Increasing Speed Limits Doesn't Kill

So, just to have a little break from all things NaNo, I decided to post this, because... it's a change of pace, and I love anything even remotely related to Chaos Theory. ^__^ I originally posted this at my anything-goes tumblr, Beyond the Entwash, but I decided to let it leech over.

Increasing Speed Limits Doesn't Kill

I love stuff like this. Chaos Theory at its finest.

Seriously, how hard is it to understand that the more we try to control things, the more chaos ensues? I’ve been trying to express this to people for a while… I mean, compare the Autobahn to US Freeways, and you’ll find the freeways have the higher vehicular fatality rate. Why? Because we try to control it too much.

When Montana had no daytime speed limit, fatalities not only went down but Montana recorded the state’s fewest road fatalities during that period. Internationally, the number of fatalities per billion vehicle kilometers has been higher in the U.S. for about the past seven years than anywhere in Western Europe except for Ireland. Even Germany and its unrestricted autobahn suffer fewer injury incidents than the U.S.

People will find a happy medium. Yes, that medium is higher than the posted speed limit, but who will it hurt to raise the speed limit? The article itself states that nothing changed when the speed limit in Utah was raised 5 MPH. People still had their comfortable medium. So, who is going to drive safer? The person who is trying to avoid getting a ticket while still speeding, or the person who’s speed is not in violation of the laws of the road, thus has nothing to worry about?

Humans are marvelous at self-organization — it’s how we get nomadic tribes and cities like Tokyo, it explains how New Yorkers avoid each other and actually get places on the sidewalks in midtown, and it leads to things like book-of-the-month clubs. It also explains how we avoid accidents at intersections when the red light stops working. Given our choice, we will find ways on our own to live together, mostly safely.

You can say people should just learn to follow the speed limit, but really, why is the speed limit even there? If multiple cases have proven that there is no change, and in some cases the accident rate drops, what is the harm in raising the maximum interstate speed limit, or getting rid of it all together?

As humans, we’re marvelous at self organization… but we’re also marvelous at wanting to break molds and be free. The tighter you hold us, the more we’re gonna fight. The lower the speed limit, the faster we’re going to drive.

If everyone has the freedom to go whatever speed they want, then there is no thrill in going faster than everyone else, thus no need to do so. It doesn’t make you look cooler, it makes you look normal.

It makes perfect sense to me, but that may just be because I’ve studied Chaos Theory for so long… so what about you, curious reader? Are you for or against the raised speed limit… and why?

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