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Speeding on public roads

Discussion in 'Ferrari Discussion (not model specific)' started by robiferretti, Nov 21, 2003.

  1. robiferretti

    robiferretti F1 Rookie

    Oct 31, 2003
    3,252
    NYC area
    Full Name:
    rob ferretti
    Not to start a flame war i am sure most of you have done it as well, but tell me this. How can doing 120, 130, 140+ be sooo unsafe on an open highway? some of you cry like anyone driving those speeds is more likely to kill an old woman crossing a major highway in balck clothes at 3:30 am. But if these speeds are soo unsafe for public roads, why are they legal on the autobahn? are they better drivers then us? they drive those speeds passing other cars. When i have open road in a car that can handle the speed its unsafe though, because your wives and kids drive the same road? I just dont get it. Not looking to start a flame war, which this may turn into I am jsut curious as to what those who are opposed to driving fast on public roads feel about the autobahn?
     
  2. robin1

    robin1 Rookie

    Nov 5, 2003
    9
    Oahu, HI
    Full Name:
    Robin Masters
    The difference is that drivers on the autobahn are expecting someone behind them to be going 150+. In this country, the slowest idiots are always in the left lane just daring someone to pass them on the right.

    In Germany, driving is a priviledge. In the US it's a birthright.
     
  3. enzoz

    enzoz Karting

    Nov 2, 2003
    162
    SF Bay Area
    Full Name:
    Rob
    We need a fast road to connect NorCal to SoCal IMHO but that will never happen. Nobody here can drive...
     
  4. whart

    whart F1 Veteran
    Honorary

    Dec 5, 2001
    6,485
    Grandview NY
    Full Name:
    Herr Prof.
    I agree that part of the problem in the States is the standard of driver education, awareness and respect. But, even if you have utter confidence in your abilities, and there is no one around you to put at risk, this country takes the view that speeding is a crime. The penalties for doing so are now greater than getting busted for dope possession or any number of other "victimless" crimes. So, the risk may make it unworth the thrill, if nothing else. What if you get tagged, get your license suspended, and then continue to drive and get into an accident; even assuming its not your "fault," you will probably see jail time, and your life's earnings will be spent repaying a hefty judgement. No moral judgement here: its your choice, based on your own assessment of cost/benefit. I think part of it also has to do with age. (I am reluctant to use the word "maturity" because that sounds judgemental, but you get what i mean). I say all of this, having been there, and always having the urge to put the hammer down. But, reason usually prevails these days...
     
  5. atheyg

    atheyg Guest

    The autobahn(s) have at least 1 fatal accident a day, something less acceptable in the US for a road.

    I have seen very few cars that are speeding in excess of 100mph that the drivers appear to be in control, they foolishly pass cars that could easily swerve into their lane since they are going so fast you can't see them, then they need to make evasive manuveurs which effect everyone around them on the freeway.


    The problem with driving very fast is that you are concentrating on driving the car fast on the road, not being safe and driving defensively so your chances are much greater for a wreck.

    There are so many people driving in the US today that should be off the roads, people that can't see, can't read English, have poor coordination, have a hard time comprehending things, along with impaired drivers, the list goes on and on, excessive speeding just increases your odds that much more for a wreck, the chances of a fatal car wreck are very high in the US
     
  6. noahlh

    noahlh Formula 3

    Aug 28, 2003
    2,225
    NYC, NY
    Full Name:
    Noah
    I have to disagree with you on this one. I find that when I'm driving ultra-fast (100+) I am by far paying the _most_ attention to driving, as opposed to the myriad other things that exist these days to divert one's attention -- cell phone, passenger, radio, scenery, etc. My knuckles are white and I'm 120% alert at high speeds.

    But I totally agree with you on this one. SO many people just shouldn't be driving its mad.
     
  7. TestShoot

    TestShoot F1 World Champ

    Sep 1, 2003
    10,248
    Beverly Hills
    Full Name:
    King Koopa
    when you are driving slower, you become complacent, you feel comfortable enough to do other things.

    i find younger drivers with angst and something to prove are in a youth culture is all about 'living on the edge' so you become invincible. self discipline is the answer, usually that comes with age. All anybody needs is one good wreck before they become a bit more focused.

    when i am cruising and a kid in an acura tuner car, i pull aside. i have more respect for my exotic to not risk it with some throttle jockey looking for an adrenaline rush. if you get adrenaline while driving, you are going too fast.
     
  8. Hubert

    Hubert F1 Rookie

    Jan 3, 2002
    2,642
    The Left Coast
    tracking your car , a lot, really puts "street driving" into perspective. you realize, ironcially enough, how much more dangerous it is to drive public roads v. the race track.
    the obvious dichotemy then makes you more reluctant to put yourself in harms way by taking on the "irresponsible" habits of average drivers.
    i'm not saying this to extole myself as an ace driver, just something i've observed. once you've spun your car at 100 + , or have really driven your car hard, you realize just how lucky you we're not to have another car, wall, barrier , curb there to hit, or you're left with nothing left to prove.
    i honestly don't want to go fast on public roads anymore.
     
  9. TestShoot

    TestShoot F1 World Champ

    Sep 1, 2003
    10,248
    Beverly Hills
    Full Name:
    King Koopa
    Hubert I hear ya. I was down you kneck of the woods on the 52, hauling a$$. All alone nobody on the road. Then out of nowhere I see headlights from a Vette. When it comes to being a peer to another driver and it is a person vs person on the open road you make silly mistakes, then thank heavens you walk away.

    Everyone needs a little fear of god in them to make them act responsibly.
     
  10. ze_shark

    ze_shark Formula 3

    Jul 13, 2003
    1,270
    Switzerland (NW)
    I am afraid that stats will contradict what you say.

    Number of killed people in road accidents (year 2000)
    France: 8079
    Germany: 7500
    Italy: 6410
    Spain: 5776
    UK: 3580
    This is the "top 5", so to speak.

    If you report that to population (deaths per millions of habitants), Germany, in spite of the Autobahns, is among the lowest in Europe:
    Greece 197
    Portugal 196
    Spain 146
    France 136
    Germany 91
    UK 60

    Let's compare with the strictly speed limited US:
    41945 deaths in 2000 for a pop of 281.4mio that year, that gives 149, higher than France and Spain.

    Stats are tricky, one could argue about the number of cars, driven distances, etc ...
    My opinion is that there is a stronger correlation with driving education, discipline and car technology than speed limits.

    Sources(http://www.cepr.tm.fr/fr/observatoire/StatSR/ZoomNbmorteurope.htm)
    (http://www.bast.de/htdocs/fachthemen/irtad//english/we32.html)
     
  11. Entelechy

    Entelechy Formula Junior

    May 19, 2001
    712
    Los Angeles
    Full Name:
    Chris Cummings
    "if you get adrenaline while driving, you are going too fast."

    Amen! One thing our chief instructor at Road Atlanta said that I'll never forget, "there should be NO drama in the car" meaning that if you're tense, you're exceeding your limits and that's dangerous. Everything should be smooth and controlled. When I'm on the track, everything does unfold rather slow - you're looking so far ahead and going through a mental checklist...entering the braking zone, heel/toe downshift, looking for your turn-in point, trailing the brake, aiming for the apex, tracking out, etc. It's a lot going on at once, but you begin to get it down and it does become very controlled and thought-out...then you expand your comfort zone as you become more proficient.

    "tracking your car , a lot, really puts "street driving" into perspective. you realize, ironcially enough, how much more dangerous it is to drive public roads v. the race track."

    Hugh, this is EXACTLY what I've experienced as well, although you have wayyy more track time than I do :)
     
  12. Entelechy

    Entelechy Formula Junior

    May 19, 2001
    712
    Los Angeles
    Full Name:
    Chris Cummings
    "if you get adrenaline while driving, you are going too fast."

    Amen! One thing our chief instructor at Road Atlanta said that I'll never forget, "there should be NO drama in the car" meaning that if you're tense, you're exceeding your limits and that's dangerous. Everything should be smooth and controlled. When I'm on the track, everything does unfold rather slow - you're looking so far ahead and going through a mental checklist...entering the braking zone, heel/toe downshift, looking for your turn-in point, trailing the brake, aiming for the apex, tracking out, etc. It's a lot going on at once, but you begin to get it down and it does become very controlled and thought-out...then you expand your comfort zone as you become more proficient.

    "tracking your car , a lot, really puts "street driving" into perspective. you realize, ironcially enough, how much more dangerous it is to drive public roads v. the race track."

    Hugh, this is EXACTLY what I've experienced as well, although you have wayyy more track time than I do :)
     
  13. sparetireless

    sparetireless Formula 3

    Nov 2, 2003
    1,319
    Not sure exactly how to take this, my local Porsche fix it shop, Andial says keep it below 165 mph or you need ground effects items like air dams and wings. They don't seem to have any axe to grind except to keep the customers alive and coming back. So if you take them literally, civilians stay at 164 and below. Another point on the radar screen is the silve state classic people race people require roll bars above 155 mph. So it seems south of 150 should be okay for regular folk.. All on the track of course.
     
  14. Wolfgang

    Wolfgang F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa

    Mar 8, 2003
    16,743
    Heidelberg, Germany
    Full Name:
    Wolfgang
    @ze_shark, good post didn`t know this
    @sparetireless, thats funny what your Porsche dealer told you but not true!
    I did 150mp/h with my 308QV and no ground effect and
    I drive my Testarossa with a 189 mp/h without any problems or ground effect. Its not a big deal, we are used in driving high-speed on sometimes empty "Autobahnen" here in Germany

    Best Regards from Gemany
    Wolfarossa
    FORZA FERRARI
     
  15. Skidplate

    Skidplate Rookie

    Nov 16, 2003
    7
    I believe that the laws in the US are made for the lowest common denominator. I.e. the dumbest driver on the street.

    Case and point: I had a patient a few weeks ago who could not see directly in front of her. The part of her eyes which see detail had been gone for years. I asked her how she got to my office with her two babies. She told me that she drove there. I asked her if she had a license. Her answer was no. I told her to call her husband to come to the office and take her home. I also told her to give him the car keys and NEVER DRIVE AGAIN because she was waiting to kill someone on the road. (Perhaps herself or her children) She kindly agreed with me. As she left my office, I walked outside to see if she would comply with my directions. I observed her put her children into the minivan, get in the driver seat, and drive away.

    I will never own a motorcycle…
     
  16. F SPIDER

    F SPIDER F1 Rookie
    Owner

    Jan 30, 2002
    2,873
    NYC, A'dam, W'stock
    Full Name:
    rijk rietveld
    Thanks ze_shark

    It is amazing: 149 (US) v 90(Germany) deaths per million inhabitants. I knew there was a difference, but was not aware that it was more than 60% more in the US.

    And of this probably only 20% or so are actually accidents on the highway and 80% on two-lane roads. Do you have any statistics on this?

    Rijk
     
  17. whart

    whart F1 Veteran
    Honorary

    Dec 5, 2001
    6,485
    Grandview NY
    Full Name:
    Herr Prof.
    There was a book published a few years ago, American Autobahn, which compared the high speed roads in Germany with those in the United States, from an engineering, social "engineering" and cultural perspective. Made for interesting reading.
     
  18. bkaird1

    bkaird1 Karting

    Nov 7, 2003
    138
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Full Name:
    Brad
    I was under the impression that in Germany, the licensing procedure was more difficult and rigourous. I also think I read that the Autobahn was designed for speeds that high, unlike our roads here. I was watching a TV show (Discovery or TLC or something like that) where a car wrecked on the Autobahn doing well over 100. After the crash, the driver amazingly got out of the car with no apparent injuries.

    After reading Skidplate's post, maybe the US should consider raising the bar a bit for drivers licenses.

    Brad
     
  19. wax

    wax Four Time F1 World Champ
    Advising Moderator

    Jul 20, 2003
    41,766
    SFPD
    Full Name:
    Dirty Harry
    To me, it's quite telling that speeds which cars can attain which preceding f-chat members have wisely pointed out, and with the benefit of experience, I might, er - did add - are as fast as one shouldn't go in a car which is designed for the open road.

    Then there's the posts which display idiotic 'thinking' (and I use the term 'thinking' loosely) by a certain idiot and brown-nosers (oooooh, he has a you-know-what and lives you-know-where) of "This model made by Manufacturer L that has 200 more horsepower can go 1 mph faster than Manufacturer F, so therefore it's superior" that pointlessly hogs threads, to the last word. One of those posts on the old board showed some pics taken at night, at speed, on a highway with other cars around. Stupid is as stupid does. If nothing else, it's proof one can have less IQ than if their brains - or worse - somebody elses - were splattered on the statistical highway.

    What's the point? Bragging rights? If you're going to drive at full-tilt-boogie, do it on a track, not on a highway or anything less. Pick a limit - Without even so much as a flower around, 130 is plenty fast & won't make the bulk of us bat an eye. The moment you start "thinking" is the moment to back down. I didn't have to "think" at 130, but that's all the car had to give & the handling was magnificent.

    As long as there's not anything the size of a moth or greater within braking distance times 3, frontal, sidal or backal, whichever comes first, we're happy campers. A coyote or deer comes out on the road and has a staring contest with your headlights, daylight or not - well, there's going to be a problem. With the confidence-inspiring road-handling capabilities these cars which the majority of this board's members possess, there isn't any problem going faster, but if the simplest of simple things goes wrong... a critter with an even smaller mind does a tap-dance act in front of you or a tire blows... you could end up just another single-car fatalit(y)/(ies).
     
  20. Ashman

    Ashman Two Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Sep 5, 2002
    26,987
    MA
    Full Name:
    John
    The number of deaths per million population tells you some information, but not very much. Consider total miles driven, and the proportion of driving that is done on highways, country roads, city roads and then perhaps you can start to draw some conclusions about safe driving.

    The driving standard in the U.S. is very low. People are clueless about what is going on around them, chatting incessantly on their cellphones and just simply not paying attention. Those that are paying attention sometimes lack some driver skills about how to respond to various situations and get themselves (and others) in trouble that way.

    Agreeing with Hubert, I find that after a few years of vintage racing I have a much better appreciation for how much more dangerous it is to be driving on public roads. On the race track, everyone is trained, sober, usually going in the same direction (!) and there are few hard objects to hit if you go off the track.

    I have no concerns about my ability to conduct my car along the road at a brisk pace. What I worry about is some bonehead around me getting me caught up in their mistake. I feel much safer on the track than I do on I-95.

    John
     
  21. ze_shark

    ze_shark Formula 3

    Jul 13, 2003
    1,270
    Switzerland (NW)
    Hi John,
    Granted, reality is a lot more complex than simple stats, I was just throwing them here as a mere indication that the reputation of german autobahns is not as bad as it seems, and that other factors, such as the ones you mention, may play a larger role.
    Fully agree that a track is a much safer place to drive fast, and a humbling learning experience.

    Btw, I recall that Montana or some other northern state lifted speed limits in some areas, the law being to drive at an "adequate speed", whatever the police force may interpret that to be. Does anyone know if there was any conclusion driven from that experience ?
     
  22. 355fiorano

    355fiorano Formula Junior

    Oct 21, 2003
    773
    London
    Full Name:
    Philip
    Brad,

    there are 2 videos that I've seen. One is in an old shape 500SL Merc with its roof down. It crashes on the central reservation on a right had bend, swerves back accross the road and hits the grassy bank section and flips over. The roll bar activates and the car continues to skid on its roll bar for another half mile or so. It finally comes to rest on the side of the road (a good couple of miles from first impact) and the dirver climbs out slightly dazed and sits by the grassy bank holding his head. This accident was at 150+ mph according to the video comentary.

    I recently saw a similar one with a CLK (I think). Slightly slower, 130 mph, but very similar trajectory.

    They are both quite unbeleivable !
     
  23. bkaird1

    bkaird1 Karting

    Nov 7, 2003
    138
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Full Name:
    Brad
    Yep... that's the one I saw (the one with the 500 SL Merc). I'd love to find a clip on the internet. My jaw hit the floor when I saw the guy get out and stumble away from the wreck.

    Brad
     
  24. ryalex

    ryalex Two Time F1 World Champ
    Owner Consultant

    Aug 6, 2003
    21,238
    Las Vegas, NV
    Full Name:
    Ryan Alexander
    Ze_Shark: I heard they recently re-instated a speed limit in Montana under a federal mandate, but that it's a) rarely enforced and that b) the fine is like $10.

    I remember in Germany it was like 1400-18000 DM to get your license, requiring like 20 hours of on-road driver training. This was in 97, don't know if it's changed. I think the biggest problem would be Americans feeling it's their right and privilege to get a $22 license without any training (as I did!).

    I wonder how much it is people crashing American cars vs. German cars? My friend reversed my old MB into a brand new Dodge Dakota pickup, and although embarassed I was proud of my little 190E cause it did a lot more damage to the truck (hit bumper to bumper). Just wish he would have paid for it :-(.
     
  25. Jordan Ross

    Jordan Ross Formula Junior

    Nov 4, 2003
    591
    Austin
    Ryalex,
    The speed limits there are now enforced but yes they are rareley enforced and the fine is 5$. Ive heard you can pay a cop 5$ and then go speed!

    BTW this is my forst and probably last post as Jodan Ross :)
    Im getting a correctly spelled name.
     

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