A few days ago, I posted that people seem to make strange tradeoffs between the cost of gasoline and the value of their personal time. Don Boudreaux at Cafe Hayek makes a similar observation about recent calls to reinstate the 55 MPH speed limit, pointing out that slower speed limits may save gas but they cost people time, and time is one resource that is truly finite:
In short, for every 75-miles covered on a highway, reducing the speed limit from
75 MPH to 55 MPH will save a driver $2.58 in fuel cost -- and this assuming that
the increase in fuel efficiency of the average car caused by the lower speed
limit is a whopping 10 mpg. But the resulting greater time on the road will
cost a driver earning the average non-supervisory wage $5.82 worth of his or her
time per 75-miles driven.
By the way, it is no surprise that this always seems to be proposed by Easterners who have no conception of the travel distances out west.