Highway Speeding

Dear Topspeed,
I like to drive at 90 mph on open highways. Some of my friends get scared when I drive at this speed but I'm not really going that fast, am I?

Marc A. from Billings, Montana

Hi Marc,

The sensation of speed is felt differently by everyone. Human beings are unique and so are their senses. Some people feel that going 55 mph on a highway is fast while others would feel they were going very slow. Fast is a relative term and your awareness of speed is dictated by many factors. One of those factors is sensory input. If you are the driver of the car, you are receiving more tactile feedback than the passengers. This information gets processed by your brain in a way that makes you feel comfortable driving at 90mph. Unfortunately, this is not the case for your passengers. Their lack of similar sensory input makes it feel as if the car is going too fast, hence the reason for being scared.

It is also possible that your friends don't feel comfortable being driven by you at that speed. You will only find out by asking them. Regardless, a courteous driver always takes into consideration the comfort of their passengers and your need for speed can always be satisfied on your own time without passengers. Speed limits in many areas nationwide are set too low but you should always drive at a speed that is reasonable and prudent for prevailing conditions. This is for the benefit of everyone you share the road with. I'd like to see the day when our nation's highways have no speed limit and all slower traffic keeps to the right but until that day arrives, use your good judgment and drive safely.

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