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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    Default Re: Why do people take forever to accelerate to the speed limit after a red light?

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    I imagine that anyone so pulled over would have quite a strong case to appeal any punishment in court, though, because it seems whatever they do they're breaking a law and that's not fair or just?
    Nope; they move out of the passing lane, they don't get pulled over, the faster traffic can pass on the left.
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  2. - Top - End - #32
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    Default Re: Why do people take forever to accelerate to the speed limit after a red light?

    Quote Originally Posted by Delicious Taffy View Post
    If you're in town, there's usually no reason to go over maybe 35mph, honestly. I guess on certain stretches of road, it helps to pick up the pace, just because there's nothing much in the area, but in my experience, there's always that one pedestrian who you could swear spawned directly in your path like a glitchy NPC, practically begging to get ran over. It's too random to be anything but deliberate sabotage from a malicious AI director, and a lot of people are wary of it.


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  3. - Top - End - #33
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    Default Re: Why do people take forever to accelerate to the speed limit after a red light?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Nope; they move out of the passing lane, they don't get pulled over, the faster traffic can pass on the left.
    But by definition, that faster traffic must be speeding? Yet it's the guy who didn't get out of the way that's at fault? Bizarre traffic laws you have over there!

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    Default Re: Why do people take forever to accelerate to the speed limit after a red light?

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    But by definition, that faster traffic must be speeding? Yet it's the guy who didn't get out of the way that's at fault? Bizarre traffic laws you have over there!
    The laws are more to ensure you use the left lane to pass not to just stay driving in.

  5. - Top - End - #35
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    Default Re: Why do people take forever to accelerate to the speed limit after a red light?

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    But by definition, that faster traffic must be speeding? Yet it's the guy who didn't get out of the way that's at fault? Bizarre traffic laws you have over there!
    If it's working as intended, the traffic isn't speeding, but they would be going faster than the folks they are passing, which may be going slower for any number of reasons. If you can't or don't want to go the speed limit, you are expected to stay in the right lane (or left lane for those countries who have their road directions flipped) because it's not safe to pass a vehicle on the passenger side.

    The way I see travel speed is that both going too fast and too slow are dangerous, they both create unsafe and unpredictable situations, especially when the two types of drivers mix, both behaviors should simply be avoided.

    Driving is highly contextual in my opinion, one may need to go faster, slowly, or stay at the speed limit depending on how congested the road is, the conditions, what the flow of traffic is like, and whether it's city or highway, and what the condition of my vehicle and its load is like.

  6. - Top - End - #36
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    Default Re: Why do people take forever to accelerate to the speed limit after a red light?

    I've always thought the "driving slower causes more accidents" thing was a case of "correlation is not causation". Most slower drivers where I live are not blessed with good reaction time, but tend to not get into wrecks, Instead, it's the young speeding army guys who cause most of the wrecks.

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    But by definition, that faster traffic must be speeding? Yet it's the guy who didn't get out of the way that's at fault? Bizarre traffic laws you have over there!
    US traffic laws would make even the most robust Javascript interpreter give up and say "debug this code, moron!" They're often times intentionally contradictory for reasons that only make sense to law enforcement pocketbooks.

    In one part of Texas I remember the family RV being pulled over for going the speed limit because there were too many cars tailgating behind us on a road where they couldn't pass us, and we were told if it happened again they'd have to give us a ticket.
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  7. - Top - End - #37
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    Default Re: Why do people take forever to accelerate to the speed limit after a red light?

    In my state, we have a "basic speed rule" in addition to the posted speed limits. It says something like "drivers are not permitted to drive faster than is safe under current road conditions". This basically means that if you try to drive the speed limit in an ice storm, you will get a ticket for speeding (after you crash your car).

    It also comes into play on rural/farm roads, which are not all signed with specific limits rather than the generic limits of "numbered highway is 55 unless otherwise stated, non-highway is 45 mph if not otherwise stated" around here, even though there are plenty of areas on them where it would not be safe or sensible to actually attempt to GO 45 or 55 mph on such a road. The driver is supposed to use the Basic Speed Rule and reduce their speed accordingly. (Winding roads over hills/mountains would be a good example of a place where the "speed limit" may not be posted as lower than 55mph, but that particular hairpin is unsafe to take at above 30 mph, or lower in a car with different handling. I once got rear-ended by an idiot going 55 mph on a farm road because it was garbage day, the garbage truck had stopped to pick up garbage from a farmhouse, and all of the cars behind it had stopped because there wasn't room to pass. I was maybe 5th or 6th in "line" behind the stopped garbage truck, and the freeway-mentality driver behind me hadn't thought about the fact that traffic might stop.)

  8. - Top - End - #38
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    Default Re: Why do people take forever to accelerate to the speed limit after a red light?

    Cars can only accelerate so fast from a dead stop, even if you floor it. Coming from a town with a lot of stop signs I know this from experience.

  9. - Top - End - #39
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    Default Re: Why do people take forever to accelerate to the speed limit after a red light?

    Quote Originally Posted by Liquor Box View Post
    Actually, I think driving slower than the speed limit (in normal conditions) is more dangerous than driving at the speed limit. It is the difference in speed between cars that creates the danger. You may not realise it, but you are actually increasing danger on yourself and others.

    Slowing down because somebody is tailgating you, is also significantly more dangerous than merely continuing on. You probably know this and do it anyway.

    In my jurisdiction you can (and people often are) fined for going too slowly and holding up traffic, and a quick google search indicates that that law applies in a lot of places. So a speed limit (although called a limit and not a target) is indeed an indication of expected driving speed in normal conditions, and a person driving more slowly can quite rightly be penalised for imposing their own ideal of what is safe, leisurely or economical speedon others.
    You seem to misunderstand me. The only time I go significantly slower than the speed limit is when somebody is tailgating me, which is when I am driving the speed limit and the other car's grill is practically in my back seat. This is because those speed-demon drivers have almost killed me on several occasions by trying to whip around me (while I am going the speed limit) into traffic and avoiding a ten-car pileup by inches.

    As for "slower is more dangerous", that's bunk. The number-one cause of accidents is cars and/or pedestrians entering the road without warning - and the only way to avoid hitting those people is to be going slow enough to react.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    "There is no fast lane" is debatable. There is most certainly a passing lane, and a lot of states in the U.S. have "slowpoke laws," where a car in the passing lane can be pulled over for going too slow, even if they're going the speed limit.
    In most (currently all, unless I missed something) states, cars in the passing lane are still subject to the speed limit, with maybe a slightly wider cushion (if you're behind somebody doing 5 under, you can probably get away with going 10 over in the passing lane in order to pass the slower car as quickly as possible and reenter your own lane) as long as the driver is actively engaged in passing and not using the lane for travel.

  10. - Top - End - #40
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    Default Re: Why do people take forever to accelerate to the speed limit after a red light?

    There are also "speed of traffic" laws which override many other laws. Like if you have a 4 wheel drive SUV with studded tires and go 45 in a snow storm you can still get ticketed because the cruddy 4 cylinder rear wheel can't go that fast.
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  11. - Top - End - #41
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    Default Re: Why do people take forever to accelerate to the speed limit after a red light?

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    But by definition, that faster traffic must be speeding? Yet it's the guy who didn't get out of the way that's at fault? Bizarre traffic laws you have over there!
    No. Let's say there's a two-lane road, and a car in both lanes. They are both going the same speed. Regardless of the speed limit, the car in the left lane is subject to a slowpoke law (if the state has one). They can both be going slightly under the speed limit, exactly the speed limit, or over the speed limit (in which case there's another thing they can be pulled over for).

    ETA: Rereading my initial comment, I hadn't explained it well at first. The slowpoke laws are intended for people in the passing lane(s) who are going the same speed or slower than the people in the non-passing lane(s). It's about maximizing the flow of traffic, best I can tell. I like the concept, and kinda wish my stare had a slowpoke law (at night on the interstate, it's not unusual to see people in both lanes going 5-10 under. Even if they don't clog the lanes, they still usually don't keep right like they're supposed to either, so it gets annoying).
    Last edited by Peelee; 2017-08-02 at 01:37 PM.
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  12. - Top - End - #42
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    Default Re: Why do people take forever to accelerate to the speed limit after a red light?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    No. Let's say there's a two-lane road, and a car in both lanes. They are both going the same speed. Regardless of the speed limit, the car in the left lane is subject to a slowpoke law (if the state has one). They can both be going slightly under the speed limit, exactly the speed limit, or over the speed limit (in which case there's another thing they can be pulled over for).
    The problem is in the name. It might be called "slowpoke law", but it would be more accurate to call it the "Don't block the passing lane" rule (as it is in my home country). It works as explained by Peelee (i.e. driving on passing lanes at the same speed as the cars in the driving lane), and the reasoning for it is thus:
    1) If you are going at the same speed as the cars in the driving lane, you should be in it, not next to it
    2) You ain't the Sheriff of the road. you don't get to stop other vehicles from driving just because you have decided to drive at a given speed, even if that happens to be the posted speed.

    I literally got this question in a practice test for my driver's license: "You are driving on the far lane at the speed limit. A car indicates they want to overtake you. Are you obligated to let him pass?" to which the correct answer was "Yes".

    As to who causes more accidents, these days I'd rather deal with speeders than slow pokes - because speeders are at least likely to be paying attention to the road. From considerable personal observation (well beyond the usual anecdote level), too many slowpokes in the roads these days are due to looking at their phones, which makes them bloody dangerous.

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  13. - Top - End - #43
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    Default Re: Why do people take forever to accelerate to the speed limit after a red light?

    Quote Originally Posted by Delicious Taffy View Post
    If you're in town, there's usually no reason to go over maybe 35mph, honestly.
    The speed limit in my speed limit is 45mph and heavens help you if you're not going 50. Cops won't even bother to tag you going 55.

  14. - Top - End - #44
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    Default Re: Why do people take forever to accelerate to the speed limit after a red light?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnoman View Post
    You seem to misunderstand me. The only time I go significantly slower than the speed limit is when somebody is tailgating me, which is when I am driving the speed limit and the other car's grill is practically in my back seat. This is because those speed-demon drivers have almost killed me on several occasions by trying to whip around me (while I am going the speed limit) into traffic and avoiding a ten-car pileup by inches.
    So the only time you go significantly slower than the speed limit is when it is most dangerous to do so? I think you are much more likely to be killed by a speed demon driver (either by them rear ending you while you slow down to teach them a lesson, or because they are more likely to try to "whip around you" if you have slowed down to teach them a lesson). if you slow to significantly slower than the speed limit to frustrate those drivers you disapprove of.

  15. - Top - End - #45
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    Default Re: Why do people take forever to accelerate to the speed limit after a red light?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chen View Post
    This doesn't really get into the "why" though. It just correlates those significantly below the speed limit with more accidents. You know what also correlates to going significantly below the speed limit? Nervous drivers (new) and/or old drivers. Somehow I think that would also be a pretty significant factor here.
    That's a good point - it may be that the reason slow drivers are more dangerous is not because they are driving more slowly, but because of the other factors you mention.

    I am not invested enough in the issue to look for research that controls for the factors you mention, but I can say that in my own country the roading authority (who sets speed limits) is open that driving slowly can be dangerous of itself, and people do get fined for driving slowly. Even cyclists do.

  16. - Top - End - #46
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    Default Re: Why do people take forever to accelerate to the speed limit after a red light?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    ETA: Rereading my initial comment, I hadn't explained it well at first. The slowpoke laws are intended for people in the passing lane(s) who are going the same speed or slower than the people in the non-passing lane(s).
    They don't have specific laws for that in the UK, but the police have the power to pull people over and give them penalty points on their licence for such things as lane-hogging, tailgating, and other delights of multi-lane roads. I know that I was told while learning to drive that driving too *slowly* could be considered cause for failing your driving test--the rule is you have to make "proper progress", which means driving at or near the speed limit so long as the road conditions merit it.

  17. - Top - End - #47
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    Default Re: Why do people take forever to accelerate to the speed limit after a red light?

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    They don't have specific laws for that in the UK, but the police have the power to pull people over and give them penalty points on their licence for such things as lane-hogging, tailgating, and other delights of multi-lane roads. I know that I was told while learning to drive that driving too *slowly* could be considered cause for failing your driving test--the rule is you have to make "proper progress", which means driving at or near the speed limit so long as the road conditions merit it.
    I just love how British "proper progress" sounds.
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  18. - Top - End - #48
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    Default Re: Why do people take forever to accelerate to the speed limit after a red light?

    On a different branch of this conversation, I got stuck behind some idiot last night on the interstate, who when we got into road work, instead of going the posted 60mph, decided "I"m going to go 30mph, the entire damn way, through 3 freaking miles of road work". I was so frustrated, annoyed, and even a bit angry by the time we got to the end of it, and will admit to blowing my horn at them as I passed them immediately. Was one of the most irritating(that didn't involve danger) things I've ever experienced in my nearly 20 years of driving.

    Literally didn't even come across another vehicle until we had passed 2 separate on-ramps, and they were all semis, despite before the road work there having been a multitude of vehicles nearby.
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  19. - Top - End - #49
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    Default Re: Why do people take forever to accelerate to the speed limit after a red light?

    Quote Originally Posted by snowblizz View Post
    Isn't that more a case of "the passing lane is for passing, not continuous travel", ie if you keep driving in the passing lane you are doing it wrong. Because if nothing else you are blocking it from others wanting to pass by others.


    That said, I've noticed 90% of people who insist driving slow is dangerous are rather dangerous speeders by nature.

    It's irrefutably proven that slower speeds are much less damaging in accidents. Especially at the slower scale like traffic in the city, where going 20km/h is much safer for pedestrians than being at the limit of 50 km/h.
    What I have never seen mentioned in such studies, however, is whether frequency of accident occurrence is affected by lower speeds. If the speed limit is too low for the conditions, I think many people find themselves watching the speedo rather than the road. If someone steps out in front of them, the car will brake more quickly, but there might be a delay in noticing and applying the brake.

    Something else that I think we need to consider is that there are factors other than road user safety which are relevant considerations but are never mentioned in such studies. After all, while reducing the speed limit may reduce the number of people injured in car accidents by a certain proportion, we could reduce that number to zero overnight by simply banning the car.* At a societal level we have clearly agreed - even if we don't want to admit it - that a certain number of casualties are an acceptable price to pay for the convenience and benefit that we derive from automotive transport. The question is where that balance is struck, but in discussions and lobbying over road safety the equation never comes into it, presumably because "well, if a few people have to die so that the rest of us can take our kids to school in comfort, that's fine by me" is something the villain in a Disney film would say, even though it's something that almost everyone actually believes.


    *I am aware that other modes of transport are also dangerous and that statistically the roads were more dangerous before the car than they are now; however roads were also statistically more dangerous when cars had a much lower maximum speed than they are now. The roads are pretty much as safe as they've ever been, despite all appearances.
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  20. - Top - End - #50
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    Default Re: Why do people take forever to accelerate to the speed limit after a red light?

    Quote Originally Posted by snowblizz View Post
    It's irrefutably proven that slower speeds are much less damaging in accidents. Especially at the slower scale like traffic in the city, where going 20km/h is much safer for pedestrians than being at the limit of 50 km/h.
    In a vacuum, you're correct that slower speeds are safer. In traffic, the safest speed to go is whatever speed the majority of the traffic around you is going. If traffic's going 5 under the limit, then going 5 over the limit is creating significant danger. If traffic's going 10 over the limit, then going the speed limit is creating significant danger. Here's a pretty good article explaining why.

  21. - Top - End - #51
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    Default Re: Why do people take forever to accelerate to the speed limit after a red light?

    Quote Originally Posted by Starwulf View Post
    On a different branch of this conversation, I got stuck behind some idiot last night on the interstate, who when we got into road work, instead of going the posted 60mph, decided "I"m going to go 30mph, the entire damn way, through 3 freaking miles of road work". I was so frustrated, annoyed, and even a bit angry by the time we got to the end of it, and will admit to blowing my horn at them as I passed them immediately. Was one of the most irritating(that didn't involve danger) things I've ever experienced in my nearly 20 years of driving.

    Literally didn't even come across another vehicle until we had passed 2 separate on-ramps, and they were all semis, despite before the road work there having been a multitude of vehicles nearby.
    Yeah...driving in construction zones (where fines are doubled) at night? Sounds to me like the guy was just trying to be cautious.
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  22. - Top - End - #52
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    Default Re: Why do people take forever to accelerate to the speed limit after a red light?

    Oh man, if you wanna talk about jerk drivers....

    So this one morning, I hop on the interstate to go to work. I hit the on ramp, and I see a traffic jam. For some reason, they closed the left lane and only the right lane was open about a mile up ahead, but it's only closed for maybe a couple car lengths, so everything's clear after that. I merge into the right lane, right in front of this nice SUV. Right lane is understandably congested, and I notice that behind me in the left lane is a semi, with nobody between him and the lane closure. The odd thing is, he's doing roughly the same speed as the congested right lane, which is slighly more than a crawl. I know about the zipper method, and I figure if this guy is going almost as slow in his ~mile long free lane, he's probably not looking to zipper, and is just wanting to merge into the right lane.

    Now, I have a soft spot for truckers. They're at work, and because they tend to be huge and slower than most traffic, a lot of people don't let them merge in, so I try to let them whenever I can. So as this guy slowly pulls ahead of me, I'm making enough space that he can merge into my lane. Nope. Guy just keeps goin' along. At this point I'm thinking, huh, maybe he is doing the zipper method and is going slow in case someone else tries to change lanes and dart right in front of him or something.

    Until he starts going so slowly that we overtake him. Again, the right lane, my lane, is congested with all the people who merged into it already. The left lane, which is closed in now about half a mile, is free and clear until the closure, and this truck is somehow managing to go slower than the actual congestion.

    Well, about a minute passes, and he starts to creep up again. And weird trucker or no, it's still a pain to get in, so I ease up again and offer enough space for him to go in again. With cars, I'll usually flash my lights to make sure they know what I'm doing, but this is a space big enough for an 18-wheeler to get in and still have minimum safe distance behind the guy. It's very, very obvious what I'm doing, especially now that it's the second time I do it. Flashing my lights ain't gonna do a damn thing. And again, he doesn't take it, and keeps on keepin' on.

    So, another 30 seconds or so and we're finally at the lane closure. This time, he's just about matching me, maybe a bit in front. And he just starts edging into the right lane all of a sudden. I swerved a tiny bit to avoid the guy, but the SUV behind me gets literally run off the road onto the shoulder. Now, SUV handled this like a champ. Dude saw the truck start to hone in on me, so he was already edging to the shoulder and had more than enough space to be perfectly safe, lookin' calm as could be. Well, as safe and calm as one can be getting run off the road, at least.

    Anyway, this SUV... let me tell you about this SUV. This SUV was right behind me. This SUV saw the trucker driving kinda strangely. This SUV saw me clearly give the trucker two changes to merge safely. This SUV saw me almost get run off the road by the trucker. This SUV actually got run off the road by the trucker. This SUV just waited for the truck to pass. And then, in my rear view mirror, this SUV suddenly exploded in white and blue flashing lights.

    Not gonna lie, that made me smile.
    Last edited by Peelee; 2017-08-02 at 06:41 PM.
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  23. - Top - End - #53
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    Default Re: Why do people take forever to accelerate to the speed limit after a red light?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aedilred View Post
    Something else that I think we need to consider is that there are factors other than road user safety which are relevant considerations but are never mentioned in such studies. After all, while reducing the speed limit may reduce the number of people injured in car accidents by a certain proportion, we could reduce that number to zero overnight by simply banning the car.* At a societal level we have clearly agreed - even if we don't want to admit it - that a certain number of casualties are an acceptable price to pay for the convenience and benefit that we derive from automotive transport. The question is where that balance is struck, but in discussions and lobbying over road safety the equation never comes into it, presumably because "well, if a few people have to die so that the rest of us can take our kids to school in comfort, that's fine by me" is something the villain in a Disney film would say, even though it's something that almost everyone actually believes.
    This is very true.

    It's a matter of weighing the benefits of travelling faster against the benefits of travelling slower.

    In doing so we have the choice of adhering to the speed limit imposed by law (subject to unusual conditions like ice, or going around a sharp corner), or having each driver decide for themselves what speed is appropriate for a given stretch of road. The outcome of the second will either be that every driver will have to drive at the speed of the slowest common denominator (if there is nowhere to overtake) or all drivers will drive at different speeds, thus overtaking and probably increasing the risk of accident.

  24. - Top - End - #54
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    Default Re: Why do people take forever to accelerate to the speed limit after a red light?

    Quote Originally Posted by Liquor Box View Post
    Slowing down because somebody is tailgating you, is also significantly more dangerous than merely continuing on.
    One good reason to slow down (carefully) when being tailgated is to shorten stopping distance and thus make it less likely that you'll be rear-ended if something runs out in front of you. Of course you also balance it with concerns about slowing down too much and being a road hazard to people coming up fast behind the tailgater.
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    Default Re: Why do people take forever to accelerate to the speed limit after a red light?

    Quote Originally Posted by tiornys View Post
    In a vacuum, you're correct that slower speeds are safer. In traffic, the safest speed to go is whatever speed the majority of the traffic around you is going. If traffic's going 5 under the limit, then going 5 over the limit is creating significant danger. If traffic's going 10 over the limit, then going the speed limit is creating significant danger. Here's a pretty good article explaining why.
    I don't slow down for tailgating. I set my cruise control at the speed limit for the most part.

    EDIT: I admit that I dislike hotheaded people, but it's important to look for the good in people rather than just seeing the bad. Slightly inspired by Luffy helping Nami. (deleted some stuff)
    Last edited by gooddragon1; 2017-08-02 at 09:41 PM.
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    Default Re: Why do people take forever to accelerate to the speed limit after a red light?

    Quote Originally Posted by Liquor Box View Post
    A quick google shows a myriad of articles referencing studies suggesting that driving significantly slower than the speed limit is more dangerous than driving at the speed limit. Here's one:
    https://sites.psu.edu/siowfa15/2015/...-faster-safer/

    "According to state and federal studies, drivers that are driving significantly below the average speed are the ones that are most likely to get involved in an accident. Studies show that the most accidents occur when the driver is driving at 10 mph slower than the speed limit. So someone going 45 in a 55 has a bigger chance of getting into an accident than someone driving at 65-70 mph"

    I imagine it is very circumstantial when driving slower creates the greater danger (busy multi-lane road), and when driving at the speed limit (when ice or curves or other circumstances make the speed limit dangerous), but I have no doubt that there are some circumstances where driving slower than the speed limit increases the risk.
    Your conclusion is totally wrong; Chen is correct.

    "The people who drive significantly slower than the speed limit are the people who get into accidents more frequently"

    does not mean, AT ALL, the same thing as

    "It is more dangerous, for a given driver of a given skill and ability, to drive significantly slower than the speed limit".

    The former statement is factual, the latter is incorrect. Nervous, inexperienced, paranoid, oblivious, blind drivers are have a higher-than-average odds of getting into accidents, and they obviously also tend to drive slowly compared to average.
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    Default Re: Why do people take forever to accelerate to the speed limit after a red light?

    Quote Originally Posted by Razade View Post
    Yeah...driving in construction zones (where fines are doubled) at night? Sounds to me like the guy was just trying to be cautious.
    At half the posted speed limit? 30 in a 60 is not cautious, that's almost deliberate antagonization in my book.

    I feel like I should also qualify this by saying that it wasn't an inactive work zone where visibility might be low and a cone or barrel might have gotten knocked over and you couldn't see it, it was an active work zone, with a crap ton of lights posted the entire length(there must have been 20 or more work trucks and 2 separate cops there), but none of the trucks were coming into our lane or anything either. It was perfectly safe to drive the posted speed limit. Honestly, if he had gone 55, or even 50, I wouldn't be on the thread complaining, but he was going half the posted work-zone speed limit of 60. And no, I wasn't tailgating him either, he was actually a fair amount ahead of me at first(when we first entered the construction). He was literally going 30 right from the outset, all the way up until we exited the single lane and went back to two. By the time we got out of it, there was roughly 20-30 vehicles behind me, including 4 semi's that I could see.
    Last edited by Starwulf; 2017-08-03 at 12:44 AM.
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    Default Re: Why do people take forever to accelerate to the speed limit after a red light?

    Quote Originally Posted by Liquor Box View Post
    So the only time you go significantly slower than the speed limit is when it is most dangerous to do so? I think you are much more likely to be killed by a speed demon driver (either by them rear ending you while you slow down to teach them a lesson, or because they are more likely to try to "whip around you" if you have slowed down to teach them a lesson). if you slow to significantly slower than the speed limit to frustrate those drivers you disapprove of.
    Perhaps you're not one to quibble with precise definitions of words, but he was talking about tailgaters, not "speed demon drivers." The key difference--the latter encompasses folks that drive quickly in general, with the strong implication that they're doing so beyond a reasonable level of safety, while the former describes a specific behavior, deliberately following too closely for the given speed.

    Slowing down isn't only about frustrating those drivers--it's about taking yourself out of a dangerous situation. If you slow down gradually and deliberately, you can choose a pace that will allow them to react despite their proximity. If you keep driving as you were driving, with them following at an unsafe distance, you run the risk of a much more dangerous collision if you have to stop suddenly in response to an unforeseen road hazard. Yes, from a liability perspective, the guy behind you will be at fault anyway, but from a practical and safety perspective, you're the poor bastard who will be sandwiched between a guy who's driving too close and too fast, and whatever unavoidable object suddenly appeared in front of you.

    As for "whipping around you," I frankly don't care. Slowing down gradually gives the tailgater an opportunity to pass you more quickly and safely than he would if you remained at speed. If he's simply in a hurry and has a different sense of safe following distance than you, he'll be grateful for a chance to get ahead of you, and you'll get out of an unsafe situation. If, however, he's the kind of jerk who feels the need to retaliate against any perceived slight, then yes, slowing down might set him off. But so will pretty much anything else you do. If you keep going the same speed you're going, and he keeps tailgating but still refuses to pass you, you'll probably be annoying him. If you suddenly have to brake for something and he hits you because he's following too close, he'll probably blame you for it. Heck, if you accelerate to a speed that you find unsafe in order to put some distance between you and your tailgater, he'll still probably find some way to interpret that as a provocation on your part.

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    Default Re: Why do people take forever to accelerate to the speed limit after a red light?

    After having moved to DC for a couple of years and being near Miami now I have very little sympathy or patience for people complaining about others "going too slow". I can't believe any tales of people being mad at someone going "20 in a 45" when personal experience has shown me it's more likely some **********'s doing 65 in a 45 and laying on the horn because the guy going 50 is "going too slow" for them.

    Maybe that's unfair of me but when I hear the OP say "He was going 20 in a 45" I hear "He was going 40 in a 45 but I was REALLY in a hurry so I'm going to make a post about it to get validation for this minor inconvenience annoying me".

    Don't get me started on "WHY WEREN'T YOU WATCHING THE ROAD!?!" complaints from people I KNOW will go 20+ miles over the speed limit, switch lanes in heavy traffic without using signals with barely space between cars, and get pissed when they cause, witness, or get involved in an accident.

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    Default Re: Why do people take forever to accelerate to the speed limit after a red light?

    Quote Originally Posted by Starwulf View Post
    At half the posted speed limit? 30 in a 60 is not cautious, that's almost deliberate antagonization in my book.
    Then, respectfully, it's quite possible you're misreading the situation. I consider myself a very capable driver, I still drive the car I used to take to the track (I consider it well above average in terms of handling), and I've been called slightly below average in terms of because cautious and risk averse. However, the posted speed limits for those construction zones are a crapshoot sometimes, and I've driven through quite a few construction zones where the single or double lanes were narrow, curving, poorly marked, with old reflectors or faded paint still faintly marking the numerous previous paths, and I barely felt comfortable driving around the posted speed limit.

    All else equal, I find it much more likely that the guy was simply cautious and unconfident in his driving abilities to a ridiculous degree. While I'm sure deliberate antagonism for its own sake, I favor the old adage that incompetence tends to be more common than malice.

    Quote Originally Posted by lio45 View Post
    The former statement is factual, the latter is incorrect. Nervous, inexperienced, paranoid, oblivious, blind drivers are have a higher-than-average odds of getting into accidents, and they obviously also tend to drive slowly compared to average.
    Also, drunk or otherwise intoxicated drivers are a confounding variable, and the studies don't always properly account for them. Drunk and high drivers often drive far slower when impaired, partly because they're perception of speed is off, and partly because they're aware enough of their impairment to drive slower in order to compensate. While I have no personal experience with this, I have noticed the former phenomenon when getting tired while driving: Usually, a good sign that it's time for me to take a break is when I glance at the speedometer, and it shows a lower speed than I expect.
    Last edited by Xyril; 2017-08-03 at 01:40 AM.

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