Our Northwest

Northwesterners just can’t help their need for speed

Wednesday, January 18, 2017by  Derek Wing


Gridlocked roads aside, Northwesterners speed more than they did just six years ago. But it’s not their fault. With all those other pesky drivers going so fast, they’ve got to put the pedal to the metal just to keep up! So said 72% of the admitted speeders in a recent PEMCO Poll. Most of the rest fessed up to simply not paying attention.

Two-thirds said they speed at least some of the time. That’s up from about half of drivers the last time we polled, in 2011.

Many also believe in the “ticket-worthy buffer.”

Two out of three drivers think they get a “free” five mph over the posted limit before an officer would bother to write a ticket. In the 2011 poll, fewer than half of drivers believed in the buffer.

All that speed flies in the face (or maybe splats on the windshield) of data showing higher speeds have deadly consequences. In the past two decades, climbing speed limits have contributed to an extra 33,000 highway deaths nationwide.

A takeaway for the lead-foots among us: With all the uncontrollable things (weather, wildlife, road conditions) that contribute to accidents, why give up control of one thing that’s 100% our choice – how fast we drive – just for the sake of “keeping up with traffic?”

Read full results of the poll of 1,200 Washington and Oregon residents by Seattle’s FBK Research.


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