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Driving distance vs. time Sat, Feb 29, 2020
A recent AskReddit post asked something like, "Non-Americans, what's a weird things Americans do?"  And one of the answers was, "Describing driving distance in units of time." 

Normally I agree that Americans are weird.  But the answer to the question "How far is that drive?" is more practical to measure in time.  Actually, "How far is that drive?" is asking the wrong question.  No one cares how far apart two points are.  The right question is, "How long is that drive?"  People want to know how much of their lives will be spent traveling that distance, and that depends on distance as well as speed.  If two points are 50 miles apart, that doesn't really tell you much.  That distance would take an hour if driven at 50 mph, or two hours if driven at 25 mph, or like 3 days by foot.  And if you live in a populated area, it depends what time of day you drive it.  And there might be more than one route to take.  And one route might have construction delays.  There might be traffic lights, or a school zone, or a quarry with big trucks, or a tricky left turn. 

The point is, I would much rather know how long it will take me to get somewhere than how far away that thing is. #travel


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