Leisurely day today, the only interesting things were lunch at Ivars and a trip up to a very wet Snoqualmie. I whiled away the rest of the day in Starbucks, drinking coffee, thinking and writing.
On the drive back from snowboarding, I was doing some calculations about the risks of speeding. Let's say I have to travel 50 miles. If I travel at 60mph, it takes me 50 minutes. If I travel at 85mph, it takes me 35 minutes.
Some figures would be nice, but I'm going to guess that going 25mph faster probably increases the overall risk of something going wrong by 20% (interestingly, at these speeds, the 'cost' of an incident probably doesn't run with speed, rather the specific mechanics of the event). However, if all goes well, I'm saving 15 minutes. That's a saving of 30% in time spent on the road and in danger. More than that, I'm likely to be less able during that final 15 minutes due to fatigue (especially after several hours of physical activity).
Sadly, although it sounds convincing, this argument is flawed; many other factors are dominant. It's commonly considered that most incidents occur within 5 miles of home (well, duh, those are the roads I travel on most) and I'm going to have to drive that stretch at some point. The most dramatic conclusion is that leave slightly earlier or later, and the two journies will never be the same - the slight differences in traffic completely disrupt any kind of analysis. Of course, slow or fast, the traffic I experience will vary too.
There is no order to this; it's a lottery. We have traffic laws in place to encourage 'social' behavior on the roads, but at the end of the day, that's the best we can hope for.