Drivers behave as if gas is cheap

Discussion in 'Environmental Discussion' started by Chuck., Aug 18, 2012.

  1. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    Hey Chuck,
    Like every texan, I've said the wrong thing.

    There is more of a difference in world view that made me press on.

    Let's just end this sillyness here. I would be happy to discuss enforcement versus fuel savings or accidents.
     
  2. Chuck.

    Chuck. Former Honda Enzyte Driver

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    Condoning or being soft on speeding is still a bad idea - enforcement of the current speeding laws is definitely too lax.

    Speeders often don't save time.

    Many times, a mile down the road I glide by someone that blasted by me.

    Estimate every other wreck in D/FW is the result of aggressive or distracted driving that puts thousands of other drivers in gridlock.
     
  3. Corwyn

    Corwyn Energy Curmudgeon

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    As I said, heavier enforcement is YOUR fantasy.

    And an ACTUAL trillion to buy them.

    Not in 2010.
     
  4. Chuck.

    Chuck. Former Honda Enzyte Driver

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    I hope this mellows out too, austingreen.

    The totally crazy driving I see is bad on a number of levels.
     
  5. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    Now I am confused. How are you proposing to reduce the number of speeders?



    The amount of money to buy efficient vehicles and fuel is often less than buying inefficient vehicles. How do you calculate trillions to buy more efficient cars?

    Case in point, in the 90s instead of creating higher cafe standards, the country left them as is including an SUV loophole. At the same time the tax code was modified to encourage buisnesses to buy SUVs. The net effect was much higher SUV purchases which cost more dollars for both the vehicle and fuel. Higher SUV percentages increase insurance losses at the same time. The only way this policy was a net win is for the auto manufacturers makeing the SUVs and the insurance companies that increased their rates. Is that how you are counting? The big PACs advodcating the policy were automakers, UAW, and insurance institute.

    Current law has increasing cafe standards through 2025, as well as plug-in incentives. This should make sure consumers have efficient cars available to buy. Behavior only seems to work though when fuel prices are high. An oil tax would help on the demand side, but that looks unlikely to happen.

    When I say oil imports,
    I mean crude oil and petroleum distillate imports less petroleum distillate exports. In net terms oil imports are declining.
    Oil use did increase in 2010, though not by as much as it declined in 2009. Consumption in 2010 was down 7.3% from 2007
     
  6. NiHaoMike

    NiHaoMike Member

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    Maybe there should be a program to offer reduced insurance rates for having a speed limiter installed?
     
  7. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    I do too, I was the victim of one of those crazy dallas drivers going the wrong way. Don't get me wrong. I am in favor of strong enforcement of reckless driving. People shouldn't speed, but they will.
     
  8. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    But to what extent would you class 'strong enforcement'? If a driver or trucker in the US drove the wrong way on a freeway whilst drunk but didn't hit any other vehicles, what enforcement would he expect?

    Here one got 8 months in jail. It would have been significantly higher if he'd hit another vehicle and probably manslaughter if he'd killed someone.

    BBC News - M6 wrong-way lorry driver Pal Korbely jailed

    We've had similar discussions in the past and it is said that Americans have a right to drive, but without deterrent people appear to have a right to drive badly. It's upto you and your lawmakers to change things, otherwise you can't complain when involved in an accident or friends or loved ones are injured or worse.

    A drink drinker here will expect a minimum of a 12 month ban going upto 36 months ban and jail if really over the limit. Refuse to co-operate or provide evidential samples and they throw the book at you. Drive with no insurance and expect your car to be confiscated on the spot and crushed if you don't provide insurance proof within 30 days, regardless of the car value. Drive whilst on the phone and get a £90/$140 fine and 3 points and an increased insurance rate. It's harsh but then again it helps keep people alive.

    As mentioned before, I live near a lot of Americans and 20 years ago they were generally good drivers, would flash you out of busy intersections etc, but now they're nutters (for want of a better word and generalising a bit). I'll be driving at 60mph in a 60 zone and there'll be a big lhd American SUV right up my rear bumper, and then when clear he'll burn past all of 40 feet to be right up the rear of the guy in front of me. Not all are like that and maybe they stand out because of the different licence plates, but often when I get cut up on a certain stretch of road it'll be one of your fellow countrymen. :(

    Guess it all depends on priorities. Saving 3 minutes on a journey at the expense of mpg's, risk, higher insurance, cheesing off the locals. Americas accident death rates are some of the worst in the western world. Why? You have bigger cars, so they should be safer than our small Euro crapboxes. You have good hospitals which are better than our crappy free ones. So what gives? A heavy right foot?
     
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  9. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    There is a difference between reckless and speeding. I was rear ended, by an innocent but inattentive driver, because the dangerous one was driving the wrong way way in my lane. I think we were both going about 45mph, when I saw him, hit my brakes, blasted my horn.

    The penalty for that incident is jail time and a fine here as it should be.

    I'm not quite sure of your point. We do have laws against these things.

    I've driven here and europe, I drive faster in germany than at home, because the roads and drivers are better:) I thought belgium, portugal, and greece were part of europe, the us has a lower fatality rate.:( One thing that makes texas fatality rates higher, according to the texas department of transportation is the large number of SUVs. We have excellent hospitals in most of the US, as you do in europe, and they even have them in thailand. I thought you had high speed limits in those european countries with low highway fatality rates.
     
  10. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    Maybe it's higher speed limits in the right places? or just plain enforcement? I do not know. You've done your homework as those 3 European countries do have equal or higher accident rates to the US, and they are all renowned for being dangerous to drive places, especially Portugal. France used to be a bit dodgy too but they've improved significantly in recent years and even Italy has a better car accident death rate.

    List of countries by traffic-related death rate - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    That list was alarming! It looks like places with significant enforcement and difficult driving tests have lower rates and places like Russia or South Africa are just place deadly.
     
  11. Chuck.

    Chuck. Former Honda Enzyte Driver

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    I've been driving since 1974, and drivers are getting worse, speeding more.

    Cars a higher performance, but the laws are enforced less than they were.
     
  12. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    The problem is that (as someone else put in another thread), those guys that drive monstrosity class SUVs fail to see or are unable to see the connection between driving SUVs and national security.

    Those folks have no clue about the oil stats and usage at Oil: Crude and Petroleum Products - Energy Explained, Your Guide To Understanding Energy - Energy Information Administration, oil reserves (CIA - The World Factbook), how little we have in the way of oil reserves (Americans Strongly Favor Raising Fuel Economy Standards to 50 MPG, Poll Finds | PriusChat), etc.

    It doesn't help that had some politicians saying "drill baby drill" and have a political party that says you should be able to buy and drive whatever you want, is against conservation (w/excuses that it'll hurt the economy) and so on.

    If you ask those "drill baby drill" people on where most of the world's oil resides, how much in reserves the US has, projected production figures from those places they want to drill in, they'll have no answer. They have no idea other than to think that it'll solve the problem. :rolleyes:
     
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  13. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    Not true. They will tell you that the US has thousands of years of oil, but the librels refuse to let patriotic companies drill.

    (I'm slowly learning to speak tea'baggese.)
     
  14. icarus

    icarus Senior Member

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    We may indeed have "thousands of years worth of oil". The real question however, is the cost to burn it? Between the environmental costs of extraction, refining, transporting it and burning it these calls are not now being paid (in general). Put a price on the externalities, and people will vote with thier pocket books. PV becomes more viable if we hd to pay for the emissions from coal, or the true cost of natural gas fracking. Plug in's become viable if we were to pay the price of petrol.

    It does take a nudge from government to make even things like the Prius viable initially, but tax credits, cafe standards, but most of all a carbon tax! I heard a conversation on CBC radio today, suggesting that it would take cumulatively about 2% of gross world GDP to stop GHG emissions to a point of being effective. (and people are worried about the effect on the economy) The side note however was it is projected to cost in excess of 10% of world GDP NOT to control emissions. additionally, the long term benefit of controling GHG emission is a stronger economy in the net going forward.

    For example, the drought and heat in the US this summer comes at some considerable cost. How do you factor in that in the equation?

    the bottom line, people will only act in some real way when it effects their relatively short term bottom line. Until you make saving energy cheaper than wasting it, people will continue to waste it. I am reminded of the gasoline ad of the 1960s where they were giving away steak knifes with a ten gallon purchase. The guy could only get eight gallons in the car. He said to the attendant, "just dump the other two gallons in the back seat,, the steaks were on the grill!". Sort of emblematic of human behavior IMHO.

    Icarus
     
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  15. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    The "thousands of years of oil" usually comes from references to Bakken shale (snopes.com: Bakken Formation). Problem is, even if there is a lot of oil, it seems a large portion may not be recoverable and the rates that I've heard are very low. Of course, the people who keep insisting that we have plenty of oil have no idea of the recovery rates vs. our current rate of consumption and imports.

    Some will point to ANWR but again have no idea about the production rate (some figures at EIA - Analysis of Crude Oil Production in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge - Results). When you show them the numbers vs. our consumption (18+ million barrels/day), they have no response.

    Unfortunately, when it comes to GHG emission reduction, the doubters wouldn't at all agree to the 10% projected cost since they don't believe it's caused by man at all. So, they only look at the other side..

    As for how people act, many don't do anything until there's a crisis of some sort (e.g. supply shortage (e.g. Remembering the 1973 oil crisis | PriusChat), skyrocketing prices, etc.) In our previous gas price spike in CA, I had a phone conversation w/a friend of mine and asked him whether he noticed the rising gas prices and he had no idea. I wouldn't be surprised if many others didn't notice or did notice but still didn't care.
     
  16. icarus

    icarus Senior Member

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    One of the current glaring issues in the Bakkan is the wasteful flaring of by product natural gas. The last report I heard is that they are flaring enough gas, every day to heat 600,000 houses. Here we get all the emission of natural gas, with non of the benefit. As I have said before,, it should be criminal!

    Icarus
     
  17. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    I haven't been driving as long as you, but I trust that you are right there may be less law enforcement for speeding than there was back then. Statistics from from the period of the 55 mph speed limit show a very high proportion of the population speeding. I have not seen anything recent so I do not know whether more or less speed today then in those times. We do know that sales of radar detectors made now congressman issa very rich, and that many used these and CB radios to avoid speeding tickets. IMHO its doubtful that a higher percentage of the population is speeding more than 5 mph more than posted limits today than 35 years ago. Fatality rates are less than half per vmt than they were in the mid 70s. Much has to do with safer cars, better education and enforcement of drunk driving laws, higher seat belt usage, etc.
     
  18. FL_Prius_Driver

    FL_Prius_Driver Senior Member

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    Don't overlook the likely deployment of new technologies. In Florida, they once had a speeding ticket at the end of alligator alley. All that was required was to compare the time the ticket was issued on one coast and the time the ticket was received at the other coast and......ta da.....speeding ticket if the time difference indicated more than something like 75 mph average. That now can be done on a much wider scale.
     
  19. mojo

    mojo Senior Member

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    With the advent of EVs,state governments raised the possibility of taxation per mile as measured by a required GPS in the vehicle.
    I suppose a GPS could issue speeding violations as well as mileage.
     
  20. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    Yes and this scheme should increase gasoline use, as it will relatively lower gas prices with the lower gas taxes. It will also add a new tax on plug-ins. If you want to issue more speeding tickets and use more gas, I suppose it makes sense to some. If you want to lower traffic fatalities, and lower gas usage, the tax and fine scheme will likely do the opposite. How much more will each driver need to pay the state to be monitored each year?
     
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