One of the comments I got about my car from the previous owner was that she would commute to school at 90 and it wouldn't shake at all,
Anyway, I think those high speeds are too dangerous as long as there are semis around, because they can't stop very well and if they're being outpaced by 20mph (presumably because they care about safety) that's just going to cause tension on the roads, but what's worse is when people are going 80 and then there's a dead stop on the road and people can't stop...(my interstate sits at a dead stop for about 10 miles every day and it comes from no where, still surprises me when I get there and I need to jam the brakes...)
Everyone driving 80 might not be near as safe as if everyone drove 55, but that is simply the way they drive. Speed limits have done little, if anything at all, to change that.
I do agree that most people are **** for brains drivers. But that's just the way things are, and until the education system in this country is improved, that won't change. Most people on the roads would be much more attentive if they even had the most basic understanding of physics, specifically the topics of momentum and impulse.
It doesn't bother me too much when somebody tailgates me, since I normally keep a keep a good buffer distance between me and the vehicle ahead of me. I read an article recently where they documented the mileage improvements of groups of 2 or 3 vehicles drafting each other and the vehicle being drafted gets a MPG benefit from being drafted. So if the guy wants to tailgate (i.e.draft) me, thats fine with me since he is helping me raise my MPG's.
I guess South Carolinians are more laid back about the speed of life, but I haven't had too many instances of rude behavior on the part of the motoring public to my driving at legal speeds, but I have encountered occasional rudeness while driving in the NC mountains. When gas went up over $3 a gallon following Katrina, I saw quite a few cars driving at well below the speed limit in rural SC without undue umbrage on the part of other drivers.
If cars were designed with optimum aerodynamics in mind and actually had a proper fifth gear/overdrive, driving 80mph wouldn't be so bad. If F(drag) = Cd * A * v^2 and Cd*A ~ 0, then the v^2 component doesn't matter. E.g., it's possible to ride a BIKE at 80mph FOR AN HOUR if it's optimally designed. Solar powered cars also are this way, the only thing is that they are also optimized for top-facing surface area, hence their propensity to look like a rolling piece of toast.
Unfortunately, there has been no real competition that I know about to design a proper sized car and also to minimize fuel consumption, though it tends to happen with concept cars somewhat, but only somewhat.
I'm fairly live and let live on the road. If I'm going slower than someone else, I do everything possible to enable them to pass, including maintaining speed in passing bays. I can't stand it when people who drive ultra slow on corners feel compelled to accelerate like a jackrabbit on the straights just to stop me passing, so I don't do it to other people. Who knows, perhaps they have a medical emergency?
The other thing is that the slower people go on highways, the more lanes are needed. If a highway needs to take 1000 cars per hour at a peak time with 4 lanes, if you halve the time it takes to cross that distance by increasing the speed limit you can decrease the number of lanes needed to 2.
But to answer the original question, I don't think I've had anyone beep at me. I do tend to coast when I see no point in accelerating, it probably pisses some people off, but I would just point to the red light ahead or backed up traffic if people got in my face about it.
I tend to accelerate moderately, because I'm unconvinced of the fuel economy argument about accelerating slowly. The other thing is that if you accelerate quickly and early and you are the front car, then you can coast at a slower average speed if you think the light up ahead may change to red, and not piss people off. You save fuel this way.
One must also remember that if we are driving in the city, any noble thoughts we have about reducing pollution, oil dependency etc. go by the wayside if we are causing more congestion than the fuel we save personally by our driving habits.
There are reasons car companies don't build cars with decent aerodynamics.
Less drag = less horsepower needed to maintain a certain speed = less engine wear
That engine wear requires a slew of different repairs and maintenance, and that's how the car companies make their money.
Just by adressing aero drag, and nothing else, no LRR tires, no smaller engines, no hyrbid drive or diesel engines, no weight reduction or shrinkage of car size, ect., we could have 40-50 mpg midsize cars with 180-200 horsepower engines.
Aerodynamic drag has the single largest impact in combined fuel economy on a car. It may not impact much in the city, but a small difference can still be noted even there. But on the highway, dropping from a Cd of ~.32 to .18 could almost double highway fuel economy with no other modifications.
Aerodynamic drag is so significant, that if properly adressed, we could have 100-150+ mile range pure electric midsize cars that get that range on golf cart batteries, nothing advanced.
Yes, SVO, the Autobahn's accident rate is indeed much lower than ours! If only this country actually put some effort into education. Instead of school funding going to education and the students here, it is mostly lining the profit margins of contractors. Schools are paying $2,000-3,000 for a $50 desk and $150-200 for a $20 textbook. That's how the U.S. spends so much per capita on education, but performs so poorly compared to other 1st and 2nd world countries. Imagine if we had our **** together when it came to teaching people how to drive. Accident rates would drop, insurance claims would drop, car replacement rates would drop, traffic violations would drop. All those entities are dead set against that change though; they make money off of everyone's misery and want status quo.
On the freeway, I go with the flow in the right lane (60 to 65). I thought people were going slower back when gas was going up, but it's back to at least 10 over in the left. It's way more relaxing in the right hand lane... for every minute I'd save going 75, I'd waste five unwinding. I go the limit to 5 over the rest of the time.
I try to be constructive and not take stuff personally, so people rarely flip out enough for me to notice. It's not unusual to be tailgated, but my pet theory is that if they're really close and you have to brake, they aren't going to hit you very hard. It's the totally spaced ones a ways back that you have to watch--learned that one the hard way.
I've been on the Autobahn, and they do drive differently. They seem to pay attention then work together to get things done. Plus they take driving more seriously... the gas stations all have free tire pumps with certified guages. The speed differences do get big: cars go slow when towing (pickups basically don't exist), and heavy vehicles have stickers for max speed, often 80 or 100 kph.