How Fast Are You Really Going in that Motorized Transport Pod?
Lazy Calculations #1
Q: What’s the average miles per hour after time devoted to all things car is considered?
My napkin calculations came up with 6 MPH
To calculate this, I use the following data assumptions:
The average miles driven by people in the U.S. is 12,000 miles (2003). Those miles don’t come free. Beyond the time driving them, which is about 800 hours/year (2003), we devote time working to pay for the cost of our car and all the necessary, and unnecessary maintenance, accessories and attachments. Then we need to add the time spent pursuing and doing the fixing, maintaining, cleaning, feeding and general coddling of a car.
We also spend a lot of wasted time looking for exactly the right parking space (hands up, whose spent 20 minutes or more looking for a spot in a big city? I have.) I add an X-factor of 200 hours to this entire endeavor.
12,000 miles per year / driving (800 hr/year) + making money, to pay for car related expenses (500-hr/year) + parking (150-hr) + QT time with car (250-hr) + X-factor (200-hr) = Actual AVG MPH.
12,000~miles/1900~hours = 6 miles per hour (+/-)
We are a truly speed obsessed society and we are going nowhere fast.
It’s costing us more than just billions of dollars. Take back your time!
FYI, my calculations for biking (avg 9 mph) or walking (3-mph) seem relatively useful considering that most trips are within a 2 mile radius.
EXPLANATION OF NUMBERS:
There is none, other than to say that the numbers are loosely researched & relatively close. I full scientific deduction would likely result in a more reduced average speed for automobile use. The X-Factor, set at 200, could as easily be set at 300 hours or 100 hours. A part from the very wealthy, who among us hasn’t been stranded by a breakdown, crash or other unintended consequences of car use? Those hours add up; 200 hours is conservative. We could also include in the X-Factor the time spent researching car related purchases, technology and general auto-industry porn.
- Urban traffic datapoint of the day (blogs.reuters.com)
- Man Rides Lawnmower Across Country (patspapers.com)
- Study: Average male drives extra 276 miles/year because he won’t stop for directions (autoblog.com)