Driving Under the Influence of Speed

Photo: Auto Guide
Washington State drivers have a new “Driving Under the Influence of Electronics” law.

Keep your hands off your phone—don’t even read that text message at a stop light. We are limited to a single finger to “trigger a voice-activated application”.

Okay, I understand distraction, but how about reckless speeding?




A few weeks ago, I witnessed a near-miss collision and it had nothing to do a phone.




My rural highway leads to some spectacular camping spots. Tourists flock here every summer. Thirty foot motorhomes and trucks pulling huge trailers routinely drive slower than the speed limit.











Most of them are unfamiliar with our curvy highway. I was behind a car that was tailgating a truck and travel trailer.

But the slow-moving driver was almost going the speed limit—just a couple miles per hour under the limit.








Apparently, the tailgating driver was in a rush to get somewhere, so he attempted a foolish pass around the truck and trailer.

I slowed down and was far enough behind I could see an oncoming vehicle. The tailgater was so close he didn’t see what was ahead, until he was in the wrong lane.

Smoke came from the trailer tires as it braked hard. It swerved and swayed as it pulled over to the side. The oncoming car slowed and pulled to the other side. The tailgater blew past as if it was just another lap around the racetrack. It happened in seconds.






While Driving Under the Influence of Electronics increases risk, so does stupidity. Back when I studied algebra, I had to calculate arrival times based on speed.

If I go five miles per hour slower than the speed limit, I get to town 1.09 minutes later. That’s all. One measly minute.

And by going 10 miles over the limit, I get to town 2 1/2 minutes faster. Not worth it.

Honestly, around here, I’m more worried about speeders than someone holding a cell phone. But then, maybe that’s because I've seen some bad accidents and too many near misses.




Click Here if you want to skip the algebra and use this nifty link to calculate your own speed/time savings.


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