I find quite curious is that with all the complaining about gas prices, nobody has been willing to come out and say it’s time to go back to 55 mph speed limit again. I think that shows how much people detested being told how fast they could and couldn’t drive, but if people aren’t willing to slow down their speed, then do they really have the right to complain about gas prices?
Slower speeds do make a difference. It’s estimated that when we did have the 55 mph speed limit, it saved 167,000 barrels of oil a day which was about 2 percent of the country’s fuel consumption.
Now a lot of people will say that the speed limits should remain the same and if you want to save gas you should simply drive 55 mph. Have you ever tried to drive 55 mph on the highway? I did a couple years back when driving to see my sister in Canada and it can be dangerous to do so:
Highway 5 has a speed limit of 65 or 70 miles per hour depending which stretch you’re driving on. I drove between 60 and 70 for a six hour period and never passed another car – everyone was driving faster than me including trucks (technically I did pass a few truck on long uphill stretches, but I’m not counting these since all re-passed me when the road flattened out). While I didn’t seem to create too much anger on the highway when traffic was pretty light, that quickly changed when there was road construction and the highway went down to one lane.
Obviously it’s possible to drive 55 miles per hour, but I think you’d need a really hard skin to be able to pull it off on a consistent basis unless there is just not much traffic and it’s easy for cars to pass where you live. In fact, you could be putting your life on the line if you were unlucky and ran into someone with a fit of road rage. I especially think that after the way I was treated driving the speed limit in a few towns I visited.
It seems to me that we’ve reached a point where people are willing to complain about gas prices, but still aren’t willing to do some of the things that would actually help bring down prices by reducing demand. It sounds a lot like a person that wants to get their finances in order, but isn’t willing to make the necessary changes to do so…
Please share your own experiences on this topic as a wide variety of views and thoughts are helpful to everyone. If there is one thing that I have learned about personal finances from all of you is that there are always exceptions to the rule and differing circumstances can mean completely different solutions. If you have a blog and you have written about this topic in the past, feel free to link to your writing (although a short summary would be helpful). If you have recently read a good article on this topic, please links and share in the comments.
Image courtesy of amanky