On a recent trip from Mt. Baker to Seattle driving on I5 I noticed that driving about 1 or 2 miles an hour slower than prevailing traffic made driving a LOT easier. First I could drive at the same speed without having to make any adjustments to speed and avoided changing lanes. All the people passing had to made serial adjustments and multiple lane changes. This eased the stress of driving and reduced the number of decisions and risk. Over several hundred miles the difference in arrival time was just minutes difference. It reminded me of Triumph of the Optimists leverage study when 1.9x was optimal, but 2x went bust during the last century.





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1 Comment so far

  1. Rich Berger on July 11, 2013 4:45 pm

    I’ve noticed this when traveling on Rt. 80 in NJ. Speed limit is 65 and when I set the cruise control at 72, I have to work through knots of traffic. Set it at 65, and almost all traffic is overtaking me. Most of the time I am driving with the road clear in front of me. As Jim notes, it is much more relaxing, but arrival is slightly later.


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