We’ve been talking quite a little bit about speed this past week which begged a further question. Â Why is it when I ask someone if they knew how fast they were going they are frequently slower than what I confirmed their speed as with my lidar? Â Am I lying? Â Are they? Â The answer to the first question is easy: No. Â The answer to the second may surprise you: Probably not.
What?!? Â MC, have you relocated your faith in the human race?
Oh, no, dear friends. Â However, I am well aware that not everyone I stop is lying for the sake of lying. Â It’s their perception that is off, not their moral compass.Here’s a typical scenario:
MC: Do you know how fast you were going?
MC: Unfortunately (stifles chuckle), I got you at 68.
Violator: That’s impossible! Â When I saw you, I looked down and I was doing 55!
Did you catch it? Â There are a couple of key things hidden in the sentence above:
1. “When I saw you…” The problem with this is that by the time you’ve seen me (more often than not), I’ve already confirmed your speed, put my lidar away, and am simply waiting for you to pass me so’s I can come and make your acquaintance.
photo Â© 2008 Nathan | more info (via: Wylio)2. “…I looked down…” I mentioned the super-secret-squirrel math previously, but let’s take a quick gander at your speed as it relates to feet per second (fps). Â 68 mph is equal to 99.73 fps. Â I typically lock someone in anywhere from 200′ to 1300′ away from where I may be sitting. Â Let’s take the average and say I locked in the speed at 750′ away. Â The odds of you seeing me from that far away are minimal. Â The average time it takes to perceive and react to something while driving is 1.5 seconds. Â Let’s assume you see me at 600′. Â By the time you see me and react by either lifting your foot off the accelerator and/or stepping on the brake, you will have traveled 149.60′. Â About now, you’ll look down at your speed. Â It may very well have bled off to the 55 mph.
Consequently, I don’t think every time someone tells me their perception of how fast they were going they are lying; however, their perception is (again, more often than not) askew.