It is a topic that has been struggling ever since implementation, and successfully, as there are currently no national speed limitation guidelines. A federally authorized speed limit was originally initiated in 1974 with the passage of the national high-speed law. In response to the 1973 oil embargo, it was an attempt to limit fuel consumption by reducing speed on all roads to 55 MPH or less. Fast-winding 13 years, and oil is no longer a scarce resource (at least at the pump). With fuel prices (comparatively) low and drivers clinging to higher speeds, the federal government passed the Transport Transfer and Uniform Relocation Act, allowing states to raise rural borders to 65 MPH. Forty of them did exactly that. Another eight years pass, and President Clinton signs the National Highway Designation Act and proposes, among other things, the abolition of all national speed limits. The states were now free to raise the speed limits on the national roads they fit.
This is where America's highway policy is currently. Most highways have specified speed limits of 65 or 70 MPH, while actual vehicle journeys may be 5-10 MPH higher. Speeds of 80 MPH are not unusual to see both in the countryside and in the city's roads. In addition to showing how much of a rush Americans are often in, what problems does this create? Keeping in line with the company's policy on 3P (People, Planet, Profit), let us begin with the human aspect.
Speed kills. This is not a new and surprising phrase, but the area it describes can be. According to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health in September 2009, the progressive elimination of national speed limits has resulted in an estimated total of more than 12,500 additional road deaths since 1987. How can this be? Vehicles have no doubt become safer, but people continue to die in high-speed accidents. One can explain it with the increase of cars on the road, but it does not explain these facts: Year after the national high-speed law went through, the car accident mortality dropped 16.4%. In addition, after the abolition of fixed speed limits nationally, in states that did not change their speed rules, motorway deaths fell again. On the other hand, accidents according to the Transport Transfer and Uniform Relocation Act increased 9.1% in states that changed their speed limits from 55 to 65 MPH. With the elimination of all national set speed limits in 1995, the city depth increased by 4%. In addition to over 12,000 deaths being considered a direct result of higher rates, the study found over 36,500 injuries as a result of the fatal crashes. A federal speed limit is likely to have similar results today as it did in 1974, which reduced motorway death by a comparable percentage.
The other "P" illuminates the planet. In this case, the environmental impact of high speed highway driving. According to the Transport Statistics Agency, in 2007, 254,403,082 vehicles were registered in the United States. On average, each vehicle was driven 11,900 miles annually and consumes about 1 liter of fuel for every 17.2 miles traveled. This results in an annual consumption of 692 gallons per vehicle. According to EPA, a gallon of gasoline burned in an engine produces 8.8 kg (19.4 pounds) of CO2. Using previous statistics, each vehicle should produce 6.089.6 kg (13.424.8 pounds or 6.7 tons) of carbon dioxide each year. Multiplied by the total number of registered vehicles in the country, the results show that US driving habits culminate in the release of 1,549,060,366,298 kg (1,707,655,248 tons) of carbon dioxide annually.
So what does this have to do with a federal speed limit? Higher speeds require more energy to retain, and the energy source in most vehicles is gasoline (or a petroleum product, including diesel). One basic rule of thumb is that the energy required to combat aerodynamic drag increases exponentially, once at the highways. Simply, if the speed doubles, the energy required to make it quadruple. For a vehicle that makes 50 MPH in one run and 100 MPH in another, it will burn twice the fuel in the latter test (4 times the half-time consumption). According to research by Consumer Reports on a single layer Toyota Camry, the console consumed at a rate of 40 MPG at 55 MPH, but fell to 35 MPG once accelerated to 65 MPH. At 75 it was down to 30 MPG. Assuming that the car was a perfect national average example, it would drive 11,900 miles, with 45% on the highway and 55% in the city. Gleaning the appropriate amount of miles for highways driving, the vehicle was running 5,355 miles at high speeds. If the driver kept the vehicle at an optimum speed of 55 MPH, they would have consumed 133,875 gallons and released 1.178.1 kg (2.597.175 pounds or -1.3 tons) of CO2. However, if the vehicle consistently made 75 MPH, its consumption would be 178.5 gallons, which would give an additional 392.7 kg (865,725 pounds or 0.4 tons) of CO2.
This may not seem like a big deal, but remember the national totals? Let us assume that every registered vehicle drove at 75 MPH on the highways and that the percentage reduction in consumption was equal (75% of optimal) on all vehicles (this is an exaggeration, as many vehicles with poor aerodynamics decrease much faster than the example Camry ). Now we should assume the national average for the MPG highway is 25 (deliberately overestimated, considering that it combined only slightly above 17 MPG). Achieving only 75% of this value when driving in the real direction provides an actual motorway vehicle of 18.75 MPG. Now, it does not take into account the smallest reduction in engine running time (due to faster speed). Such a value would probably be only a fraction of the extra usage, since the consumption curve increases exponentially, not linearly. Regardless of such mileage being reduced, the annual CO2 emissions in the United States, simply as a result of driving 75 instead of 55 MPH, correspond to 159 846 544 482.24 kilos (352 388 973.063.12 pounds or ~ 176 194 466 tons). Stunning in its own right, more when it is seen that it is 10% of total consumer emissions in the United States!
Getting out of the complicated math, that value carries repeats. It is quite possible (as shown above) that up to 10% of nationwide passenger fuel-based CO2 emissions can be avoided simply by slowing down! Of all climate policy in deliberation, this seems to be a "low-hanging fruit". Please understand, these values are only for presentation and educational purposes. While the highest accuracy is determined, the actual results may vary due to various factors. Nevertheless, the author retains its importance.
So the first P, People, showed how lower highways reduce the number of fatalities. The other P, Planet, gave an environmental impact to driving slower. The final P, Profit, aims to provide an economic incentive to achieve the same goal.
At the time of writing, the current national average for ordinary gasoline is $ 2,585. With the above values, the national expenses for driving all of these vehicles on the highways for 5,355 miles at 25 MPG are $ 140,864,767,324.97. But at the adjusted value of 18.75 MPG, the cost increases to $ 187,819,689,766.63. The cost savings potential nationally as a result of slowing down is an astronomical $ 46,954,922,441.66. This results in an annual saving of $ 184.57 per vehicle. That kind of return is similar to the latest tax rebates, but it didn't need any public or private spending!
We hope this has been an informative look at the true costs of high-speed motorways.
Summary of "3P" -based highway speed analysis:
Over 12,500 deaths could have been avoided since 1987
Over 36,500 injuries in fatal car accidents could have been avoided during the same period
Fatality increases increase after increased speed limitation
The fatality rate drops in state without speed limit changes
MPG falls when speed exceeds 55 MPH
Potentially 10% of the country's fuel-based carbon dioxide emissions from passenger vehicles are a result of high-speed driving
National cost savings through speed reductions on highways: $ 46,954,922,441.66 per year
Cost savings per vehicle: $ 184.57 per year