I used to rage when I got stuck driving behind someone going the speed limit. My Hulk-like anger—and primitive 16-year old brain—would propel me to pull some outrageously stupid stuff. Passing someone on the right side, for instance … in the pouring rain … on a sharp turn. All for the sake of getting to my destination about two minutes faster. The worst part was that often, after passing dangerously and roaring into the distance, I’d see the person I’d passed later on at a stoplight. (Yes, I was that driver.)
Recent research at the University of Toronto has more evidence of my stupidity.
Using computer modeling based on national data, researchers mapped out the benefits from small changes in average driving speed on the public health in the United States. Results showed that if Americans drive just a little slower—say, by 1.8 mph—we could add up to 200 years to the cumulative life years of the nation. Not only that, but we’d actually spend less time in the car. (Oh, and then there’s the gas mileage benefits and the decrease in green house gas emission.)
So, maybe try driving just a little bit slower today. After all, we’re not all 16 anymore.