How fast is fast enough?
Last week I mentioned a spur-of-the-moment trip my wife and I took from Washington to Colorado. We embarked on the trip because we found a boat for sale that we had to have.
Yes, there were other boats closer to us, but this one was the correct year, with the correct engine, in great condition, and at a price we couldn’t pass up.
With a free weekend ahead of us, we set off on the 2,500-mile round-trip jaunt on Friday afternoon with the requirement to be back in town before work at 7:30 Monday morning.
I don’t mention this because I think anyone will care about the trip itself—I mention it because we experienced issues on the trip that anyone will experience when driving long distances. Today’s topic: the speed limit.
In most of our home state of Washington, the speed limit on rural sections of Interstate highway is 70 miles per hour. Once into Montana, southern Idaho, and Utah, that limit jumps to 80 miles per hour.
At this point you need to know that my wife is a speeder. To her, the speed limit is interpreted more as a minimum, and she likes to regularly go 5 to 9 miles per hour faster than the posted limit.
At home, 70 is just too slow, and she’ll push 80 on a regular basis. When I saw the 80 mph limit, I thought she’d be thrilled to finally cruise without fear of getting pulled over.
What I didn’t know is that she’d been pushing 90 on most of Highway 6 between Salt Lake City and the Colorado state line. I discovered that little fact when I took over driving and saw where the cruise was set.
“How fast have you been going?” I asked.
“Ummm, 89,” she sheepishly replied.
I was beside myself. Against my better judgment, I said, “Are you kidding me? Even 80 isn’t fast enough for you? You’re like a kid at Christmas who gets everything she asked for but only wants more. Why can’t you be satisfied with what you get? If the limit was 90 would you go 99?”
“Nine you’re fine, ten you’re mine, right?” she said, referring to what she believes is a common saying in the police industry.
I don’t think it is.
“I’m pretty sure that doesn’t apply when the limit is 80. I’m going 83. And that’s it.”
Our discussion continued for far longer than I care to admit, and it was *mostly* in playful fun, but I believe speed limits are there for a reason and shouldn’t be pushed too far. She believes drivers are expected to exceed them by up to 9 miles per hour.
As you might expect the trip to Colorado went by exceptionally quickly. Once we picked up the boat and turned around for the drive home, though, our 2008 Audi Q7 V6 lugged along at a sluggish 65, and dropped to about 55 up hills. I was thrilled. My wife could barely handle it.
What do you think: How far do you push the speed limit on rural highways?