Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Mathematical Venting

Psychologically speaking, I'm facinated with people who speed to get to work. The majority of people are rushing to a job they don't like or are going through the motions to get the bills paid and to have some fun money.

Which...got me to thinking. How much time would someone gain by speeding on their way to work? So, between the Johnson County AIMS server and Google's calculator, and a couple online calendars, I wanted to REALLY know the numbers.

Without naming my route, I've got 4 stretches of road at varying miles per hour. By using the AIMS server, I was able to draw lines and come up with the following measurments. For Accuracy, I did the trip from home to daycare since that's the longest trip I make.

Stretch 1: 2.5 miles @ 45 miles per hour
Stretch 2: 7.1 miles @ 65 miles per hour
Stretch 3: 0.3 miles @ 35 miles per hour
Stretch 4: 0.2 miles @ 25 miles per hour

Calculators all over the internet, so I put them to good use: http://www.1728.com/velocity.htm

2.5 miles @ 45mph = 3.3333 minutes
7.1 miles @ 65mph = 6.5538 minutes
0.3 miles @ 35mph = 0.51429 minutes
0.2 miles @ 25mph = 0.48 minutes

So, from start to finish, my 10.1 mile trip takes about 10.88139 minutes, assuming that I made immediate transistions at the varying speeds and don't slow down till I stop at my daycare providers house. Nice...but I'd probably have to have a flux capacitor with specifically timed jumps to make that happen, and they don't sell those at AutoZone.

Average miles per hour for this trip? Thanks to http://www.raincitystory.com/mph.htm, a whopping 55.69 miles per hour.

But, there are four stoplights from start to finish, and assuming the worst case scenario, I get caught at each light for two minutes for an additional total of 8 minutes. Thus, my 10.1mph trip in 18.88139 minutes now leaves me with a more realistic average mile per hour of 32.10 mph.

So, driving my grandpa pace, it takes me nearly 19 minutes to get to daycare. This is pretty accurate, because an actual trip tends to take between 12-20 minutes.

Now...lets speed, but within the speed limit. I'll up each mph 5 (the usual "safe" speeding maximum before you draw too much attention), and see how much faster I get there.

2.5 miles @ 50mph = 3 minutes
7.1 miles @ 70mph = 6.0857 minutes
0.3 miles @ 40mph = 0.45 minutes
0.2 miles @ 30mph = 0.4 minutes

Speeding stretch times + 8 minutes for stoplights = 17.9357 minutes at an average of 33.79.

Compare:
Speeding time: 17.9357 minutes
Grandpas time: 18.88139 minutes Grandpa looses an entire minute.

Speeding average mph: 33.79
Grandpas average mph: 32.10, Grandpa looses roughly 1.6 mph.

So, if your late, and you feel like you "need to do something about it," is a minute going to make much difference? (starting to see the psychological part, eye?) Rushing some where most of us don't want to be to get there a minute faster? To weave around traffic, decreasing gas mileage, increasing wear and tear on your suspension, and increase your stress?

*waves at you while doing the speed limit*

Granted, if your a commuter, you'll probably gain a couple minutes because you'll travel faster at highway speeds, but numbers are smashed once you hit a stopping point. Sit at a light a couple times before you get to get through? Maybe your stuck on an offramp for a couple cycles, or trying to merge into highway traffic at 35mph because people don't know what an on ramp/acceleration lane is.

Slow down, smell the roses. Enjoy an extra minute or two of music, or the wind in your hair. Enjoy the chat you have with the toddler in the back seat who told you he's proud of you for putting your shoes on this morning.

All this coming from a NASCAR fan and a guy who loves to play racing games, where speed is of the upmost importance. But, it's like I say to a lot of gear heads who always wanted to know how fast my 84 Monte Carlo SS was.

Racing is for the track, not the street. Slow, steady, and consistant wins the race, and in the long run, saves the pocket book on wear and tear.

1 comment:

scott vieira said...

It was you I was behind going to work this morning. I was 1.34 minutes late! :-)