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Re: Would have gotten Acura if I didn't.... (archive)

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Posted by Long Distance on October 06, 1999 at 11:21:57:

In Reply to: Re: Would have gotten Acura if I didn't.... posted by Rudy on October 05, 1999 at 23:26:53:

: Sure, but all the older people I know who are most like me (having lived in Europe and US) feel the same way about speed as they did when they were my age.

European drivers and US drivers are not even close to being in the same class. Each thinks the other is "crazy".

I reserve this kind of speed for very, VERY uncongested highways (3 lanes with one car every 100 yards or so).

Just a few quick numbers:

At 60MPH with 100 yards separation between vehicles, the rear driver has 3.4 seconds to respond to the actions of the leading driver.

At 100MPH with 100 yards separation between vehicles, the rear driver has only 2.0 seconds to respond to the actions of the leading driver. Now your reaction time and ability to handle your car may be top notch, but what about the leading driver? That's the one I don't trust.

I've seen some very stupid moves on the roads in the US and while I don't exactly follow the letter of the law myself I do try to "keep with the general pace". If traffic is doing 100mph, I'll do 100 (such as on I91 in northern Vermont). If traffic is only doing 40, I'll do 40.

US drivers are taught (almost from the time they are born, actually) that "speed kills" and that we shouldn't drive too fast. The almighty conspiracy (also known as government) decides what slow speed is prudent. Roads are designed for these "slow" speeds ("Speed limits are only 55 around there, so why should we design the road for 100MPH" is fairly common). It is even made illegal to exceed 65MPH (or 55, or 75) on major highways in very rural areas for no other reason than "speed kills".

Because I know other drivers on the road expect me to keep my speed reasonable, and because I know other drivers will not know how to react when I drive at an "unreasonable" speed (by their definition) I don't think it is wise to do so and I don't.

As an example of the lousy driving practices taught to drivers in the USA, what are new drivers told they should do in the face of an impending accident? HIT THE BRAKES!.
Now, I've actually avoided more than my fair share of accidents by doing just the opposite and getting out of someone's way. The "brake when you don't know what else to do" is a compensation for the driver not knowing his surroundings. I'm sure most of us know that at any given moment you should know exactly what is happening around you but if this were really the case we'd likely see far less accidents.

How many of us have actually seen someone "miss a yellow" and catch the red light too late to actually stop, but hit the brakes HARD anyway? The driver invariably ends up STOPPED smack dab in the middle of an intersection not knowing what to do. Into REVERSE goes the car and the driver tries to back up! Whatever happened to "Once you're committed YOU GO"?





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