I Can’t Drive 55.


David Ryan

David Ryan is a boat builder and USCG licensed master captain. He is the owner of Sailing Montauk and skipper of Montauk''s charter sailing catamaran MON TIKI You can follow him on Twitter @CaptDavidRyan

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16 Responses

  1. Avatar Roger says:

    Insurance companies are beginning to learn the art of Behavioral Economics.

    From an actuarial standpoint, you can get to any premium by doing surcharges or discounts from a base rate. Over time companies learned people loved discounts and hated surcharges. An actuary never understood why, as to them the only thing that should matter is the premium. But to a customer, they feel better about a $500 premium discounted 50% off the $1000 base rate than they do about a $500 premium surcharged a 100% up from the $250 base.

    Devices like Snapshot allow the introduction of entirely new rate classes based upon time, acceleration (braking and turns), and soon, gps location, speed, seat belt usage, weather, traffic etc. the way to get such a potentially invasive device into someone’s car is to offer the carrot of discounts with no risk of surcharge.

    The actuaries of course still get their money, as they establish the size of the discount and the base rate. Therefore, those NOT getting the discounts pay higher and higher premiums over time while better drivers pay less and less. In the end, loss costs are assigned more fairly based upon driving behavior and chance of loss. In addition, the devices have or will soon have the potential to give feedback to drivers to educate and incentivize them on how to drive better or safer.

    Devices like snapshot can lead to fairer premiums and better driving. Capitalism at its finest!Report

    • Avatar North in reply to Roger says:

      I’ll admit, I’ve found the snapshot quite a satisfying product. As a car owner who drives only a relatively short distance for work and groceries and little much beyond that they eventually handed down their full 30% discount to me which doubtlessly is a factor in my esteem.Report

    • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Roger says:

      beginning? you just think that…

      Insurance companies charge more for red car-drivers. It “just makes sense”. and they keep on doing that after you’re done driving the red car. you’ve been marked. (can you tell I know a guy who writes algorithms?)Report

  2. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    As usual, people don’t do the math.Say you’re drinvig 20 miles on the highway.  What do you think the difference between going 55 and 70 is?

    • At 55, it takes 22 minutes.
    • Ar 70, it takes 17 minutes

    Risking a moving violation and whatever cutting in and out you need to do to maintain that speed is saving you five minutes.Report

    • Avatar Fnord in reply to Mike Schilling says:

      Which is to say, a time savings of nearly 25%.

      When I was young and stupid, I had a summer job. The commute was about 40 minutes if I drove the speed limit, and about 30 minutes if did 15 over (as your numbers suggest). Naturally, I routinely drove like a maniac, twice a day, 5 days a week. I got a single moving violation that summer, towards the end. I saved perhaps an hour and half per week by driving like that.

      My memories are somewhat vague, but I think I came out roughly even, if you only account for the cost of the ticket and I value my time at the same hourly rate my employer did. Obviously, the ding on my insurance cost me more, and I probably lost something in fuel efficiency, but many people earn far more per hour than I did at the time (and, I suspect, if you make the same commute for 5 years instead of 3 months, you’d become more familiar with speed traps, etc, than I was).

      Of course, the monetary calculation doesn’t account for the increased risk to life and limb. As I said, I was young(er) and stupid(er). My driving habits now are similar to Mr. Ryan’s, though I sometimes treat major surface roads the same way as controlled access highways. But the math might not be so simple.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Fnord says:

        Which is to say, a time savings of nearly 25%.

        If you don’t figure in the time it took you to get ready, load up the car [1], drive to the highway, get where you’re going from the highway, park, wlak to your destination, etc, then sure, 25%.  Still not even enough time to listen to Bohemian Rhapsody on the car stereo.

        1. If you’re taking kids, add three or four more steps.Report

        • Avatar Fnord in reply to Mike Schilling says:

          Saving a little bit of time off something you do every day is no trivial thing. And many people drive daily.

          Or alternatively, consider infrequent but long trips. A few years ago, I moved about 800 miles. For that trip, going from 55 to 70 turns it from 15 hour trip to 12 hours. Not only would that save enough time on the road to watch a feature film, it turns it from nearly impossible to do in solo a single day to grueling but doable, saving the time, inconvenience, and expense of an overnight stop in the middle.Report

          • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Fnord says:

            Agreed about long trips; if I need to drive to LA, 80 mph down 5 is the way to go (and quite safe.)  But the hour a year I’d save by speeding up my daily shave by 10 seconds isn’t of much value.Report

          • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Fnord says:

            Driving daily is a relatively stupid thing to do. It’s a relatively risky thing. I’d rather walk my groceries home from the store, thanks.Report

    • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Mike Schilling says:

      But a 250 miles – i.e. the typical trip to see Grandma, you’re saving almost an hour.Report

  3. Avatar Tom Van Dyke says:

    My understanding of the Jones Act is for national security, that our domestic trade and shipping not be held hostage by foreign hands that turn might hostile and choke our internal trade.

    Most likely outdated, but still prudent in hauling petroleum products from port to port: A Liberian-flagged vessel could create quite a mess and we could end up with only a paper corporation to sue.  To this day, foreign tankers anchor off shore, and US-flagged vessels bring the crude to port.


    • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

      The offshore thing is because fully loaded VLCC are so fishin huge (and deep drawing), they can’t pull into most harbors.   it’s also typically more economically efficient to offload them at the offshore facility because it shortens to the turnaround time.  (plus in a bull oil market, you’re often renting a crude carrier by the day, rather than by the voyage, so cutting a day or two off the round trip can put up to several hundreds of thousands of dollars back in your pocket)

      The Jones Act is a pure protectionist measure that is routed around by simply pulling into a foreign port between US ports.  Easily done for South Florida, SoCal, Alaska, and PacNorwest cruising, somewhat harder for Hawaii.  Which is why the current interisland freight hauler (singular) fights like the dickens to keep it.Report

  4. Avatar Scott says:


    2 questions:

    1. Why do you let your cats out?  We only let ours with supervised recreation.

    2. Did you report the pirate charter?Report

  5. Avatar Will H. says:

    On a somewhat related note, I just saw where there was a 16-yr old girl charged with manslaughter for causing a traffic accident while texting. Certified as an adult, of course.

    A sixteen-year-old girl has been charged with manslaughter, assault, and texting while driving in connection with a September 2011 fatality collision.

    Rachel N. Gannon, of Kansas City, was allegedly texting on her cell phone when she lost control of her vehicle and collided with a car driven by Loretta J. Larimer, who was killed in the crash.

    Platte County Prosecuting Attorney Eric Zahnd said Gannon was charged April 19, after having been certified to stand trial as an adult on April 16.

    According to court documents, Gannon was traveling north on NW Skyview Road on Sept. 26, 2011 at approximately 3 p.m. when she struck Larimer’s vehicle near Interstate 435.

    Gannon was allegedly looking at her cell phone and texting when she ran off the side of the road. When Gannon returned her vehicle to the road, she struck a car heading in the opposite direction.

    Larimer was extricated from her car and taken to the hospital where she was pronounced dead. A 10-year-old girl riding in the back seat of Larimer’s car sustained injuries which were not life-threatening.

    Gannon is charged with involuntary manslaughter in the second degree, third degree assault, and texting while driving. If convicted of the manslaughter charge, Gannon faces up to four years in prison. She faces up to one year in jail on the assault charge and a $200 fine if convicted of texting while driving.

    Here she is, here.

    That poor girl’s life is about to be changed forever, and not to the good.

    She doesn’t stand a chance.Report

  6. Avatar joey jo jo says:

    typical blenderella blather.  the alcohol industry’s lobbyists may have something to do with it.Report