Texas Researchers Investigate Who Speeds (Young Dudes), Why (To Get There Faster) and What Can Be Done About It (Nothing)

Categories: Transportation

Several months ago, researchers gathered 164 volunteers in College Station, Texas and Seattle, outfitted their cars with GPS devices, and had them fill out questionnaires detailing how they drive (i.e. if they speed up for yellow lights, drive drunk, miss road signs, and any number of other factors). Then they set the people loose for a month to go about their daily lives.

The idea was to figure out why people speed and, by doing so, suggest countermeasures to help combat speeding.

The decision to speed depends largely on the situation, the researchers, from Texas A&M and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, found. Some people may speed trying to get to work on time. Others may push the pedal down a little farther on the open highway. According to the research, it would be a vast oversimplification to say that a certain demographic group or personality type speeds more than others.

But we're not bound by the niceties of academia. Looking at the research, young people appear have a slightly greater tendency to speed that do old people, and men are more likely to than women. Predictably, drivers who self-reported aggressive driving and road rage drove faster than those who didn't. So did those who drove trucks or sports cars. And in a final, somewhat counterintuitive twist, higher incomes and education levels correlate with speeding.

So basically, you're prototypical speed demon is Doogie Houser.

The trickier part of the research is finding a way to combat speeding. The presence of police officers and those digital roadside speed signs are effective, but those are scarce and can't be everywhere.

Devices that limit an engine's speed are effective, but people don't like them, and they'll never be used on a large scale. That leaves in-car fuel efficiency displays, which show declining gas mileage as speed increases. Because reckless teenagers who pay no heed to their own safety or the safety of others are of course very concerned about fuel efficiency.

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My Voice Nation Help

more tickets for tailgating,using cell phones, lane hopping with no signal, generally driving like an asshole, less tickets for speeding.


So if the all powerful government can't figure out how to stop people from speeding(and people in pick up trucks driving like rapists) how and why does Eric Nicholson think the government can stop homicide through "gun control?"


NHTSA starting from the presumption that speed negatively correlates with safety despite 50 years of data to the contrary.  Your tax dollars at work figuring out how to get more of your tax dollars.


edit your headline, eric.


They should come study the 30 mph zone by my house and see all the women who drive 50 mph in it.


Or we could simply set realistic speeds limit based on science instead of revenue production.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

@jerikjonsson Yes, please explain why on IH45 south of the Navarro/Ellis County line it is safe to drive at 75 MPH and it is not north of that line.

In Dallas County why is it safe to drive on the DNT or GBT at 70 mph but not on Central?

ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@John1073 exactly, because women are busy driving around 5 kids in a 3 row SUV all over the city from practice to band to dinner, they dont get on the freeway, they just use the city streets as their own personal speedway

Montemalone topcommenter

@ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul @jerikjonsson DNT isn't that safe with all the fucking morons in the left lane going 50-60 because they're yapping or tapping on a cell phone or taking a diaper dump.

This city and all it's idiot newcomers can't drive for shit.

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