There is an interesting little idea, put forward by some of our more politically correct, but perhaps less skilled advocates of safe driving, that driving fast is dangerous. “Good.”
Most would not disagree with that “Speed Kills”. However, we might suggest that the concept of speed will mean different things to different drivers. Yes, it is true that hitting the abutment of a bridge at ninety miles per hour is going to cause serious damage, but hitting it at forty or fifty-five will also not leave the rest of the day intact.
So how fast is fast? How fast is dangerously fast?
Asking this rhetorical question is like asking, “How rich is rich?” For some, having a couple hundred thousand in the bank might be considered pretty well off. For others, it could be approaching extreme poverty. Everything is relative. More importantly, everything is relative to who answers the question.
We are cooking on our highway at an average speed of seventy. We look in our rear view mirror and suddenly, we see her, approaching us. In another heartbeat, she flies by. “Sheesh — she must have been doing ninety-five or a hundred.” “It’s going too fast!” “She’s a danger to everyone else on the road!” But wait! Suddenly, as the car quickly fades into the future, we notice the overhead. He was a state trooper! Hmmm. Was it still going too fast? Is it still a danger? Do you know How does car driving fast?
Most would suggest, “Probably not.” Not because she is a police officer who has the right to go fast, but because she is a police officer and they have trained her to go fast. She has the skills to go fast and do it safely. Sure, if it hits something it will be curtains, but that’s not very likely to happen. And while she certainly knows she’s moving, she doesn’t feel insecure at her high speed. It’s second nature to her. She is comfortable up there.
Next, of course, is the “speed limit” problem. Some will suggest that if we are breaking the speed limit, we are going too fast. Hmmm again. When even our slow lane drivers are moving comfortably at the limit plus ten or fifteen, it should become somewhat obvious that, for the extreme majority of our drivers, the speed limit is an unrealistic guideline at best, Posted by bureaucrats who may never have. even seen the road, or worse, a steering wheel.
If “Slow Down” is the best suggestion we can come up with to advocate for safer driving and if eighty percent of our drivers ignore the limits, then “Guess what, folks.” “Is not working!” Maybe we should think of something better. Something a little more realistic.
How fast is too fast? Again, who answers the question?
Are you a trained and experienced road driver? There are many more out there. They understand greater speed. They “look ahead” for miles. They know their vehicle and know exactly how it will react to an emergency lane change or panic stop, before it happens. They’re soft. They take driving seriously. They have developed their driving skills to the maximum. They are totally comfortable at whatever speed they choose. If you suggest that they are driving too fast, they will roll their eyes and recognize you as another unqualified road hazard.
Are you asking a less skilled driver, perhaps a driver who just hasn’t learned yet (or never will), that there is more to highway driving than starting the car and pointing down the boulevard? They sure feel uncomfortable. Their knuckles “glow white” as they grip the steering wheel hard. For this driver, the others who pass him are crazy and driving too fast. This driver judges others by his own limitations.
You can also ask a driver who just thinks he knows how to drive. Yes, he found the gas pedal, but he never actually took a car sideways and would have no idea how to control it if he started going there. Understeer, Oversteer and Throttle are completely foreign concepts to him, but he is still the best driver on the road. How fast is it for him?
Here a theme begins to emerge. It’s all about “comfort.” If you are not comfortable with the speed you chose, or if the adrenaline rush through your veins, you are probably driving too fast, maybe not for the race track, but certainly for the highway.
How fast is too fast? Let your body answer the question.
How do we stop the road carnage? How do we feel comfortable? Constantly developing the skills that will make us safer drivers. If you want to know more about our website, please visit: eFourwheel.com