare at all, I know the roads and I know where cops can hide. If I have nobody else around me and I have zero chance of getting caught, I zip around at a speed that feels comfy. I don’t really analyze my speed compared to the posted limit, just whatever feels same. BTW, my dad owned a driving school, so all my bad habits come from him.

If I’m not behind a slowpoke and road conditions are good, I usually go 8 or 10 above the speed limit on numbered highways, including two-lane highways in rural areas. On residential streets and congested areas, I usually do the speed limit or only slightly above, because you never know when some idiot will pull into the road or a kid or a pet run into it. On two-lane roads I don’t usually pass a slowpoke unless he’s going under the speed limit.

When I was younger I often went 15 or more mph over the limit. I got my one and only speeding ticket about 15 years ago doing 85 in a 65 zone. Since then I don’t usually go more than 10 mph over.

I drive the speed limit on residential roads, because, hey, people live there and living things are likely to unexpectedly appear in the road.

Major roads and highways, I’ll go with the flow if there’s flow, or five to eight over if there’s not much other traffic.

On the freeway, with traffic if there’s traffic, which is typically about 10 over. If there’s no traffic then I stay paranoid and keep it at five to eight over, except on I-94 in Detroit where I know I won’t get stopped for 75 in a 55.

That’s in the USA.

In Mexico on the toll highways (if I know the road), I’ll just drive as fast as the vehicle lets me. Usually about 100 mph, sometimes faster.

In my car, this is me. I don’t go above 60 or 65 on highways because it kills my bad mileage. 2 fill ups in 600 miles versus 3 is worth an extra 30 to 60 minutes of driving. Especially since I’m usually on vacation when I do it, so time isn’t a big factor.

When I’m working, speed limit is what I aim for. I set the cruise to whatever the limit is and watch everyone pass me. Unless the limit is over 60, our trucks are governed so that is my top speed on a flat surface.

They pull you over and give you a ticket. A Google self driving car got one in Mountain View for driving too slow and holding up traffic a few months ago.

Except for the freeways, which I don’t really live close to, the highways here are 55mph posted speed limit. If you actually drive that slow you will be backing up traffic and likely to get pulled over.

The actual speed as driven by most drivers is in the 62-67mph range. As long as you are driving under 67 the police will not even look at you. over 70 will bring their attention.

In fact one of my sheriff deputy friends says that if you are out at night driving 55mph in light traffic it is a sure sign that you are being too cautious and have probably been drinking. It gets you extra attention.

In my company provided vehicle I drive 1mph over the limit, on cruise control, everywhere I go. The vehicle is GPS monitored for safety by the company. If you asshats from Illinois that come “Up North” here in Wisconsin think that riding my bumper will make me go any faster, guess again.
In my personal vehicles I have driven all over the country 5mph above the posted limits on cruise control, and have never had a copper even look at me.

35 mile commute on the 101 everyday. On the way to work at 1pm, I go with the flow of traffic, which is usually about 50. Today (Sunday) everybody is going to the beach so it was more like 30mph avg. On the way home at 10pm, I hover right around 80mph and still get passed.

An interesting experiment today - in light of this article, I was really paying attention as I drove along Davenport Road to Home Depot.

Driving at the posted 40 km/h limit is really difficult - everyone else on the road wants to go faster, so you get tail-gated and honked at, while there remains a large gap in front of you.

Staying at 40 in 4th gear means taking your foot off the gas pedal and just touching it on every 10 seconds or so. 30 km/h would only be possible in 3rd gear, I suspect.

I don’t really consider myself a driver - I walk or take transit as much as possible, saving the car for trips where the load is going to be impractical for transit, or where I’m driving beyond where transit is a possibility. I’d be more of a cyclist, except that cycling in the city gives me a sore throat, in addition to feeling threatened by all the car traffic.

I’ve just made 22-hour (southbound) and 21-hour (northbound) drives, so speed limits have been on my brain. I was going to ask a GQ about ‘Speed Limit’ vs. ‘Maximum Speed’, but I see I already did 12 years ago. :smiley:

tracer posted in that thread:

So my question was answered.

As far as my driving habits, I will drive as fast as I think I can get away with, or as fast as I’m willing to pay for (in fuel – in a Prius :p), or a combination of those. Generally on 70 mph stretches, my speedometer indicates 75 mph, which is probably actually 73 or 74 mph. There’s one stretch where I’ll indicate 78 or 80. Since most people up here drive 5 mph under the speed limit, I feel it’s my civic duty to drive 5 mph (indicated) over the posted limit. On the trip to SoCal over the weekend, I would have indicated 80 the whole way were it not for the trucks and other people getting in my way. Oh, and at an indicated 77 to 80 mph, the Prius was only getting about 41 mpg. :frowning:

I drive the speed limit. Set the cruise control and hang out in the right lane. If the flow of traffic wants to go faster, it can flow around me.

Bless you for doing this in the right lane (assuming you are in a drive-on-the-right country). Too many people do this in the leftmost lane. I won’t rant further as the Internet is already overflowing with it.

I also do what Ethilrist says. Funny thing, once I started doing that, the bozos in the left-hand lane no longer bothered me.

This is me, except I set mine for about 3 mph over due to the amount of police constantly around on regular roads. In residential areas, I go slightly under, as well as country roads where there are deer or hogs.

On the interstate, I’ll go with the flow of traffic and pretty much hang out in the middle lane unless I need to pass. And that’s pretty much the only time I’ll really crank it up… if I have to get around some nitwit driving 45 in a 70 on a two-lane. We have so many places here that you’ll never get to drive the speed limit if you don’t haul your ass up to 80 to finally be free. I figure it’s a negligible risk for the 4.5 seconds it’s necessary to do so, therefore I’ll keep trucking when I have to.