Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Cost of Coming to a Stop

I found an interesting link on the CNN web site about a proposal given at the recent TED conference by Gary Lauder.

He tells the story of how he received a ticket for rolling slowly through a stop sign at a three way intersection while there was clearly nobody else at the other sides of the intersection.

He goes on to explain how these types of intersections can be dangerous, fuel inefficient and time wasting for most people. His idea, A new type of sign. Not a Yield or Stop, but a "Take Turns" sign.

He would prefer that there be Traffic Circles or a Rotary as they are safer than the traditional intersection and he goes on to give some stats to prove this.

He also gives some stats on the fuel cost and time spent at a traditional intersection. Now, I thought his numbers were good, but he did not break it down for an individual car. Here are some numbers I worked up using some of what he proposed.

My numbers are based on the premise that if you have to stop at one, three way intersection on your way to work and the same intersection going home from work.

Time to slow to a complete stop = 10 seconds x 2 = 20 seconds.

260 work day per year (not including weekends).

260 days x 20 seconds per day = 1 hour 26 min. per year.

The amount of gas needed to accelerate from a stop, 2oz =$.05 x 2 = $.10 per day.

$.10 x 260 days = $26.00 per year.

I don't know where he got his numbers from and for the sake of argument I'm assuming they are correct. If thats the case, I have 4 of these types of intersections on my way to work that I feel would quality for this new type of sign. For eight total stops, thats $104.00 in gas alone for the year and almost six hours of my life I would get back! (I would just waste the time watching TV anyway.)

I guess the point to be made is that safety, fuel efficiency and time management can be improved for everyone through better planning of intersections and roads.

Watch the video of his speech and then decide for yourself, can't we all just "Take Turns"?

Friday, February 26, 2010

Driving Behaviors and Personality

When you drive the same route to and from work for a few years, you start to notice the same drivers everyday and their driving habits. Some have good habits, others bad, a few are awful. I started to wonder what these behaviors said about their personalities. Could they be indicators of more bad behaviors in other areas of their lives?

I started to formulate my own thoughts on what specific driving habits translated into certain personality traits. I also found there are a lot of sites on the Internet associated with this idea in mind. I didn't read too much into it as I wanted to share my take on this area of psychology. Below is my un-scientific list of driving habits translated to personality traits.

Good Behaviors
  • Using signals to change lanes. * You make promises and follow through on them. You don't let people down. You have good communication skills.
  • Keeping a safe following distance. * You are a cautious person, your trust is earned, not bestowed.
  • Coming to a full stop. * You are consistent in what you do and are a stickler for the details. You practice what you preach.
  • You drive a reasonable speed for road conditions (less than 10 mph over the limit). * You are a realistic person who is well grounded and centered. You do not deal in absolutes.

  • You give other drivers the right of way. * You are a considerate person and volunteer to help others.
  • Bad Behaviors
  • Tailgating. *You know what you want but you bully your way to get it. You are overbearing.
  • Excessive speeding/Zig-zagging through traffic. * You have no consideration for anyone but yourself. You are self centered and pompus.

  • Driving the speed limit in the passing lane. * You are inattentive and complacent. You have no goals in life.

  • Not having your lights on in the rain or snow. * You are arrogant and think you have all the answers. You have unrealistic expectations.

  • You fail to remove all the snow from all areas of your car. * You are lazy and unmotivated. "it's good enough" is your motto.
  • You fail to hold a steady speed. You are inconsistent and don't finish what you started. You leave people hanging.
I'm not a Psychologist and you may not see things as I do, and I'm sure there are many more of these I could add to the list like "what does talking on the phone" say about you, but I'll leave that one and others for you folks to ponder.
Below is a link to the Psychology Today's page to take the "What type of driver are you?" test. I took it and I think I scored pretty well. How did you do?
My Results.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Hot Rods and Rock n' Roll

"I get off on 57 Chevys. I get off on screaming guitars"

That's a line from one of my favorite Eric Clapton songs and it pretty much sums it up. Cool cars and Rock music naturally go together. I mean the first thing we do when we get our first car is install a good sound system. Am I right?

Well some of the early Rock n' Roll was the coolest especially when you look at the cover art. Below is some of my old favorites from Jan and Dean, The Beach Boys and other artists.

I found all of these at swap meets and flea markets and I plan on framing them to hang in the Garage.

Click on each image for a larger version.