Data Suggests Americans Drive Slower Than the Speed Limit

Last week I talked about how fast is fast enough, and that one of the easiest ways to save fuel was by simply going slower. Well rejoice! Apparently all of America heeded my advice, and American drivers, on average, drive below the posted speed limit.

Ok, obviously this has nothing to do with me. According to Tele Atlas, the mapping unit of GPS maker TomTom, anonymously collected data from millions of GPS devices shows that most Americans are driving under the speed limit. So why don’t I get that feeling when I am on the highway?

According to an Autocar UK story, Tele Atlas says that no state tops 70 mph as an average highway speed. The fastest highway in the country is the stretch of I-15 between Utah and Nevada, with average speeds of 77.67 mph, even though the speed limit is 80 mph. This baffles me. I-15 is a road that pretty much runs through mostly desert. Why wouldn’t you go the speed limit?


The state with the fastest average speed was Mississippi, whose drivers went exactly 70 mph. Which is the speed limit. The slowest area of the country, surprisingly, is Washington D.C. which comes in at a sluggish 46 mph. Maybe because of all the Beltway traffic?

I honestly don’t know what to make of this data. In my own personal experience, when I drive the speed limit (65 mph here in CT) I get passed by everybody but the little old ladies in their Buicks. What about you? In your experience, do people drive slower, faster, or at the posted speed limit?

Source: AutoCar | Image: Ltljtlj

Christopher DeMorro

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.