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July 23, 2009

Drive By Noise

One of the things I've come to recognize is that I often regulate the speed of my vehicle by the amount of noise being generated. It seems to be a sub-conscious thing. This becomes particularly apparent when I drive an unfamiliar vehicle, in addition to the different controls and responses, the noise levels are quite different and maintaining speeds becomes more difficult. Other things I've noticed include driving faster when the radio is louder (less apparent road noise) and slower when the windows are open (more road noise). My new car includes a speed sensitive volume control on the radio. The control is subtle enough to go unnoticed most of the time and I find this can mask noise during acceleration leading to increased acceleration rates. Modern cars keep getting quieter and quieter, I wonder if that has any affect on the speeds we drive.

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