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Posted: 12/5/2007 7:43:06 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/5/2007 7:43:32 AM EDT by TxLewis]
Last month, an EKOS Research study for Transport Canada found seven out of 10 Canadians freely admit to exceeding speed limits from time to time, with another 11 per cent copping to speeding "only on highways." Average speeding margins were 12 kilometres per hour over the limit on highways, 10 km/h on two-lane highways/country roads and seven km/h on residential streets.

The report contends speeders underestimate their true speed and "delude themselves" into thinking their behaviour really isn't that bad - acknowledging they are technically breaking the law, but not in a way that endangers either themselves or others.

Perhaps the delusion is that moderate speeding poses a serious and unacceptable risk, and the real "problem" is that Canadian speed limits are too low, which 51 per cent of survey respondents said they are, and a good reason why most Canadians frequently exceed them.

There is nothing magically authoritative about pegging the legal limit at a particular figure. It's a broad generality at best, a highly relative value judgment on a reasonable trade-off between safety and efficiency. Ergo, if the speed limit was set at 50 km/h on highways (and could be enforced), it's certain fewer people would be killed or hurt in highway crashes, but it is arbitrarily deemed a higher number of fatalities and maimings are tolerable, since we set the highest highway speed limit at more than twice that figure.

Brian Jonah, director of road safety programs at Transport Canada, maintained the chance of an accident resulting in a fatality is reduced by one per cent with every five km/h reduction in speed. I'd like to review the science of that assertion, which flies in the face of empirical reality in the United States and Europe.

Following the 1973 oil crisis and the U.S. government's imposition of a national 55 mph (88 km/h) limit, statistical analyses indicate highway safety worsened. And when Congress finally repealed federal speed limits in November 1995, to much caterwauling from the "speed-kills" crowd, with dire predictions of 6,400 increased deaths and a million additional injuries, the actual effect was diametrically opposite. Traffic deaths dropped to a record low by 1997, including in the 33 states that had immediately raised their speed limits. Meanwhile, Americans saved about 200 million person-hours in terms of less time spent on the road, with a reported net economic benefit of higher speed limits of $2 billion to $3 billion a year. A U.S. National Research Council panel pegged the cost of the 55-mph limit at about one billion person-hours per year.

Likewise, a study by the U.S. National Motorists Association found the safest period on Montana's Interstate highways was when there were no daytime speed limits or enforceable speed laws at all. When Montana implemented a new "safety program," imposing speed limits and enforcement, the state's fatal accident rate didn't just increase, it doubled, according to NMA statistics.

Other interesting findings of the Montana study were that vehicles traveling faster than average had the lowest accident rates, and there was no positive correlation between speed enforcement and accident rates on rural highways. If anything, the highways became less safe with enforcement.

By global standards, North American speed limits are absurdly low. In most European countries the highway speed limit is either 120 km/h or 130 km/h. Britain and Sweden have the strictest limits at 110 km/h. About three-quarters of the famous German Autobahnen have no speed limit at all. The "recommended velocity" is 130 km/h, but average speeds in unregulated areas are about 150 km/h. Nevertheless, the overall safety record on Autobahnen is comparable to that on controlled-access highways in European countries with speed limits. A 2005 study by the German Interior Ministry found sections with unrestricted speed had the same accident record as sections with speed limits.

The preponderance of evidence, as opposed to supposition, prejudice, hysteria and conventional wisdom, indicates speed, per se, doesn't "kill," that there are massive economic costs consequential to imposing unnecessarily low speed limits, and that there is a logical and legitimate case for raising - not lowering - speed limits on Canadian highways.

I'm confident we could bump the maximum speed limit to 120 or 130 km/h quite satisfactorily, in the mature understanding that any speed limit involves arbitrary compromise among fuel economy, safety and economics. We could save lives and gas by driving 50 km/h, but that would be silly, wouldn't it?



www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/editorial/story.html?id=02ba28f0-86a5-4250-9bd2-d1c2ae606a5b

Bout time someone told the truth on this.

TXL
Link Posted: 12/5/2007 7:43:52 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/5/2007 7:44:48 AM EDT by RSP]
Actually stopping rapidly, for example upon contact with a stationary object, seems to have a detrimental effect.
Link Posted: 12/5/2007 7:45:18 AM EDT
F=MA kills. I propose that we abolish physics.
Link Posted: 12/5/2007 7:46:12 AM EDT

Originally Posted By RSP:
Actually stopping rapidly, for example upon contact with a stationary object, seems to have a detrimental effect.


Link Posted: 12/5/2007 7:46:48 AM EDT
Speed doesn't kill, *difference* in speed kills.

-Gator
Link Posted: 12/5/2007 7:48:45 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TxLewis:

www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/editorial/story.html?id=02ba28f0-86a5-4250-9bd2-d1c2ae606a5b

Bout time someone told the truth on this.

TXL


Amen to that!

Never will happen here. Our politicos and administration here are so used to lying the truth scares the hell out of them.

Link Posted: 12/5/2007 7:54:01 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TxLewis:
A U.S. National Research Council panel pegged the cost of the 55-mph limit at about one billion person-hours per year.

Why's that capitalized? What panel was it? Is that supposed to count as a valid source?


Likewise, a study by the U.S. National Motorists Association found the safest period on Montana's Interstate highways was when there were no daytime speed limits or enforceable speed laws at all. When Montana implemented a new "safety program," imposing speed limits and enforcement, the state's fatal accident rate didn't just increase, it doubled, according to NMA statistics.

Interesting group. Their website has all the earmarks of a front operation. All of two pages, with "personalized" first person bios all written in the exact same style.
Link Posted: 12/5/2007 7:56:01 AM EDT

Originally Posted By RSP:
Actually stopping rapidly, for example upon contact with a stationary object, seems to have a detrimental effect.


we call it acute decceleration poisoning, not to be confused with concrete poisoning (that comes with falls).
Link Posted: 12/5/2007 7:56:21 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/5/2007 7:56:42 AM EDT by danpass]
Fairly well written article.



I would like to point out: "person-hours". I wonder if he feels the need to change humanity to 'personkind' any time soon.
Link Posted: 12/5/2007 7:56:59 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Gator:
Never will happen here. Our politicos and administration here are so used to lying the truth scares the hell out of them.


Texas has its rural interstate set at 80 MPH. This takes 1 full hour off a drive from Austin to Ft. Davis (8 hours -> 7 hours)
Link Posted: 12/5/2007 7:59:33 AM EDT
Doesn't matter who wrote it. If it is on the internet, it has to be true.
Link Posted: 12/5/2007 8:02:20 AM EDT
Too many drivers driving distracted doing any and all speeds from stop and go to open interstate 70mph+.

Too many variables, drivers experience level/distraction level/physical condition, vehicles condition, road conditions, etc. and etc.
Link Posted: 12/5/2007 8:05:23 AM EDT
The problem I would see with more speed is that many drivers in America can't drive...seriously we have some of the worst drivers I have seen including those in third world countries.

Factor in the number of POS cars that can't drive fast and you have a lot of non driving individuals out there on the roads.

More speed is not going to fix that.
Link Posted: 12/5/2007 8:10:45 AM EDT
This is about driving?

Oh damn - when I saw the thread title I thought you were talking about amphetamines
Link Posted: 12/5/2007 8:12:49 AM EDT

The problem I would see with more speed is that many drivers in America can't drive...seriously we have some of the worst drivers I have seen including those in third world countries.


I don't know...Both Cairo and Toronto were dodgier that any comparable place in the States, and I've driven in 50 of the 51 50 States.

Distraction, fatigue and alcohol are much more visible safety issues than speed.
Link Posted: 12/5/2007 8:13:34 AM EDT
Wait, you mean the government lied to me?
I'm shocked, there's no way it could be the granny driving 25mph in the left lane of the superhighway, or the soccer mom yelling at her kids in the back of the minivan, or the suit trying to tie his tie and totally ignoring the road, it's got to be those damn speeders doing 5mph over the speed limit!
Link Posted: 12/5/2007 8:14:04 AM EDT
Good article TxLewis!

I wrote a paper about the subject in high school. Looks like there's more evidence today that speed generally does not cause accidents.

Even back in the 1980's it was clear that drunk drivers and slow drivers were the ones causing the majority of accidents.

Speeding tickets are another form of tax.
Link Posted: 12/5/2007 8:17:12 AM EDT

Originally Posted By FedDC:
The problem I would see with more speed is that many drivers in America can't drive...seriously we have some of the worst drivers I have seen including those in third world countries.

Factor in the number of POS cars that can't drive fast and you have a lot of non driving individuals out there on the roads.

More speed is not going to fix that.


Ever been to Italy? Rode in an Italian cab?
Link Posted: 12/5/2007 8:18:14 AM EDT
A difference of speed can kill.
Link Posted: 12/5/2007 8:25:45 AM EDT
It is kind of stupid to argue that speed does not kill. As speed increased, the extent of damage and injuries in the event of an accident raises exponentially.

That being said, I think our highway speeds are artificially low and need to be set by how traffic naturally wants to flow through a given area. See what the average speed actually driven is and set the speed limit accordingly
Link Posted: 12/5/2007 8:28:44 AM EDT
To all those who think that speed causes accidents... consider this:

Interstates, by law, have some sections that are straight. But generally they have turns every so often. A straight line is the shortest distance between two points. So why do interstates have so many turns?

It was statistically determined early on that perfectly straight interstates were more dangerous than those with curves.

Why?

Because on a perfectly straight road drivers get bored. They tune out, don't pay attention, and get into more wrecks.

So the Interstate Highway folks put in extra turns so that drivers don't get bored.

Same concept applies with speed limits. If the speed limit is too low, drivers get bored. They don't pay as much attention to their driving.

Link Posted: 12/5/2007 8:44:05 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/5/2007 8:45:48 AM EDT by 30Caliber]

Originally Posted By R_S:
To all those who think that speed causes accidents... consider this:

Interstates, by law, have some sections that are straight. But generally they have turns every so often. A straight line is the shortest distance between two points. So why do interstates have so many turns?

It was statistically determined early on that perfectly straight interstates were more dangerous than those with curves.

Why?

Because on a perfectly straight road drivers get bored. They tune out, don't pay attention, and get into more wrecks.

So the Interstate Highway folks put in extra turns so that drivers don't get bored.

Same concept applies with speed limits. If the speed limit is too low, drivers get bored. They don't pay as much attention to their driving.



http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/interstate/faq.htm#question30a

I read that to say boredom can be a consideration, but will be secondary to everything else (i.e topography, & cost).

Also, there's no law requiring straight sections of road.


Is it true that one out of five miles is straight so airplanes can land on the Interstates?

No. This is a myth that is so widespread that it is difficult to dispel.
Link Posted: 12/5/2007 8:48:06 AM EDT
local news story here is someone running the po-po did a head on with another car doing abut 60mph, instant death x 3. That wouldn't have happened at 5 mph
Link Posted: 12/5/2007 8:51:04 AM EDT
A lack of heartbeat and blood pressure causes death.

Speed is a major contributing factor to fatalities in automobile collisions.

Semantics. Plan accordingly.
Link Posted: 12/5/2007 8:56:20 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/5/2007 9:01:24 AM EDT by Torf]

Originally Posted By R_S:
To all those who think that speed causes accidents... consider this:

Interstates, by law, have some sections that are straight. But generally they have turns every so often. A straight line is the shortest distance between two points. So why do interstates have so many turns?

It was statistically determined early on that perfectly straight interstates were more dangerous than those with curves.

Why?

Because on a perfectly straight road drivers get bored. They tune out, don't pay attention, and get into more wrecks.

So the Interstate Highway folks put in extra turns so that drivers don't get bored.

Same concept applies with speed limits. If the speed limit is too low, drivers get bored. They don't pay as much attention to their driving.



I think that is 100% bullshit, and I have spend gobs of time on them. Interstates follow legal right of ways, rivers, natural terrain, and must submit to eminent domain concerns.

Many Interstates were built over or alongside older 2 lane highways, and those were built the same way. Some interstates are perfectly straight for 100+ miles. Ever driven from Salt Lake City to Wendover, Nevada? I-80 is PERFECTLY straight, and people drive 80+ minimum across terrain that could pass for Tatooine. I-55 in IL, runs from St. Louis to Chicago, and there is little to break up the straight lines, except the small towns that are on the railroad that not coincidentally defined that corridor. Interstates bend and avoid certain areas, and the reason is NOT to keep the drivers awake.

ETA: In other words, interstates take the path of least resistance, and cost. They would probably be constructed at elevated causeways if cost was no concern. Just think of all the headaches that these roads brought to people all over the nation when their land was split, or taken for the roads.
Link Posted: 12/5/2007 8:58:45 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/5/2007 9:01:13 AM EDT by SnoopisTDI]
I think I remember a German friend telling me that they put curves on the Autobahn for the same reason. (to keep drivers awake)

I know one thing, it seems a lot safer at 130mph on the Autobahn than it does doing 65mph around DFW in the US. I won't compare it to DFW because even teh Autobahn generally has speed limits in urban areas.
Link Posted: 12/5/2007 9:02:07 AM EDT
I believe it's the disparity of speed that makes highways unsafe. As long as everyone is running about the same speed then travel proceeds smoothly and there's less chance of accidents.. The key is to find a speed limit that will produce the greatest uniformity of compliance. Personally, I think 70 mph is safer than 55 mph, simply because the compliance to 55 is so low you end up with a great disparity of speed.

If speed truly killed then no one would survive the Indy 500 or a Nascar race. It's that sudden crashing into the car in front of you that kills.
Link Posted: 12/5/2007 9:02:27 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Powelligator:
Speed doesn't kill, *difference* in speed kills.

-Gator


bingo! exactly what I have been saying (along with tailgating) 100 cars doing 85 mph and then throw one doing 50 in there, see what happens
Link Posted: 12/5/2007 9:16:00 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 30Caliber:

Originally Posted By R_S:
To all those who think that speed causes accidents... consider this:

Interstates, by law, have some sections that are straight. But generally they have turns every so often. A straight line is the shortest distance between two points. So why do interstates have so many turns?

It was statistically determined early on that perfectly straight interstates were more dangerous than those with curves.

Why?

Because on a perfectly straight road drivers get bored. They tune out, don't pay attention, and get into more wrecks.

So the Interstate Highway folks put in extra turns so that drivers don't get bored.

Same concept applies with speed limits. If the speed limit is too low, drivers get bored. They don't pay as much attention to their driving.



http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/interstate/faq.htm#question30a

I read that to say boredom can be a consideration, but will be secondary to everything else (i.e topography, & cost).


Just to make sure to properly quote the website you posted...



A curvilinear alignment also reduces the boredom of driving along extremely long tangent sections (engineer speak for “straight roads”), keeping the driver alert.


It's not the only reason, but maybe you could point out where it's listed as a secondary reason?

Thanks!
Link Posted: 12/5/2007 9:18:09 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Torf:

Originally Posted By R_S:
To all those who think that speed causes accidents... consider this:

Interstates, by law, have some sections that are straight. But generally they have turns every so often. A straight line is the shortest distance between two points. So why do interstates have so many turns?

It was statistically determined early on that perfectly straight interstates were more dangerous than those with curves.

Why?

Because on a perfectly straight road drivers get bored. They tune out, don't pay attention, and get into more wrecks.

So the Interstate Highway folks put in extra turns so that drivers don't get bored.

Same concept applies with speed limits. If the speed limit is too low, drivers get bored. They don't pay as much attention to their driving.



I think that is 100% bullshit, and I have spend gobs of time on them. Interstates follow legal right of ways, rivers, natural terrain, and must submit to eminent domain concerns.

Many Interstates were built over or alongside older 2 lane highways, and those were built the same way. Some interstates are perfectly straight for 100+ miles. Ever driven from Salt Lake City to Wendover, Nevada? I-80 is PERFECTLY straight, and people drive 80+ minimum across terrain that could pass for Tatooine. I-55 in IL, runs from St. Louis to Chicago, and there is little to break up the straight lines, except the small towns that are on the railroad that not coincidentally defined that corridor. Interstates bend and avoid certain areas, and the reason is NOT to keep the drivers awake.

ETA: In other words, interstates take the path of least resistance, and cost. They would probably be constructed at elevated causeways if cost was no concern. Just think of all the headaches that these roads brought to people all over the nation when their land was split, or taken for the roads.


Read the link before you demonstrate you don't know what you're talking about.
Link Posted: 12/5/2007 9:18:41 AM EDT

Originally Posted By R_S:

Originally Posted By 30Caliber:
http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/interstate/faq.htm#question30a

I read that to say boredom can be a consideration, but will be secondary to everything else (i.e topography, & cost).


Just to make sure to properly quote the website you posted...



A curvilinear alignment also reduces the boredom of driving along extremely long tangent sections (engineer speak for “straight roads”), keeping the driver alert.


It's not the only reason, but maybe you could point out where it's listed as a secondary reason?

Thanks!


Italicized and colored red in case you read past it the first time.
Link Posted: 12/5/2007 9:20:07 AM EDT
Good idea... lets let a bunch of 20 year old kids drive faster than they already do. Set a speed limit aand people are going to break it. Set it higher and they will break that too even if it is faster than they had gone before the change. Its breaking the speed limit that is impossible for them not to do, not go a speed they feel comfortable with.
Link Posted: 12/5/2007 9:22:55 AM EDT
Increased speed doesn't cause more accidents, but it does increase your chance of getting killed if you are involved in an accident.
Link Posted: 12/5/2007 9:23:13 AM EDT

Is it true that every so often there has to be a curve in a section of Interstate, to help keep drivers from falling asleep?

Yes and no. Design standards don’t require curves to keep drivers from falling asleep, but that is one reason curves may be included.

Although design standards don’t require curves at specific distances in the alignment of an Interstate highway, curves are introduced for a variety of reasons. The reasons including taking advantage of the terrain along the route; avoiding obstacles or cultural development in the path; and, accommodating environmentally sensitive areas or mitigating impacts on them. A curvilinear alignment also reduces the boredom of driving along extremely long tangent sections (engineer speak for “straight roads”), keeping the driver alert.


The part in italics indicates that a curved road will reduce boredom. It makes no indication that a curve would be introduced purely for that reason.


Excessive curvature or poor combinations of curvature limit capacity, cause economic losses due to increased travel time and operating costs, and detract from a pleasing appearance. Alignments should be as direct as practical; and consistent with the topography, developed properties, and community values. A flowing line that conforms generally to the natural contours of the land is preferable to an alignment with long tangents slashing through the terrain. Construction scars can be kept to a minimum and natural slopes and growth can be preserved.

The alignment of a proposed highway should be determined by a detailed study of the area through which the road passes. The finished highway, road, or street should be an economical, pleasant, and safe facility on which to travel.
Link Posted: 12/5/2007 9:33:47 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 30Caliber:

Is it true that every so often there has to be a curve in a section of Interstate, to help keep drivers from falling asleep?

Yes and no. Design standards don’t require curves to keep drivers from falling asleep, but that is one reason curves may be included.

Although design standards don’t require curves at specific distances in the alignment of an Interstate highway, curves are introduced for a variety of reasons. The reasons including taking advantage of the terrain along the route; avoiding obstacles or cultural development in the path; and, accommodating environmentally sensitive areas or mitigating impacts on them. A curvilinear alignment also reduces the boredom of driving along extremely long tangent sections (engineer speak for “straight roads”), keeping the driver alert.


The part in italics indicates that a curved road will reduce boredom. It makes no indication that a curve would be introduced purely for that reason.


Excessive curvature or poor combinations of curvature limit capacity, cause economic losses due to increased travel time and operating costs, and detract from a pleasing appearance. Alignments should be as direct as practical; and consistent with the topography, developed properties, and community values. A flowing line that conforms generally to the natural contours of the land is preferable to an alignment with long tangents slashing through the terrain. Construction scars can be kept to a minimum and natural slopes and growth can be preserved.

The alignment of a proposed highway should be determined by a detailed study of the area through which the road passes. The finished highway, road, or street should be an economical, pleasant, and safe facility on which to travel.


The legal standards don't require turns to keep drivers alert. The other stuff listed are congressional standards. In practice, they do put turns in to keep drivers alert. You proved my point. Thank you.
Link Posted: 12/5/2007 9:46:15 AM EDT

Originally Posted By AssaultRifler:
local news story here is someone running the po-po did a head on with another car doing abut 60mph, instant death x 3. That wouldn't have happened at 5 mph


Well, you can't argue with the truth!

I stand corrected.

TXL
Link Posted: 12/5/2007 9:47:21 AM EDT

Originally Posted By -AR18-:
Good idea... lets let a bunch of 20 year old kids drive faster than they already do. Set a speed limit aand people are going to break it. Set it higher and they will break that too even if it is faster than they had gone before the change. Its breaking the speed limit that is impossible for them not to do, not go a speed they feel comfortable with.


You didn't read the article, did you.

Thought not.

TXL
Link Posted: 12/5/2007 9:47:35 AM EDT
Remove all speed limits. Let darwin take its course.
Link Posted: 12/5/2007 10:02:27 AM EDT

Originally Posted By R_S:
To all those who think that speed causes accidents... consider this:

Interstates, by law, have some sections that are straight. But generally they have turns every so often. A straight line is the shortest distance between two points. So why do interstates have so many turns?

It was statistically determined early on that perfectly straight interstates were more dangerous than those with curves.

Why?

Because on a perfectly straight road drivers get bored. They tune out, don't pay attention, and get into more wrecks.

So the Interstate Highway folks put in extra turns so that drivers don't get bored.

Same concept applies with speed limits. If the speed limit is too low, drivers get bored. They don't pay as much attention to their driving.



+1 . I remember seeing an Italian report that said the faster you drive the more you pay attention, If you have to focus on your driving you won't get distracted ot bored.
Link Posted: 12/5/2007 10:06:41 AM EDT

Originally Posted By R_S:

The legal standards don't require turns to keep drivers alert. The other stuff listed are congressional standards. In practice, they do put turns in to keep drivers alert. You proved my point. Thank you.


I did? I didn't point out where, in practice, there are turns to prevent boredom. Would that be the two turns on I5 between Bakersfield and Coalinga?
Link Posted: 12/5/2007 10:13:39 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Paveway_:
Remove all speed limits. Let darwin take its course.


That would be fine with me ASSUMING that only the jackass gets killed.

Haven't been on to many fatal accidents I assume. It isn't usually the dumb person who is DRT in an accident. Especially an accident involving excessively high speeds.

Fatal injuries occur at nearly any speed. Because speed has a higher than 1 to 1 ratio on energy speed really does kill. I have seen fatal injuries in 50 MPH crashes and had to track people through the woods who were running after 105 MPH accidents. Lots of factors are at work.

As far as the study it could be legit depending on the area involved. Do some research on the 85% standard for setting speed limits. In a nut shell 85% of the people will drive a prudent speed with no limit. 15% will drive like boneheads regardless. The 15% are the targets.

Joe
Link Posted: 12/5/2007 10:17:09 AM EDT
Junk science is junk science.

Speed limits on streets in California are set by observation and standards promulgated by the State. The limits on the streets are not capricious. I don't know about other states.

You can set a 100mph speed limit on the freeways in LA and SF counties and it will have no effect. No one goes very fast.

There is a difference between the concepts of correlation and causation.

So long as we want to rant, let's deal with the real problems on the road and seize vehicles that don't have insurance coverage. I mean, no second chance.
Link Posted: 12/5/2007 10:20:20 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/5/2007 10:21:50 AM EDT by KDaly]
Speeding Tickets = Revenue

That simple, folks.
Link Posted: 12/5/2007 10:20:35 AM EDT

Originally Posted By -AR18-:
Good idea... lets let a bunch of 20 year old kids drive faster than they already do. Set a speed limit aand people are going to break it. Set it higher and they will break that too even if it is faster than they had gone before the change. Its breaking the speed limit that is impossible for them not to do, not go a speed they feel comfortable with.


Yes, but some speed limits produce much higher compliance than others. I don't have statistics but my sense is that the compliance at 70mph speed limit is MUCH higher than at 55 mph. I'd say probably 75 percent of drivers keep it to within 5 mph of the posted 70mph limit but I doubt more than about 40 percent kept it within 5 mph of the old limit. To me, the roads seem safer now.
Link Posted: 12/5/2007 10:32:03 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Torf:

Originally Posted By R_S:
To all those who think that speed causes accidents... consider this:

Interstates, by law, have some sections that are straight. But generally they have turns every so often. A straight line is the shortest distance between two points. So why do interstates have so many turns?

It was statistically determined early on that perfectly straight interstates were more dangerous than those with curves.

Why?

Because on a perfectly straight road drivers get bored. They tune out, don't pay attention, and get into more wrecks.

So the Interstate Highway folks put in extra turns so that drivers don't get bored.

Same concept applies with speed limits. If the speed limit is too low, drivers get bored. They don't pay as much attention to their driving.



I think that is 100% bullshit, and I have spend gobs of time on them. Interstates follow legal right of ways, rivers, natural terrain, and must submit to eminent domain concerns.

Many Interstates were built over or alongside older 2 lane highways, and those were built the same way. Some interstates are perfectly straight for 100+ miles. Ever driven from Salt Lake City to Wendover, Nevada? I-80 is PERFECTLY straight, and people drive 80+ minimum across terrain that could pass for Tatooine. I-55 in IL, runs from St. Louis to Chicago, and there is little to break up the straight lines, except the small towns that are on the railroad that not coincidentally defined that corridor. Interstates bend and avoid certain areas, and the reason is NOT to keep the drivers awake.

ETA: In other words, interstates take the path of least resistance, and cost. They would probably be constructed at elevated causeways if cost was no concern. Just think of all the headaches that these roads brought to people all over the nation when their land was split, or taken for the roads.


You may think it's bullshit, but you'd also be wrong.

You've clearly never driven on the interstates out west. Those roads could be ruler-straight for tens, if not hundreds, of miles and yet they have slight bends every few miles in them. He's spot-on in that the reason this is done is to keep driver's awake and alert.
Link Posted: 12/5/2007 10:42:12 AM EDT
I love all the conspiracies on every topic just about.

Assholes can't drive at the speed limit now without ramming in to someone because they are doing everything but driving. Oh and 99% of the population thinks they are a great driver and can handle anything that might come their way. and 98% of them are wrong.

Link Posted: 12/5/2007 10:48:59 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/5/2007 10:51:16 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/5/2007 10:59:02 AM EDT by trwoprod]

Originally Posted By MitchAlsup:

Originally Posted By Gator:
Never will happen here. Our politicos and administration here are so used to lying the truth scares the hell out of them.


Texas has its rural interstate set at 80 MPH. This takes 1 full hour off a drive from Austin to Ft. Davis (8 hours -> 7 hours)


And furthermore (about the government not wanting higher limits), TxDoT campaigned for years to raise the speed limit to AT LEAST 75 all over Texas, much to the irritation of the DPS, and TxDoT folks have gone on record as saying that speed limits are largely useless and that the DPS needs to stop giving a license to everyone.

The two agencies don't get along that well. TxDoT's position is "Our roads are some of the best in the world and the DPS keeps giving mongoloids a license to drive on our perfect roads" and the DPS's response is "We would really like to shoot all of you but then we would have to arrest ourselves".

I need to find that picture of Rep Gallegos with the first 80 mph Texas speed limit sign.
Link Posted: 12/5/2007 11:22:54 AM EDT

Originally Posted By mtk:

Originally Posted By Torf:

Originally Posted By R_S:
To all those who think that speed causes accidents... consider this:

Interstates, by law, have some sections that are straight. But generally they have turns every so often. A straight line is the shortest distance between two points. So why do interstates have so many turns?

It was statistically determined early on that perfectly straight interstates were more dangerous than those with curves.

Why?

Because on a perfectly straight road drivers get bored. They tune out, don't pay attention, and get into more wrecks.

So the Interstate Highway folks put in extra turns so that drivers don't get bored.

Same concept applies with speed limits. If the speed limit is too low, drivers get bored. They don't pay as much attention to their driving.



I think that is 100% bullshit, and I have spend gobs of time on them. Interstates follow legal right of ways, rivers, natural terrain, and must submit to eminent domain concerns.

Many Interstates were built over or alongside older 2 lane highways, and those were built the same way. Some interstates are perfectly straight for 100+ miles. Ever driven from Salt Lake City to Wendover, Nevada? I-80 is PERFECTLY straight, and people drive 80+ minimum across terrain that could pass for Tatooine. I-55 in IL, runs from St. Louis to Chicago, and there is little to break up the straight lines, except the small towns that are on the railroad that not coincidentally defined that corridor. Interstates bend and avoid certain areas, and the reason is NOT to keep the drivers awake.

ETA: In other words, interstates take the path of least resistance, and cost. They would probably be constructed at elevated causeways if cost was no concern. Just think of all the headaches that these roads brought to people all over the nation when their land was split, or taken for the roads.


You may think it's bullshit, but you'd also be wrong.

You've clearly never driven on the interstates out west. Those roads could be ruler-straight for tens, if not hundreds, of miles and yet they have slight bends every few miles in them. He's spot-on in that the reason this is done is to keep driver's awake and alert.


No, it really is bullshit. Sorry, that is just how it is. Internet theory and opinion doesn't jive too well with practical considerations and reality.

<---------- Drives out west.

Most places out west aren't perfectly flat. Roads follow contours, and take the path of least resistance. I-80 through Nebraska is pretty flat, yet follows the BN and South Platte river. Not to mention it stops through a multitude of towns along the way, like Grand Island, Kearny, North Platte, Ogalalla, etc., all of which predate the interstate.
Ever driven from Salt Lake City to Wendover? That stretch is ruler straight for 100+ miles. There is almost no such thing as a perfectly straight stretch of nothingness for 100 miles in the US, regardless of what state you are talking about, but western Utah is the best example I can come up with. I-5 in CA and I-10 in CA and AZ also have long stretches of flat and level, but most straightaways aren't anywhere near 100 miles simply due to variations in terrain, forests, borders, towns, rivers, railroads, secondary roads, private property, etc.
Link Posted: 12/5/2007 11:27:03 AM EDT

Originally Posted By R_S:

Originally Posted By Torf:

Originally Posted By R_S:
To all those who think that speed causes accidents... consider this:

Interstates, by law, have some sections that are straight. But generally they have turns every so often. A straight line is the shortest distance between two points. So why do interstates have so many turns?

It was statistically determined early on that perfectly straight interstates were more dangerous than those with curves.

Why?

Because on a perfectly straight road drivers get bored. They tune out, don't pay attention, and get into more wrecks.

So the Interstate Highway folks put in extra turns so that drivers don't get bored.

Same concept applies with speed limits. If the speed limit is too low, drivers get bored. They don't pay as much attention to their driving.



I think that is 100% bullshit, and I have spend gobs of time on them. Interstates follow legal right of ways, rivers, natural terrain, and must submit to eminent domain concerns.

Many Interstates were built over or alongside older 2 lane highways, and those were built the same way. Some interstates are perfectly straight for 100+ miles. Ever driven from Salt Lake City to Wendover, Nevada? I-80 is PERFECTLY straight, and people drive 80+ minimum across terrain that could pass for Tatooine. I-55 in IL, runs from St. Louis to Chicago, and there is little to break up the straight lines, except the small towns that are on the railroad that not coincidentally defined that corridor. Interstates bend and avoid certain areas, and the reason is NOT to keep the drivers awake.

ETA: In other words, interstates take the path of least resistance, and cost. They would probably be constructed at elevated causeways if cost was no concern. Just think of all the headaches that these roads brought to people all over the nation when their land was split, or taken for the roads.


Read the link before you demonstrate you don't know what you're talking about.


Provide a link if you want me to read it. If such a characteristic of curvy roads has been noted, then that is only a incidental benefit, not a design feature.
Link Posted: 12/5/2007 11:30:12 AM EDT

Originally Posted By R_S:

Originally Posted By 30Caliber:

Is it true that every so often there has to be a curve in a section of Interstate, to help keep drivers from falling asleep?

Yes and no. Design standards don’t require curves to keep drivers from falling asleep, but that is one reason curves may be included.

Although design standards don’t require curves at specific distances in the alignment of an Interstate highway, curves are introduced for a variety of reasons. The reasons including taking advantage of the terrain along the route; avoiding obstacles or cultural development in the path; and, accommodating environmentally sensitive areas or mitigating impacts on them. A curvilinear alignment also reduces the boredom of driving along extremely long tangent sections (engineer speak for “straight roads”), keeping the driver alert.


The part in italics indicates that a curved road will reduce boredom. It makes no indication that a curve would be introduced purely for that reason.


Excessive curvature or poor combinations of curvature limit capacity, cause economic losses due to increased travel time and operating costs, and detract from a pleasing appearance. Alignments should be as direct as practical; and consistent with the topography, developed properties, and community values. A flowing line that conforms generally to the natural contours of the land is preferable to an alignment with long tangents slashing through the terrain. Construction scars can be kept to a minimum and natural slopes and growth can be preserved.

The alignment of a proposed highway should be determined by a detailed study of the area through which the road passes. The finished highway, road, or street should be an economical, pleasant, and safe facility on which to travel.


The legal standards don't require turns to keep drivers alert. The other stuff listed are congressional standards. In practice, they do put turns in to keep drivers alert. You proved my point. Thank you.


They didn't say that they do it, they merely state that curves can have a benefit. Nowhere does it state that curves are introduces purely for boredom concerns. It is obvious that they are making the point that all curves aren't bad.
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