Watch this video:

No the time it takes to travel a distance is an easy formula. It is derived from the formula for speed, where speed is equal to distance divided by time. To calculate In the video, he draws a curved line to display the relationship, and his is wrong. Displaying that formula as a graph to display how long it takes to travel a known distance looks like this:

EDIT to add: The below graph is not a good representation of my point. You can ignore it, but I am leaving it here as a monument to my error. My point still stands: his claim that driving faster doesn’t make a difference is still false. If you go 70 mph versus 60, you are travelling about 16% faster, so you will get there 16% sooner. If you are travelling 20mph instead of 15mph, you are travelling 33% faster, so you will get there 33% sooner.
He is saying that it doesn’t pay to drive faster, which is false. The benefit to driving faster is directly proportional to the increase in speed.

Note that the graph is a straight line. He is either stupid or deliberately lying. The difference between 5 mph and 10 mph will get you there in half the time, because you are travelling twice as fast. The reason why you only save a few seconds when you drive at 65 versus 60 mph is that 65 is not even ten percent faster than 60.

Categories: Failure of Education


Dirty Dingus McGee · February 28, 2024 at 6:00 am

Last week I couldn’t spell enjinear, now I R one.

Boneman · February 28, 2024 at 6:06 am

He knows his audience is a bunch of head nodding morons.

It's just Boris · February 28, 2024 at 7:00 am

Sad thing is, some people will think he’s right.

Of course the major determining factor on long trips isn’t your cruising speed, so so much as whether you travel with someone who turns every 5-minute refuelling stop into a half-hour truck stop store excursion.

    Divemedic · February 28, 2024 at 7:44 am

    My Dad was the trip Nazi. No bathroom stops unless he was getting fuel, and you better be back in the car when he is done getting gas. Unless the stop was a Stuckey’s, because we would sometimes extend the stop to eat, or for him to get a Pecan roll.
    In between stops, if you had to go, he would hand you an empty drink bottle to pee in.

neomunitor · February 28, 2024 at 8:29 am

I don’t know where you got your curve, but it obviously depicts something else. Think about it. At zero speed, it takes an infinite amount of time to go any distance at all. Not zero time, infinite time.
Let’s do an example. Let’s go 5 miles.
At 0.5 mph, it takes 10 hours.
At 1 mph, takes 5 hours.
At 2 mph, takes 2.5 hours.
At 3 mph, takes 1.67 hours
At 4 mph, takes 1.25 hours
At 5 mph, takes 1 hour
If you plot this on a graph with speed on the left axis, time on the bottom, zero/zero at the lower left corner, it makes a curve, just like the guy showed.
Yes, I’m an engineer.

    Divemedic · February 28, 2024 at 8:44 am

    I did state it poorly, but his point is still stupid. If you go 70 mph versus 60, you are travelling about 16% faster, so you will get there 16% sooner. If you are travelling 20mph instead of 15mph, you are travelling 33% faster, so you will get there 33% sooner.
    He is saying that it doesn’t pay to drive faster, which is false. The benefit to driving faster is directly proportional to the increase in speed.

      Ed Hering · February 28, 2024 at 10:40 am

      The point the video makes is valid, though. He’s not claiming that it doesn’t take less time at the higher speed–that is manifestly true–but that it comes down to a question of how much time is being saved.

      I did these calculations myself, years ago, when I commuted an hour each way to work every day. Taking 60 MPH as my base speed (because 60 MPH is one mile per minute) I found that going five MPH faster did not save much time per mile, and depending on how far you had to go, might not be worth worrying over. Do you get there faster? Yes. Is it worth the risk of higher speeds? That’s up to the driver.

      The equation being 60/v=time per mile (in minutes), where V is your velocity. 60/30 is 2 minutes per mile. 60/60=1 minute per mile.

      Over a five mile distance, going 65 instead of 60, you save twenty-five seconds.
      Over a fifty mile distance, you save 250 seconds, about 4 min 10 sec.

      Over that fifty mile distance, going 70 instead of 60, you save 7 minutes.

      If you plot “time versus distance”, it does make an asymptotic curve, as shown. The “knee” of the curve is somewhere near 30 MPH; that is where the law of diminishing returns starts to come into full effect.

      I have had this conversation before, and every time it is rejected as being false, I think because people don’t want to know how little time they’re actually saving. Speeding FEELS like you’re getting there faster, even when you’re not. But the time savings you realize by going 45 in a 35 is utterly obliterated the first time you have to stop for a red light.

      Disclaimer: I typically drive between 5-7 over the limit because I am not immune to the psychological effect. I don’t disdain anyone speeding unless they are being raging asshats about it (tailgating, passing in no-passing zones, etc).

      Aesop · February 28, 2024 at 12:37 pm

      He’s right, for very short trips.
      But time is a function of total distance.
      65 vs. 60 for a 6-hour trip means I’ll save half an hour over the slowpoke camping in the left lane. That’s the difference between getting through a town before rush hour slowdowns, or landing right in the middle of them. Getting a room, or not. Being home and off the road before the weather closes in, or not.

      And actually, city driving is worse for the slowpokes, not better.
      Because they don’t miss just the first light by a couple of seconds, they miss every light by a couple of seconds.
      And the cycle at each light adds 30 seconds to two minutes to the trip, plus innumerable additional idiots between Car A and its destination, and that many more chances for some assclown to hit you while drunk, texting, drunk texting, yakking on the phone, fiddling with the radio, or just driving with their HUTA (that’s “Head Up The @$$” for Common Core grads).

      For any given situation, there’s such a thing as too fast, and there’s such a thing as too slow.
      Only idiots cannot grasp this fundamental fact of life.

      For many idiots, even giving them car keys at all is letting them drive too fast.
      Some people at the DMV should be told they are lifetime-banned from driving, and given a lifelong bus pass, for the good of humanity. A brand on the forehead should accompany that.

      For attentive drivers with well-maintained vehicles, 80 can be much safer than 50.

      It’s also why government idiots came up with speed limits: “Why let people use common sense, when a bureaucrat looking at a map 500 miles away is able to decide everything for everyone without being there ever, let alone at the time?”

      And the @$$holes who want to force all the other cars to drive at 55MPH on the highways by blocking traffic 24/7 should either join the Highway Patrol and get paid for doing it legally, or get rammed to the side of the road and beaten to a pulp with a tire iron, and left for dead. “Killed for driving like an @$$hole” should be grounds for justifiable homicide. It should also be the impetus for forward-mounted machineguns on vehicles, just like on Spads, Sopwith Camels, and Fokkers.

      I wouldn’t mind the occasional speeding ticket either, if I saw the cops also mandatorily impounding and towing the vehicles of people doing 15 in a 35 in the left lane and eye-f**king the entire horizon in a 270° panorama looking for their destination or exit lane just as frequently, and telling them to try the bus. Three-lane dives for missing your exit because of HUTA should also be mandatory prison time, with daily beatings.

      Those idiots cause accidents, they don’t prevent them.

      We won’t even talk about the people who never learned to turn on the move, but instead have to come to a full stop on a 50MPH road, then make their right turn into a driveway or parking lot at 2 MPH from the traffic lane, with an entire lane of 50MPH traffic bearing down on them.

      There’s a reason “Idiots In Cars” channels have hours of YouTube video, with fresh new content every other week.

      neomunitor · February 28, 2024 at 6:12 pm

      Correct. The benefit is proportional the percentage increase. So 10 mph increase when you are doing 40 (25%) is a lot more benefit than 10 mph increase when you are doing 80 mph (12.5%). Diminishing returns for the same increase as your base speed increases, which I believe is the point the video was making.

Therefore · February 28, 2024 at 8:53 am

Your curve plots time v. Speed for a fixed distance. DM shows distance vs time. They are different representations of the same data.
DM points this out with the delta time saved between 60 and 65 mph is smaller than between 5 and ten.
At highway speeds, traffic and stops account for most variances. When I did long distance rides, I used 50mph for averages. This included fuel stops, meals, and power maps.
Long distance being defined as 1000 miles in 24 hours.

J J · February 28, 2024 at 9:03 am

I wonder if the guy is a STEM teacher or a STEM student? Either he doesn’t know the subject and shouldn’t be teaching it or he didn’t actually learn the subject when it was taught to him.

    WallPhone · February 28, 2024 at 1:13 pm

    Video is dumb for a bigger reason: he’s not graphing the right metrics in the relationship. He only graphs the relationship between time and speed but verbalizes “not worth the risk” without ever defining or measuring risk.

    All the risk factors multiply and compound on each other. Speeding increases stopping distance, reduces available reaction time, increases force involved in a collision, reduces maneuverability etc. all at the same time, and some of these rise exponentially.

Jax Bungee · February 28, 2024 at 9:25 am

I end up breaking this down to differential calculus on long trips: time=distance/velocity, so dt = (distance)/velocity*dv i.e. the time differential is distance divided by speed multiplied by the differential of velocity. I use 60 mph as my base velocity, as it makes the math easy. 600miles/60 mph = 10 hours, if I bump my speed up (or down) 10%, I’ll arrive roughly 10% quicker (or slower). I must be a nerd.

Scott Norris · February 28, 2024 at 10:53 am

As someone who has raced at Bonneville Salt Flats at 337.159 mph. I can tell you this man is an idiot. 1minute 37 seconds to cover 5 miles from a dead stop. At 60 mph it takes forever.

Dan D. · February 28, 2024 at 11:31 am

Influencer Brain or a put-on. “So if my car weighs the same as a duck…”-stuff.

Also go tell the Germans they were inneficient and wrong to build the Autobahn.

EN2 SS · February 28, 2024 at 7:14 pm

I’m not an engineer, but when you drive 65MPH for ten hours five days a week, 65x10x5=3260 miles at .25 cents per mile is $812.50 for a long haul trip, for 52 weeks is $42,250.00 per year. Then the boss decides to cut the governed speed to 62MPH and all hell breaks loose. 3100 miles a week =3100x.25=$775.00 or $40,300 a year. Three miles an hour equals a pay cut of $1950.00 a year. I won’t get into inflation of a year’s time. Three miles an hour cost a professional driver a lot of money and time.

Matthew · February 28, 2024 at 8:13 pm

The graph he shows and the figures he quotes are correct, but his premise is pretty silly, I mean, no shit Sherlock, if you’re only traveling a single mile, going 85 doesn’t make much sense. But if you’re commuting 50 miles on the highway the difference between 60 and 75 mph is 10 minutes. You could just as easily argue that speeding is fantastic, and we should all be doing it, because if you can travel from home to work and from work to home in 10 minutes less time each way, that would give you over 1,000 hours more work time and another 1,000 hours plus at home over a 25-year career. Maybe someone should make that TikTok as a rebuttal.

Rick · February 28, 2024 at 9:49 pm

On the open highway traveling highway speeds, traveling faster, but less than instant felony if johnny law catches you, it would be a coupla hundred miles before realizing any appreciable time savings.

And time is what we’re talking about. The entire reason to speed is to save time. Well, that plus get away from the cluster which drivers tend to do.

But on city streets, even 5% faster can save a whopping amount of time. I prove this every time I go into town. The game is to beat the stop light. 58 mph in a 55 mph zone usually pays off in that I make it through seven lights while others recede in my rear view mirror.

Plus, it must be factored that x% of vehicles are driving slower than the posted limit. They represent time sucks if you get stuck behind. To maintain median avg speed usually requires faster.

Given that each light cycle is approx 2 minutes, if stopped by all seven lights, my 14.3 mile trip (one way) may very well double in time. So, 5 to ten % faster may result in 50% or more savings in time.

Σd00d · February 29, 2024 at 2:10 am

The guy is not very articulate about it, but I suspect what he’s trying to convey is that speeding may not be worth the risks. Let’s take the example of 60 vs 70mph. Assume I am driving 10 miles, all freeway. I can drive those 10 miles at 60mph safely, or 70 somewhat less safely. At 60, I cover those 10 miles in 10 minutes. At 70 it takes 8 minutes, 34 seconds. Is it really worth the risk to save a minute and 26 seconds? Does that really make a significant difference in my experience once I arrive? If I’m driving to work and going to spend the next 9 hours there, is getting there a minute and a half earlier any better?

Of course, we’re talking about a short distance, without considering any other factors. If the prevailing speed on that freeway is 65, 70 might not be much riskier. In fact, 60 might be riskier than 70. If traffic lights are involved, even a 5% difference in speed can get you past a light about to turn red, or it can do you no good at all and you find yourself even with everyone else regardless. If the distance is long, say 100 miles, we’re talking nearly 15 minutes less time.

I figure he used a circular depiction because it resembles a speedometer, though it doesn’t represent the differences in speed well.

Feral Underclass · February 29, 2024 at 10:22 am

A bit off topic but somewhat relevant. A friend of mine has ridden from western Wisconsin to Sturgis, SD every year for about 30 years. He generally makes the run at night when traffic is light and will do it all in one leg. It’s almost all freeway. Barring unforeseen interruptions, he claims that if he religiously cuts every curve, no matter how slight, to the inside, and pretty much sticks to the speed limit, he saves 20 minutes on the whole trip. It’s 662 miles. We have taken to calling this the (name redacted) paradigm. YMMV.

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