Not too long ago, I used to be a speeder. I think most of us could describe ourselves that way on the freeway, but I was the kind of speeder that I think really aggravated other speeders. I was the kind who was tailing the cars in the fast lane and flashing my lights at them in my nonverbal (but very loud) communication telling them to get their sorry slow rear into the slower lanes with the other turtles.
I wasn’t trying to be a rude driver, I was just a fast one. I was just trying to get to my destination ASAP and speed “limit” was only the beginning. I would drive as fast as I could go, often cruising around 90.
But then a very spiritual wake-up call (that didn’t happen while driving but had everything to do with the way I drove) led me to slow down and drive the speed limit. I have since had many revelations about myself and truly growing experiences behind the wheel and not, but I think one of the biggest eye-openers takes me back to fifth grade math and the equation D=RT.
D is the “distance” I need to go. R is the “rate” or the “mph” I travel to get there, and T is the “time” it takes me altogether. As I have been driving ever so much slower than before, I have discovered that I am not using a lot more time to get to my destinations.
My best example is the Intermountain Medical Center on 4500 South in Murray. I was going there once a week to volunteer with the patients. Initially, at my average speed of 85 mph, I was arriving in about 40 minutes and the hospital is about 50 miles away. When I did the math, this is what I discovered:
50 = 85(35.4)
It was taking me 35.4 minutes to travel the 50 miles to IMC when I drove 85 mph.
But my new speed was a LOT slower and I STILL was arriving in about 40 minutes.
50 = 65(46.2)
Ok. I know that 11 whole minutes might seem like a lot to a lot of people – just THINK of what someone could do in 10 full minutes! Heck, I could brush my teeth AND send a text. But it didn’t really seem like a lot to me as, before I did the math and discovered exactly how much time I was “saving” by speeding, I thought I was arriving just as before, in about 40 minutes.
My husband’s parents live about 20 minutes away and almost the entire drive is on the freeway. Here is the math from before and after speed-limit abide-ment:
20 = 85(14.12)
20 = 65(18.6)
When I was a speeder, I could get to my inlaws under 15 minutes. Whoop! Whoop! And after, I made it in about 18 and you know, it feels the same to me.
Well, not the same. I guess one of the biggest realizations, besides how much time I’m actually not saving by speeding, is how much nicer and more pleasant it is to not care to drive faster than the other cars. If we truly are racing, they can beat me and have enough time to unfasten their seatbelt, check their lipstick, and open their car door so they can stand in the driveway of my mother-in-laws and gloat when I pull in right behind them 4 minutes later.