Speeding: The math just doesn’t add up | Our Corner

Since I started working for Sound Publishing I have had to make the trek from Kent to Covington each morning, I have seen at least one reckless driver every single day. It's come to the point where I am a little nervous driving to work. The main reasons I have noticed why drivers are being so reckless is because they are in a hurry (speeding and weaving in and out of traffic) or distracted (texting, talking, fidgeting with their radios).

  • Friday, February 12, 2016 3:05pm
  • Opinion



<![CDATA[

Since I started working for Sound Publishing I have had to make the trek from Kent to Covington each morning, I have seen at least one reckless driver every single day. It’s come to the point where I am a little nervous driving to work. The main reasons I have noticed why drivers are being so reckless is because they are in a hurry (speeding and weaving in and out of traffic) or distracted (texting, talking, fidgeting with their radios).

I understand how stressful it can be when you’re running late for something, but here is my advice. It’s not worth it to speed or weave in and out of traffic. You could get a ticket in either of those situations which: 1) would make you even more late; 2) you will have to pay for the said ticket with money you weren’t expecting to spend and 3) you could honestly injure or kill someone.

My coworker Ray Still decided to do a little math on how much time he would save if he sped. He came to the conclusion it is not worth it. Ray drives from the Enumclaw office to the Bonney Lake Justice and Municipal building often. It is approximately 11 miles. He goes through a 35 mph zone, 55 mph zone, 45 mph zone and 40 mph zone, in that order.

On average, he is going 44 mph for those 11 miles (35 + 55 + 45 + 40 = 175 / 4 = 44), which means it should take about 25 minutes to get there if he doesn’t slow down or stop for any reason. If he increases his average speed to 50 mph, it will take him about 22 minutes instead of 25. And that’s only if he is not stopped or slowed.

To shave those three minutes off his drive, he somehow has to get his average speed up to 50 mph, so he needs to speed somewhere. He could travel 80 in the 55 mph zone, but that’s pretty unlikely with law-abiding drivers in front of him on highway. Chances are, he wouldn’t be able to go through the entire 55 mph zone doing 80.

But if he sped 6 miles over the speed limit in each area (41 + 61 + 51 + 46 = 199 / 4 = 49.75), he could bump up his average to 50 mph. But that would mean he would have to be speeding the entire way without anyone slowing him down, which again, would be difficult.

If Ray managed to somehow go 6 mph over the whole way, he would only be saving three minutes. It’s just not worth it and it would be very difficult to do. His advice: You’re better off being late, picking up a dozen donuts and arriving at the office with a treat instead of a speeding ticket.

What bothers me more than speeding drivers is seeing someone on their cell phone. It is infuriating. Anytime someone tells me they are good at texting or talking and driving, it drives me bananas. Nobody, and I mean nobody, is good at that. You are still distracted and taking your eyes away from the road.

Did you know that if you take your eyes off the road for about 4.6 seconds (the average time it takes to send that “quick” text) while driving at 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field blindfolded. So many things can happen in those 4.6 seconds. A car could cut you off or suddenly brake, something could jump out in front of you or a person could be crossing the street. It’s just not worth it to send that quick text. It’s not worth it to answer a phone call. Those things can wait a few minutes before you get to your destination, or pull over.

A few years ago when I was living in Bellingham, a teenager was distracted for “two to three seconds” and rear-ended a car who then struck a 2-year-old who was crossing the street with her mother.

I know how tempting it is to speed when you’re late. Or how tempting it is to send just that one quick text. But please… for my sake and the sake of other drivers, don’t. Please be more careful out there.

Follow these simple rules and many accidents could be prevented. Wear a seat belt, don’t speed, don’t text and drive, don’t drive sleepy (that’s just as bad as driving drunk… which I won’t even go into because I shouldn’t have to tell any of you to never ever drink and drive… ever), don’t tailgate anyone (that’s not nice and it won’t help the situation), drive in the slow lane if you drive slower, be aware of your surroundings at all times, be courteous to other drivers and… just be safe.

Car accidents are expensive, terrifying, stressful and sad.

More in Opinion

America’s monster

I’m not sure when it happened, but I recently realized I’ve stopped asking myself, “What are we going to do about mass shootings and gun violence in this country?” Instead, I now ask, “When is the carnage going to come to Enumclaw?”

Avoiding loss means more than gaining something else

Some studies have shown that losses are twice as psychologically powerful as gains. American history and our current political situation help reveal a great deal about the American/human psyche.

Congratulations, Jan Molinaro

In every election, one person must win and the other will lose. Now more than ever, it is important to show our children how to be gracious in victory and humble in defeat.

Don’t give into the pressure of driving drowsy

Eleven years ago, a drowsy-driving car wreck left me with injuries that still challenge me today.

Opening our minds can be a beautiful thing

As a leader of my church’s Sunday Adult Forum, I had a goal: to put a human face on Islam for the members of the congregation and community.

The definition of insanity

It is totally clear that the incumbent mayor lacks any ability to bring people together and get things done. She is a failure as mayor, making Black Diamond a laughing stock with her out of control behavior and outbursts at Council meetings.

Baxley and Young should have showed up at public forum

On Tuesday, October 17th, was the Black Diamond Maple Valley Chamber of Commerce Candidates Forum, where the Black Diamond candidates for Mayor and two City Council positions had the opportunity to talk with the citizens of Black Diamond, and to answer questions put to them by these citizens.

Issues to be addressed in Enumclaw elections

Who should I vote for in the Enumclaw City Council and mayoral races?

Enumclaw helped raise $3,500 for Special Olympics

The last couple of weekends the St. Barbara Knights of Columbus have been involved with our annual Tootsie Roll Program.

Court grapples with school funding

When the legal battle on education funding returned to the state Supreme Court Tuesday, the leader of Washington’s public school system was closely monitoring this installment of the McCleary drama from his office down the street.

Baxley is an important choice for Black Diamond mayor

Judy Baxley has been part of our local civics for years, and thank goodness because citizen involvement is critical to monitoring big developers.

Enumclaw chamber board supports Molinaro for mayor

In an election with significant consequences that will largely shape the future of our community, Enumclaw voters have a clear choice for mayor.