What's with people driving SLOWER lately?

The last few months, I’ve noticed that people have started driving considerably BELOW the speed limit. Up until then, most drivers have treated the speed limit as the “minimum speed at which to travel on the road.”

So if it says 45 MPH, most people are driving 45-55.

The last few months, I’ve noticed that they are driving 35-45 in that same zone. The problem being … the lights are synchronized to 45, so this pack of cars (which I’m always in the middle of) hits every … light … on the road!

On the freeway, we see drivers going 55-60, instead of 65-80 like they used to.

IMO, the reason people so copiously drive over the speed limit is due to general lack of enforcement. What’s causing these people to drive so slow lately, though? I have not seen an increase in the number of cops, number of people getting tickets, I’m certainly not getting tickets. And it’s not everyone - I still see people going the same ol’ speeds. But even people who just want to drive at the speed limit are being frustrated by the slow drivers.

I haven’t noticed it in the past few months. When gas hit $4+ in the summer, though, people started going around the speed limit on the highway but I didn’t notice a change in city speeds.

Here in Palm Bay FL people do drive 35-45 in a 45 zone but they’ve always done it. I do it too here because people on side streets/businesses assume you are going that speed in determining whether to pull out despite what their eyes tell them and you don’t want to have to brake suddenly.

Maybe they’re trying to get better gas mileage?

In our town, traffic volumes are down. People are staying home more. So having less money, or thinking that you might have less money soon, is affecting people’s driving habits.

If you go faster to compete with others, or fall in with the speed of the cars around you, you’ll have less traffic there to urge you to go faster.

Anywhere else seeing lower traffic volumes? (Not that I noticed this myself - I work in the same building as the Traffic Section, and a couple of the engineers there mentioned it.)

I bought a motorcycle back in June. Recently read in a forum that people were having trouble with the speedometer reading faster then they were actually going. So I pulled out my GPS and went for a spin. The speedometer on my bike was showing about a 10% higher speed than what the GPS was calculating.

So all those time I thought I was going 60 in the 55 zone to stay a bit ahead of the “cagers”, I was actually right at the speed limit or a touch under.

People are driving slower to increase their gas mileage.

Can’t speak for anyone else, but in the last three or four months the police seem to really keen on catching (and presumably fining) speeders around here.

It used to be rare that I’d see someone pulled over on my way to or from work. Now I’m seeing four or five a week.

Not coincidentally, there’s a big budget crisis here in New York state.


I haven’t really noticed slow drivers, but many friends & family have said the same thing – people are driving much slower than they did a few years ago. They must be trying to conserve fuel, which (as I’m sure you’ve noticed) is still quite expensive these days.

I’ve also noticed fewer SUVs on the road, and a lot more hybrids.

I drive 1 MPH under the limit, because the state police here in MA (AKA revenue collectors) have been given orders to write a quota of tickets. not only do you pay the official fine, but the points stay on your insurance for 6 years.
nope, i am NOT getting any speeding tickets!

I’d say the crackdown on speeding is probably the result here, at least IMO. Those mobile speedtrap vans have made me paranoid.

They could be anywhere

I originally made an effort to slow down after getting two tickets for doing 80 in a 65 within about 4 months each other. After making that effort I also noticed that my fuel economy had improved as well. Maybe only a mile or three a gallon though. I drive almost entirely highway miles.

I’d also like to point out now that I’m working from home 3 days a week I’ve noticed that I’m spending about 60% less each week on fuel. :smiley:

Hitting every red light on a stretch of road is a good way to waste gas if you don’t have a hybrid. So if that’s what the people the OP are trying, they’re doing it wrong.

If it’s a Prius, I’d buy that. But mostly it seems to be dudes (mostly dudettes) yapping on their cell.

Driving at 35-40 (just a hair short of top gear/overdrive) isn’t as fuel efficient as driving 40-45. Just about every car will hit overdrive or top gear at 40-ish, and the car’s best ‘highway mileage’ will be realized. The best cruising speed is probably just about 1-4 MPH over the cars top gear (last gear shift), when engine RPMs drop and max cruising efficiency kicks in.

It is noticeably slower, and I mean 5-10mph below the speed limit. It’s driving me nuts. I notice that it’s in cars that are not necessarily hybrids with instantaneous gas consumption gauges, so I suspect that they cannot even tell if they are getting better gas mileage. GRRRRR!!!

Once the sun goes down or a drop of rain falls, the speed of drivers seems to go down 10MPH.

They’re doing it just to drive me crazy and keep me from getting anywhere on time.
Yeah, leave sooner, I heard ya.

Buncha old coots.

They aren’t driving slower, your life is moving faster.

Been doing it myself.

Gas is the reason.