I drive a car regularly(?) and I also ride (a) bicycle semi-regularly. I notice that most drivers, most drivers, are want to exceed the posted speed limit by 5 – 10 number of miles. Personally, I strive to drive at the posted speed limit. I am of the mindset that driving a mile or two below the posted speed limit (or five mph slower than normal) would greatly influence a reduction in automobile accidents. The perception that ‘getting there faster is better’ can lead to many ‘avoidable’ accidents.
The statistics for driving the ‘speed limit’ – Studies abound in argument for and against driving (at) the posted speed limit. Yet, the majority of automobile fatalities occur at speeds which exceed the posted speed limit (five to ten mph). The amount of speed at which an automobile travels proportionally effects the outcomes of an accident. Coupled with the mindset that my car has the right of way sets a dangerous precedent. Rushing back and forth (in order) to ‘get there’, in my opinion, is often not necessary. People use their automobiles as an extension of themselves. They don’t like to take time. They don’t like to wait any longer than is necessary.
Why slowing down and driving cautiously can reduce accidents. Failure to be cautious is a factor in many ‘fender benders’. A turn into speeding traffic instead of allowing cars to pass. Also, driving fast and not allowing a car to enter traffic can be problematic. Driving through yellow (going to red) lights. Lack of vigilance near (marked) crosswalks . . . . a dangerous situation for pedestrians and cyclists. Higher driving speeds lead to higher collision speeds and thus to severer injury. Higher driving speeds also provide less time to process information and to act on it, and the braking distance is longer. Therefore the possibility of avoiding a collision is smaller. In short: high driving speeds lead to a higher crash rate, also with a greater likelihood of a severer outcome (Aarts, 2004; Aarts & Van Schagen, 2006). Thus, a mere five miles per hour slower can be a positive influence on reducing accidents
Personal bike riding experiences. I have seen and been exposed to the failure (a reluctance) of motorists (some motorists) to extend a courtesy of the road to bicyclists. It as if automobile drivers in the United States want to have exclusive rights to the road. Even though all U.S. residents pay for using them . . . through taxation. Recently, I was biking on the sidewalk of a highway frontage road. Making my way to a ‘marked crosswalk’, I was just entering when a car whipped around the corner. Fortunately, the car stopped but the driver (B!+<&) honked her horn at me as if I was at fault. In what manner would consideration, courtesy and five miles an hour slower have affected that scenario??
Perhaps, all of this speeding and needing to get there is contributory to the amount of stress that people may be feeling, experiencing, projecting . . . perhaps. Maybe just allowing ourselves to breathe empathetically into our own harried lives might a facilitate a reverberance of calm and well-being to within ourselves and to those around us.
Just a personal rant here. Nothing specific . . . . .
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