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  • Road Rage and Adjusting Speed limit to remove it

    For me the blood starts to boil when I either see someone cruising in the left hand lane or when I see about 50% of the people in this area who don't have the concept of a high speed merge into heavy traffic down.

    I thought it was interesting how much road rage dropped on a section of road that was changed from 55 to 70.

    http://www.detnews.com/article/20091...ence-debatable

    Road rage's causes and prevalence debatable

    After watching yet another car whiz past me, while I -- and hundreds of other well-behaved Detroiters -- waited patiently in a construction zone on I-696 near Van Dyke, I was proud of the general politeness of the other drivers.

    There were narcissists, for sure, but none of us who were passed dished out vigilante justice by shooting out the tires of the offending drivers.

    This reality presented a sharp contrast to a recent survey I came across. In the annual AutoVantage Road Rage Survey, Detroit ranked as the third most unfriendly city to drive in, behind New York and Dallas/Fort Worth. That consensus came after the Affinion Group survey interviewed about 100 motorists in each of 25 metropolitan areas about driving behaviors on local roads.

    "We wanted to identify driving behaviors that that could lead to a serious incident," said Mike Bush, a spokesman for Affinion Group. "The common thread that we found is this: In the cities with the worst rankings, drivers simply weren't paying attention to their driving, and this caused problems."

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    Survey participants noted that this lack of attention -- eating, texting, or shaving behind the wheel -- was linked with poor driving behavior. Researchers believe this sort of behavior inspires road rage.

    In my 30 years of holding a Michigan Operator's License, I've never noticed universally rude and threatening drivers on our roads. Detroit's car culture, I believe, is generally friendly and respectful.

    But the Affinion survey begged the question: Is road rage a real danger?

    So I pressed Michigan State Police First Lt. Thad Peterson about his recollection of such incidents.

    "I can't recall a specific incident," he said. "As a matter of fact, in terms of the worst kind of road rage -- one that results in a homicide -- I can't even recall one ever happening in Michigan."
    Coverage exaggerated

    Like me, Peterson believes media attention to road rage is disproportionate to the reality.

    "Road rage makes for great headlines, and upon occasion results in terrible, catastrophic events. But when we go looking for data about the frequency of road rage, there isn't much to support or encourage widespread panic," he said.

    Peterson, chairman of a Michigan State Police committee on driver behavior, studies the issue closely.

    "We find that aggressive driving is not normally the result of distracted drivers. It is usually the result of some environmental or engineering issue related to the physical roads where aggressive driving occurs," he said.
    Factors that provoke

    Peterson said major contributors to aggressive driving include: speed limits that are too low for the road; traffic congestion; and poorly timed traffic lights. These act as instigators to drivers speeding, changing lanes and tailgating, all characteristics of "aggressive" driving.

    Changes made to roadways where aggressive driving occurs have reduced reported incidents or road rage, he said.

    As an example, Peterson pointed to changes made along a section of Interstate 496 outside of Lansing, which accounted for 40 percent of reported incidents of aggressive driving in that area. When the speed limit was raised from 55 mph to 70 mph, incidents of aggressive driving dropped to zero.

    "The low speed limit frustrated many drivers, so they drove over the speed limit. This caused problems for other drivers who were driving at the limit. The speed differential caused the tailgating, passing, and speeding that were reported as 'aggressive' driving," Peterson said.

    His data also showed accident rates in that area also fell when the speed limit was raised.

    Surprisingly, the higher speed limit also improved traffic flow, nearly eliminating all symptoms of rush hour congestion along that stretch.

    As the Michigan State Police have pointed out, not-so-obvious factors can cause aggressive driving. More importantly, the scariest incidents of road rage -- those we're most likely to read about or see on TV -- are rare.

    All those people you're sharing the road with may not be perfect, but they're also not likely to go ballistic at the slightest incident.

    Good news, eh?

  • #2
    Let me get this straight... the article says that "road rage" is almost impossible to quantify and yet somehow they are showing statistics that it's reduced by raising speed limits?

    Hrm... if I have 5 incidents of road rage a year, and 2 of them happen at location X... Then location X accounts for 40% of my road rage incidents. Are 2 incidents, which according to the article were NOT of a serious nature, worth doing a traffic study to adjust a roadway's speed?

    If I have one break in at a house, then I hang a tire on the lamp post out front and the house does not get robbed next year am I to then extrapolate that hanging tires reduces burglary by 100%?

    People just need to be attentive when they drive, and wake up EARLIER. Nobody should have their commute timed for doing 10-20 mph over the speed limit the whole way.
    Last edited by candidateyellow; 10-09-2009, 11:06 AM. Reason: .

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    • #3
      Lets see.....in CA the max speed used to be 55mph and people routinely drove 70mph and thought is was ok. Then the speed limit was raised to 65mph and people routinely drive 80+mph. How many times do you raise a limit to accomodate people who dont obey the law.???

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Dacapt View Post
        For me the blood starts to boil when I either see someone cruising in the left hand lane or when I see about 50% of the people in this area who don't have the concept of a high speed merge into heavy traffic down.

        [/I]

        I recently relocated to Virginia...and I agree, the drivers here SUCK. I have never been so angry while driving!

        Another pet peeve about virginia/dc drivers is that no one uses blinkers.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by NY8739JR View Post
          I recently relocated to Virginia...and I agree, the drivers here SUCK.
          Because obviously drivers in other parts of the country are so great, right? We do have a lot of transplants from NY/NJ that move here and it's unfortunate, but some of them don't know or just don't care about the culture "down here." I mean, no one's physically forced to move to Virginia, yet some transplants tend to bitch and gripe about the way things are as if our culture should change because of their narcissism when they were the ones that made a conscious choice to move down here in the first place. My personal opinion is that if someone has a problem with where they're living they should probably carry their *** right on back where they came from.

          I have never been so angry while driving!
          Try synthetic marijuana.

          Another pet peeve about virginia/dc drivers is that no one uses blinkers
          I'm a Virginia driver and I use my blinkers, therefore your statement is false.

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          • #6
            wow, do you take everything so seriously?

            Im not saying your culture should change, I just think people should take better regard for their safety and for the safety of others.

            I cannot count the number of times I am about to change lanes on the highway, when another driver at the same time tries to change lanes without having a blinker on.

            Does this happen everywhere, probably........but since I have noticed it here the most, Im complaining about it here.


            sorry if I stepped on your "turf," but you shouldnt get so defensive!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by NY8739JR View Post
              wow, do you take everything so seriously?
              No, I'm a bit sarcastic/satirical and that's how I like to make points. Is my sarcasm as hard to find as a friendly stranger in New York City? I mean, I know you secretly envy cabbies for their super ninja driving skills and wish everyone in Va could drive like that, but that just isn't the case.

              I can't blame you for your culture shock though, in NYC you're paying $1,200 for a studio the size of a walk-in closet and you think it's a "steal." For Christ's sake ya'll pay more each month to park your car than most people in the U.S. pay for rent. And I'm sure you can get into a four-hour argument about how to get from Columbus Circle to Battery Park at 3:30 on a Friday (like this one) before a long weekend, but can't find Wisconsin on a map. I get it, America west of the Hudson is still theoretical to you.

              Well, my point is in the "South" the "New York minute" concept doesn't apply, the most frequently used part of your car is not the horn, and eye contact is not an act of overt aggression. My other point is making dumb statements that generalize a certain population of people will probably **** someone in that population off and result in you being told off and then subsequently having to defend a dumb statement you should have never made in the first place.


              sorry if I stepped on your "turf," but you shouldnt get so defensive!
              On a serious note, my last point is that more people should try to understand people different from themselves. No offense taken nor intended. I just get off on proving my intellectual superiority to (what I'm assuming is) a bastard New Yorker!!! Ok, but all kidding aside, I'm mostly just messing with you, as I'm not really offended. I do enjoy getting a rise out of you, sorry but it's just my twisted sense of humor. I tend to be an equal-opportunity offender, I'll make fun of country hicks just as fast as angry New Yorkers. But you even hint that you're making fun of drivers in my "turf" and I'll pounce on you like the crowd in a NYC hockey game because I do love this state plus I like making fun of New Yorkers.

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              • #8
                Poor Drivers


                Well, this topic could go many different ways. As a 'transplant' to VA myself, I can definitely attest to the fact that drivers here generally do suck - big time! Now, many of them do indeed come from other states. Still, others are just 'passing through' and either don't know or don't care how to show a little bit of courtesy. There is no such thing as 'Southern Hospitality' anymore.


                Lack of directional signals and driving in the wrong lane/failure to move right are undoubtedly the two most common infractions. Both are common throughout the nation, but are especially bad in MD/DC/VA for some reason. Raising or lowering the speed limit probably won't do much to improve the situation unless lane discipline & turn signal usage are going to be enforced.

                I have driven in many states (including Michigan) and the drivers in the midwest are far better than they are here. Of course, their economy is in the tank and the weather sucks, so moving there just to see highway courtesy is not going to be a viable option.


                This issue arises from time to time on this forum, and it is always interesting to see the comments posted and the various replies.

                The comments above reflect my personal opinion as a private citizen, ordinary motorist and all-around good guy.

                The aforementioned advice should not be construed to represent any type of professional opinion, legal counsel or other type of instruction with regard to traffic laws, judicial proceedings or official agency policy.

                ------------------------------------------------

                "Ignorance on fire is hotter than knowledge on ice."

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                • #9
                  I'm going to have to nominate South Carolina for some of the worst drivers here. Coming from the north-east, which surprises me, I have never seen so many head up rearend drivers in my life as there are down here. People are totally in their own worlds and don't even fathom that there are other vehicles on the road. SC should be the official left lane bandit state because I swear people around here think the left lane is the slow lane and must be used at all times....especially if there is a mile of open space ahead and a car directly next to them in the right lane!

                  As if that's not bad enough it absolutely amazes me how driver's around here react, or should I say do NOT react, to police vehicles. While an officer in the NE if I was in my marked unit driving behind a car 9 times out of 10 that car would be getting the hell out of my way and moving over into the right lane. Not here though! These cars will just sit right in front of you blocking up the whole damn lane while you are trying to get to a call.

                  God forbid if you actually activate your lights and siren! Holy crap it causes a melt down!! Apparently no one in SC was ever informed you are supposed to move to the RIGHT when approached by an emergency vehicle with lights activated!! No I've had cars that are the only vehicle in sight, of course cruising in the left lane with 1 or 2 open lanes to their right, when I approach lights and sirens SLAM ON THE BRAKES and pull into the center median or a driveway to the left of the road!!! I just don't get it....I really don't.....ok my vent is done....I needed that.....ahhhhhhhh

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by preparedness View Post
                    My other point is making dumb statements that generalize a certain population of people will probably **** someone in that population off and result in you being told off and then subsequently having to defend a dumb statement you should have never made in the first place.



                    And you are also making generalization of ME that just because my user name says NY in it that it automatically makes me from NYC.

                    I am no where close to being from the city.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Fuzz View Post
                      Lets see.....in CA the max speed used to be 55mph and people routinely drove 70mph and thought is was ok. Then the speed limit was raised to 65mph and people routinely drive 80+mph. How many times do you raise a limit to accomodate people who dont obey the law.???
                      In the early 60s, the speed maximum speed limit in CA was raised from 55 MPH to 65 MPH and people routinely drove 70 MPH. In late 74 or early 75, the speed limit was lowered from 65 to 55 and people routinely drove 70 MPH. When it was again increased in the 90s, for some reason the 85th percentile increased to 80+ MPH.

                      Earlier freeway designs were called 75 MPH freeways. Later designs, those built in the 70s and later are 85 MPH freeways. You can tell by checking the distance of the perimeter fencing from the paved roadway. The higher speed designs have a tendency to invite people to drive faster because objects are passing them at a seemingly slower rate that in the lower designs.

                      As long as LEOs tolerate the higher speeds, motorists will tend to creep up and fudge beyond the maximum. We have proven over and over again that a concentrated enforcement of a specific area will tend to lower those average speeds. Then, when the regular beat officers return and there are not a lot of enforcement vehicles visible, speeds go back up. It is the same with roadrage. The more units present the less numbers of incidents.

                      Is there a solution? Yes, double the workforce of agencies that have the responsibility of patrolling the higher speed roadways. Clear the stalls faster in commute traffic and generally apply stricter enforcement standards.

                      People are like cattle and sheep! If you poke them with the prod enough times, you gain their attention and compliance!
                      Last edited by SgtCHP; 10-10-2009, 11:01 AM.
                      Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

                      [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by SgtCHP View Post
                        People are like cattle and sheep! If you poke them with the prod enough times, you gain their attention and compliance!
                        LOL, I like that line sarge!
                        In Memory of A Fallen Hero

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by SgtCHP View Post
                          As long as LEOs tolerate the higher speeds, motorists will tend to creep up and fudge beyond the maximum. We have proven over and over again that a concentrated enforcement of a specific area will tend to lower those average speeds. Then, when the regular beat officers return and there are not a lot of enforcement vehicles visible, speeds go back up. It is the same with roadrage. The more units present the less numbers of incidents.


                          I see this in my area. Small Georgia county without any interstates. Our of town drivers often are cutting through from one interstate over to another interstate. Or the locals that know Georgia code allows for 10mph over the limit and many other locals know that the cops don't bother until 15mph over. Those drivers are mixed in with the people who want to drive safe and legal. I've been passed illegally several times since moving to this area. I catch hell when I pull my boat at about 3mph under max limit.

                          So you have a 55mph mixed commercial, rural, and residential with all of the hills, curves, driveways, deer and even cows... where people will drive 70mph. Passing zones are short and limited to where you had better have a quick car to even think about passing. I had to lock up the ABS just last week to avoid an illegal passing car head on collision.

                          IMO the average driver is used to traveling at about 65-75mph when on a long trip of more than 20 miles. They are used to feeling the cars noise and vibrations. Plus most cars are geared and powered to run perfectly at higher speeds.
                          Any views or opinions presented by this prenomen are solely those of a burlesque author and do not necessarily represent those of a LEA or caementum couturier.

                          nom de plume

                          This is the internet- take all information with a grain of salt. Such could be valid and true or could be typed just for playing devils advocate.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by WTPD3534 View Post
                            I'm going to have to nominate South Carolina for some of the worst drivers here. Coming from the north-east, which surprises me, I have never seen so many head up rearend drivers in my life as there are down here. People are totally in their own worlds and don't even fathom that there are other vehicles on the road. SC should be the official left lane bandit state because I swear people around here think the left lane is the slow lane and must be used at all times....especially if there is a mile of open space ahead and a car directly next to them in the right lane!

                            As if that's not bad enough it absolutely amazes me how driver's around here react, or should I say do NOT react, to police vehicles. While an officer in the NE if I was in my marked unit driving behind a car 9 times out of 10 that car would be getting the hell out of my way and moving over into the right lane. Not here though! These cars will just sit right in front of you blocking up the whole damn lane while you are trying to get to a call.

                            God forbid if you actually activate your lights and siren! Holy crap it causes a melt down!! Apparently no one in SC was ever informed you are supposed to move to the RIGHT when approached by an emergency vehicle with lights activated!! No I've had cars that are the only vehicle in sight, of course cruising in the left lane with 1 or 2 open lanes to their right, when I approach lights and sirens SLAM ON THE BRAKES and pull into the center median or a driveway to the left of the road!!! I just don't get it....I really don't.....ok my vent is done....I needed that.....ahhhhhhhh
                            + 1,000,000

                            Le me first say that I enjoy the South, and I am grateful that it has provided me with a job and a beautiful environment. That being said, LE gets zero respect here and that is not how things work in PA. That is my only issue with the region, well that and the size of the bugs.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by JYoung View Post
                              + 1,000,000

                              Le me first say that I enjoy the South, and I am grateful that it has provided me with a job and a beautiful environment. That being said, LE gets zero respect here and that is not how things work in PA. That is my only issue with the region, well that and the size of the bugs.
                              I hear ya on the bugs. I was stationed in Georgia while in the Army but ended up in SC after getting out. Georgia driver's were not much better than SC. It just seems to be a different attitude down here. Another thing I've noticed is the lack of speeders. Back up north I would sit at a radar spot and wait for a 20+ over speeder. If I didn't get one in 5-10 minutes I was frustrated and moved on. Down here I can go all day and not get someone going 15+ over. I guess people reallly weren't kidding when they said things go slower down South!

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