Fourtitude.com - Drivers seated at higher eye heights drive faster on average than drivers of vehicles closer to the ground—often without being aware of it.
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    1. Member
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      07-13-2019 07:17 PM #1
      I found that interesting as I was reading in Motor Trend why car sales are plunging and crossover sales are rising. Tom Vanderbilt wrote;
      Height might offer a higher perception of safety, but it comes with its own risks. Simulator studies have shown that drivers seated at higher eye heights drove faster on average than drivers of vehicles closer to the ground—often without being aware of it.

      As I wrote in my book Traffic, the "textural density" of what passes us as we drive influences our sense of speed. Things like roadside trees or walls affect the texture, as well, which is why drivers overestimate their speed on tree-lined roads and why traffic tends to slow between noise-barrier "tunnels" on the highway. The finer the texture, the faster your speed will seem.

      However, the fineness of road texture is itself affected by the height at which it is viewed. We sense more of the road's optical flow the closer we are to it. When the Boeing 747 was first introduced, pilots taxied too fast, on several occasions even damaging the landing gear. Why? The new cockpit was twice as high as the old one, so pilots were getting half the optical flow at the same speed.

      A driver sitting higher up can also see more of the road (what's called "sight distance"), which can theoretically be safer—but drivers with a higher view tend to think the vehicle in front is farther away than it really is. So that added safety margin may simply be consumed.
      I never thought of this before but now as I travel, I have noticed more SUV's traveling faster than the pace of traffic.
      https://www.motortrend.com/news/why-...bilt-explains/

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    3. 07-13-2019 07:35 PM #2
      Quote Originally Posted by antilock View Post
      I found that interesting as I was reading in Motor Trend why car sales are plunging and crossover sales are rising. Tom Vanderbilt wrote;

      I never thought of this before but now as I travel, I have noticed more SUV's traveling faster than the pace of traffic.
      https://www.motortrend.com/news/why-...bilt-explains/
      Would it also be partially because they can actually see the road since they aren't the ones having their view of the road blocked by their own vehicles? Also, are they forgetting to factor in all the left lane camping truck fellas that love to creep along below the speed limit?
      Last edited by MisterTroy; 07-13-2019 at 07:43 PM.

    4. Member what's Avatar
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      07-13-2019 08:31 PM #3
      That makes sense given every full size pickup I see is tailgating someone in the left lane or making illegal lane changes into the HOV lane to pass people.
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      07-13-2019 09:04 PM #4
      Quote Originally Posted by what View Post
      That makes sense given every full size pickup I see is tailgating someone in the left lane or making illegal lane changes into the HOV lane to pass people.
      Every single one eh? Stop being so dramatic.

    6. Member onebadbug's Avatar
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      07-13-2019 09:10 PM #5
      I've ridden on a couple really small single engine airplanes back in the day and it's unbelievable to find out how fast you're going when you get close to the ground while landing because it seemed like we were almost sitting still in he air.
      Next edit by onebadbug; tomorrow at 10:13 AM.

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      07-14-2019 12:18 PM #6
      If you ever played any racing sims and switched the camera between front bumper, roof, and 3rd person, you probably noticed this.

      I definitely notice it going from the 1'er to the XC40. I'm shocked to see the speed because it feels much slower from up there.

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      07-14-2019 12:35 PM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by what View Post
      That makes sense given lots of semis I see are tailgating/driving beyond their capabilities of stopping.
      FTFY

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      07-14-2019 03:47 PM #8
      The sense of speed is heightened by being closer to the moving ground.
      Makes sense.
      Miata reinforces that hypothesis.
      Also, most people drive at a speed they feel comfortable with.
      Higher seating = better visibility = more comfortable with faster speed

    10. 07-14-2019 03:51 PM #9
      Minivans. Predominantly slow as fek whenever in front of me so no, this confirms nothing, it's judt click bait from a failed magazine

    11. Senior Member Silly_me's Avatar
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      07-14-2019 03:53 PM #10
      This explains the city bus drivers.
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    12. Member Harold's Avatar
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      07-14-2019 06:27 PM #11
      With smaller vehicles you feel/hear the speed more than larger vehicles. My German aunt used to complain about my cousin driving her around too fast in his small Golf 1 Cabriolet, this was in the mid 80's. My dad drove faster in his '71 Caprice and asked my Aunt how fast she thought he was going, when he told her she said : Really, I didn't even notice it.
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      07-14-2019 07:10 PM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
      With smaller vehicles you feel/hear the speed more than larger vehicles. My German aunt used to complain about my cousin driving her around too fast in his small Golf 1 Cabriolet, this was in the mid 80's. My dad drove faster in his '71 Caprice and asked my Aunt how fast she thought he was going, when he told her she said : Really, I didn't even notice it.
      Since that's the case, she have a tough time with doing 50 MPH in this go kart which it could easily achieve. It will get up to 100 MPH with no problems too. My guess 100 MPH feels more like 200 MPH on it.

      Last edited by antilock; 07-14-2019 at 09:24 PM.

    14. Member Surf Green's Avatar
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      07-14-2019 09:03 PM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by Silly_me View Post
      This explains the city bus drivers.
      If you don't want to get run down, get out of the crosswalk.
      I keep up with traffic with only 90 hp. What's your superpower?
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      07-14-2019 10:23 PM #14
      Makes sense. Better limit those CUVs and SUVs.
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      07-15-2019 10:58 AM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by Surf Green View Post
      If you don't want to get run down, get out of the crosswalk.
      Hilarious.

      No wonder I been havin' problems.
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    17. Member Yuppie Scum's Avatar
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      07-15-2019 11:17 AM #16
      I've noticed some newer stoplights are being put in in my city at too high of an eye level to be seen from a sedan without really craning your head back. Frustrating to me

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      07-15-2019 11:36 AM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by Yuppie Scum View Post
      I've noticed some newer stoplights are being put in in my city at too high of an eye level to be seen from a sedan without really craning your head back. Frustrating to me
      Try doing that in a low sports car as the first one at the light - I usually have to lean forward and look up just to see it. (I've accepted this as a sports car tax)
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      07-15-2019 11:44 AM #18
      Bigger vehicles that lull distracted drivers into higher speeds... what a cocktail

    20. Member TangoRed's Avatar
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      07-15-2019 11:46 AM #19
      The only time I really notice myself driving faster in SUVs is when I'm on a bumpy road and don't need to worry about ground clearance or damaging a wheel.
      Quote Originally Posted by Doug Butabi View Post
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      07-15-2019 11:51 AM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by CTK View Post
      Bigger vehicles that lull distracted drivers into higher speeds... what a cocktail
      The most obnoxious part about bigger vehicles is when they tailgate you in traffic. What's the point of having a commanding view and tailgating people when you can see that traffic ahead of you is not moving any faster? This happens all the damn time in the Miata with SUVs and trucks when I commute to work.

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      07-15-2019 01:57 PM #21
      Funny I should read this thread today. I rented a Grand Cherokee over the weekend for an unexpected road trip. I was covering some miles on fairly open interstate, and without cruise control I found myself doing 80+ mph more than once without realizing it. I didn't perceive that I was driving that fast at all at first. Switching back to my GTI at the end of the weekend, I realized that 80mph felt faster than it had in the Jeep.

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      07-15-2019 02:38 PM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by unhappymeal View Post
      The most obnoxious part about bigger vehicles is when they tailgate you in traffic. What's the point of having a commanding view and tailgating people when you can see that traffic ahead of you is not moving any faster? This happens all the damn time in the Miata with SUVs and trucks when I commute to work.
      That's because people will take their spot in front of them if they don't tailgate.
      When the brake light chain starts, they create the crawls because the person behind them can't see squat and so when the brake pedal in position #1 starts at 5%, it quickly becomes 95% farther down the chain you go.

      I do find people who drive at higher heights, moving faster then the rest of traffic. They also possess worse handling and worse braking, then their lower center of gravity counterparts. What's the worst that can happen?

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      07-15-2019 03:18 PM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by Rudy_H View Post
      That's because people will take their spot in front of them if they don't tailgate.
      When the brake light chain starts, they create the crawls because the person behind them can't see squat and so when the brake pedal in position #1 starts at 5%, it quickly becomes 95% farther down the chain you go.

      I do find people who drive at higher heights, moving faster then the rest of traffic. They also possess worse handling and worse braking, then their lower center of gravity counterparts. What's the worst that can happen?
      Yeah. Always fun seeing people do that on the 403 when going up the escarpment. What can go wrong with tailing someone going 100+ kph on a highway where the only thing separating you from a 1,000 foot drop or cliff wall is your brakes?

    25. Member
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      07-15-2019 06:10 PM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by Rudy_H View Post

      I do find people who drive at higher heights, moving faster then the rest of traffic. They also possess worse handling and worse braking, then their lower center of gravity counterparts. What's the worst that can happen?
      Looks like the driver of this SUV learned the hard way what you're talking about. From what I see whoever was in front of them got annoyed as hell with the tailgating and gave the SUV driver a brake check they'll never forget.

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