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Old 06-21-2014, 09:09 AM
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
2,610 posts, read 3,766,726 times
Reputation: 1616


Originally Posted by tijlover View Post
No matter what the speed limit is, drivers generally go 5-10MPH over the limit anyway.

We have an unusually high incidence of pedestrian deaths here in Las Vegas due to our 45MPH speed limits on the major avenues, and I dare you to find anyone in this racey town not doing 50-55-60MPH on those streets, and the danger is compounded by 3 lanes in each direction, and an island lane in the middle.

Many times, trying to cross over these 7 lanes, without a crosswalk, I've misjudged these "racers" in this city, and by the time I'm to Lane 7 and curb I'm all but run over!

I'm currently reading the book Speed Tribes, about the gangs in the Tokyo area. For fun, these gangs will clog up an expressway some night, not allowing anyone to pass them, and laugh away, with horns honking, inching along at 5MPH! We need that here in Las Vegas, from time to time!
IMO they generally go 5-10 MPH over the limit because the road was designed for higher speeds than the speed limit. The avenues of Las Vegas basically look like undivided highways (often with a center turn lane that makes them almost like divided highways) that are very straight and wide with relatively few intersections, so it's not surprising that they're treated as such.

Around here, most roads will have people going 5-10mph over the limit too, but on residential side streets and the main street of both my hometown and current neighbouring city, they go at the speed limit, if not slower.

Also, it's not just about lower casualty rates being hit at 20mph vs 40mph. If someone 80ft away suddenly jumps out in front of your car....

Based on the stopping distance/breaking deceleration from here


Traveling at 40mph, you'll hit them at 28mph.

Traveling at 30mph you'll stop just in time (with 5ft to spare).

Traveling at 20mph you'll stop with 40 ft to spare.

If someone 40ft away suddenly jumps in front of your car, depending on what speed you started at, you'll hit them

40mph --> 40mph (just because 40ft is the thinking distance)
30mph --> 26mph
25mph --> 18mph
21mph --> 8mph
20mph --> 0mph

On top of being able to stop sooner, you also have more time to swerve/avoid the person, the person also has more time to react, and also it's easier to judge how much time you have when a car is traveling more slowly, because it's closer to human speeds we've evolved to judge.
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