Debunking Speeding

I know a lot of people that claim that speeding will get them to work a lot faster.  I argue that it makes very little difference.   I am going to this week debunk that with a real world test and real math.

Here is the rub,  Speeding = faster is only true if your average speed for that trip IS higher.  Most people do not know enough math to calculate an average speed AND include reality in it.   Reality is the time it takes from when you get in your car to when you get out of your car at work.

So I am using the following formula :   Average speed = Miles Driven / Minutes driving * 60
This is a well know, accurate and respected formula for calculating average speed.

This morning for example, I set the cruise control at 66 mph, that is 4 mph UNDER the highway speed limit.  My commute is 39.1 miles on the nose from my driveway to my parking spot at work. My GPS, Odometer, and Google maps all agree on this. My commute is 15% city and 85% open highway.

the SECOND I was able to hit the highway,  I floored the car to get up to speed as fast as possible, I then set the cruise at 66 mph and maintained that speed as much as I could.  Any time I slowed down for traffic I would floor it to get back up to speed as fast as possible. I am doing everything possible to keep near my target speed.  Speeding on residential streets is only for scumbags, I refuse to do that, all residential streets will be at the speed limit when possible.

It took 44 minutes to get to work with an average speed of 53.05 Mph.

This was mostly an effect of traffic and the 3 miles of residential 35 mph at the beginning of my trip and the 2 miles of residential 35mph at the end of my trip.

Let's see what the rest of the data points prove.   I will do 3 runs at 70mph, and 3 runs at 75mph, this will give a good average of what the real travel times are and the effects of traffic.  I have already seen that luck has more to do with a fast commute.  There are a total of 9 traffic lights I have to deal with. Not stopping at those light has already made a HUGE impact in time saved.

70 mph :
Day 1 - 42 minutes Avg 55.57mph : Clear weather, Almost no traffic at all
Day 2 - 39 minutes Avg 59.85mph : Clear weather, hit all green lights and light traffic slowdowns.

I have had trouble remembering to log my end time when I get to work.  Not enough coffee.  So I am going to try an app on my phone that will log the trip with start and end time as well as miles driven. It is an app called "Automilez"  no confidence in the bad name, but I will run some test to see if it is even semi-accurate.

What I have been noticing though is that traffic and luck of the traffic lights has a HUGE impact on drive time. Shifting my commute time to work by 10 minutes earlier made the biggest difference. so far, One day I made it in about 36 minutes by leaving early and the cruise set at 70.

Ok this is getting real data... it is much more consistent on identical driving days.

70 MPH

Day 1 - 57.23 avg mph : 39.1 miles, 40minutes 58 seconds  Clear weather light traffic
Day 2 - 58.58 avg mph : 39.1 miles  40minutes 01 seconds Clear weather light traffic
Day 3 - 58.65 avg mph : 39.1 miles  39 minutes 53 seconds light rain light traffic

75 MPH

Day 1 - 58.35 avg mph 39.1 miles 40 minutes 18 seconds  light rain light traffic.
Day 2 - 58.58 avg mph 39.1 miles 40 minutes 03 seconds  light snow light traffic.
Day 3 - 53.93 avg mph 39.1 miles 43 minutes 21 seconds  light rain, light traffic, one accident on side of road

Driving stress is far higher at 75MPH.  I am constantly slowing for traffic I am finding that I try to go even faster than 75 to "make up time" and am driving far more aggressive.   This in turn is making me cranky.I am already seeing the proof that there is no time difference.  I also noticed the more aggressive drivers trying to do 90 do not get any farther ahead to make a difference.  When I enter the city I can see their car only 5-10 car lengths away. And yes It's the same car, not everyone drives a 2002 civic in lime green with a chunk of aluminum siding on the back and a "Monster" logo on both sides.

Traffic is sucking up time far more than the speeding is making it up. And any traffic slow downs like an accident can add so much time that even driving 120mph when you can will not make up for the time lost due to traffic.

I also was seeing at 10% drop in fuel economy, so I am not only getting minimal to zero gains by speeding, but it costs more in fuel and stress.   I simply can not see why anyone would speed.  you are not going to get there any faster, at least not any faster than driving the speed limit.


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