With apologies to Sammy Hagar I must say that I can drive 55. Maybe it is because when I was growing up and first started driving the national speed limit was 55 mph. I was used to going 55 mph and it seemed fast enough. Of course once the speed limit was lifted I started driving over 55 mph but now that gas is more expensive going back to 55 mph doesn’t seem like that bad of an idea. Slowing down to 55 mph does make a noticeable difference in you fuel efficiency.
There is even a national campaign to bring back the 55 mph speed limit. It isn’t likely to work and I’m not even sure it is a good idea. I regularly drive on a stretch of highway with a 55 mph speed limit and the average speed is about 70. Reducing the limit probably won’t slow people down it will just increase tickets. The current speed limits need to be enforced better before they lower them.
That being said I think people should voluntarily drive 55 mph. It not only saves gas it improves safety. Some dispute whether the 55 mph speed limit actually saved lives but it is clear that probability of injury and fatality increases with increasing speed. If you’re in a 70 mph zone you might need to go a little faster than 55 mph so that you’re not drastically slower than the other traffic. You should still try go as close to 55 mph as safely possible though.
I know most people aren’t going to voluntarily start driving 55 mph anytime soon. There are more willing to do it now that gas is more expensive though. Maybe if gas gets expensive enough more people will see the benefits of driving 55 mph. Or if that is too much maybe there can be a compromise at 60 mph.