Most people drive 5 miles over the speed limit around town; and if you haven’t, then you probably have been cussed at by people who do. You most likely won’t get pulled over if it’s just 5 mph, so why not speed up to save a little time. The question is though, does it really save you time? Well, we’re going to figure this one out. Together. Hope y’all like math.
Say the average speed limit is 35 miles per hour in town. And the maximum distance you’ll be driving is around 6 miles.
60 minutes/35 mph = 1.71 minutes per mile x 6 miles = 10.26 minutes approximately to reach your destination driving 35 miles per hour.
Now let’s say you drive 40 miles per hour driving the same distance.
60 minutes/40 mph = 1.5 minutes per miles x 6 miles = 9 minutes to reach your destination
As you can see, traveling 6 miles on your commute and going 5 mph faster only saves you about 1 minute and 15 seconds.
Let’s get even further into this. We’re going to cut the distance in half, only making your commute 3 miles.
60 minutes/35 mph = 1.71 minutes per miles x 3 miles = 5.13 (Literally just half of our previous answer.)
Now at 40 mph for 3 miles.
60 minutes/ 40 mph = 1.5 minutes per miles x 3 miles = 4.5 minutes
Looking at this we see that instead of saving 1 minute and 15 seconds, we’re only saving about 38 seconds. The shorter the distance you travel, the less time you save.
What we’re not taking into consideration during this is the amount of time you spend at stop lights and stop signs, or even following other people in traffic. This can significantly reduce the time you save, or even eliminate it if you hit every stoplight wrong. However, you could time it perfectly by speeding and not have to stop at a light that you normally would have if you would’ve been obeying the law. It goes both ways.
In conclusion, driving around town 5 mph faster than the speed limit will only save you a minimal amount of time at best. If you’re running late for work or for class, speeding through town and risking getting a ticket probably won’t amount to much time saved. If you’re following some retired farmer who’s driving a diesel Ford pickup truck and has a big ole’ chaw in his mouth, remember not to get road rage, because a few miles per hour faster won’t get you there much quicker in a small town.