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# Speed Limits

Higher speed limits to reduce congestion & improve safety
 (-6) [vote for, against]

If all else remains equal, travelling faster reduces both your accident exposure time and the number of vehicles on the road. The maths is simple - double the speed, and you halve the travel time and halve the number of vehicles on the road.

Of course, all else doesn't remain equal, so a trade off is involved. But we don't see evidence of a rational trade-off - we see on-going pressure that ratchets down limits - without realizing we could be making things worse.

My suspicion is that we are going too slow for safety on at least major highways.

 — ruszen, Oct 22 2009

Factors in setting speed limits http://en.wikipedia...etting_speed_limits
lots of factors [CaptainClapper, Oct 22 2009]

Synthesis of Safety Research Related to Speed and Speed Limits http://www.tfhrc.go...ety/speed/speed.htm
from the Federal Highway Administration. See especially Table 3: Summary of the effects of raising or lowering speed limits. [Jim Bob of Merriam Park, Oct 22 2009]

 It could be argued that if we all travelled at light speed, there would probably be only one vehicle on the road at any time, so the probability of colliding with another vehicle becomes zero.

 Good luck using that argument with plod at the roadside!

While I agree that speed limits are being ratcheted downward for the wrong reasons, this is not a new idea and not a good argument.
 — Twizz, Oct 22 2009

 //becomes zero//

sp "approaches zero" : there wouldn't be many collisions but all it would take would be one.
 — FlyingToaster, Oct 22 2009

 I like faster speed limits, but the reasoning's faulty. Speed limits are determined... bah, read the wikipedia article. [link]

the 85th %ile sounds pretty reasonable.
 — CaptainClapper, Oct 22 2009

 spent a good portion of yesterday pondering the fact that "rush hour" now takes up about 18hr's a day.

Anyways the gas stations aren't spaced close enough together to handle a doubled speed limit.
 — FlyingToaster, Oct 22 2009

(1) You need to consider not only the probability of collisions, but also the severity of them. (2) While armchair theorizing is fun, it needs to be checked against empirical evidence, of which there is plenty.
 — Jim Bob of Merriam Park, Oct 22 2009

Collisions would slow down the apparent commute times. Also, with faster speed limits and shorter commute times, people might be more compelled to drive more places, thus increasing congestion closer to previous rates. You are asking for a step change in a complex system; the outcomes of these are hard to predict.
 — daseva, Oct 22 2009

Momentum is a hazardous pollutant. How much more of it should we try for?
 — lurch, Oct 22 2009

This has the "advantage" of reducing overpopulation and stimulates the economy by lowering the expeced lifetime of each car on the road.
 — mzellers, Oct 23 2009

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