Can You Drive 55?July 13, 2008
Sen. John Warner (R-Virginia) recently proposed that Congress consider reinstating the 55 mph national speed limit (as they did in the 70’s in response to the Arab oil embargo), citing the ability to collectively conserve gas and reduce the strain that the prices of it are putting on the country.
I suppose the pertinent question would be that, even if they did, would people ignore it?
(you really won’t get the full experience of this post unless you hit play, BTW)
Anyway, I’m pretty sure I’d be able to handle it…
For starters, I believe that one of the main reasons why I was able to achieve 32.28 MPG (135% of the EPA’s ratings) on my last tank in the Cougar was because of my strict adherence to the posted speed limits (60 mph for 90% of my commute), instead of my speeding ways of the past. This sensitivity to the consequences of aerodynamic drag has saved me a lot of gas (and money) over the past few months, so considering the fact that this proposal would mean that the speed traveled in my daily jaunt would decrease by only another 5 mph, I decided to take a closer look at the math and try to quantify my additional sacrifice in time if this were to happen (as this would presumably be at the heart of the complaining that would inevitably follow):
My commute consists of about 20 hwy miles, so the math at 60 miles in 60 minutes is pretty easy. Adjusted for 55 mph, I get a time of just under 22 minutes (Time=distance/speed, or if you’re bad at algebra, see a calculator), meaning I’d arrive at work ~ 2 minutes later than usual. And on an annual basis, 5 days/week at 52 weeks/year with 4 minutes added to my round trip would cost me about 17 hours.
Go Sen. Warner!
As for the rest of the nation, however, who knows?