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Discussion Starter #1
Let me start by saying thanks to this group and the other Prius groups on the net. Thanks to your tips, etc. I picked up my 2004 option 9 last week in KY after having called over 200 dealers and only having to wait for approx. 3 weeks for one to fall thru the cracks. For those of you still looking / waiting start calling because they are out there.

Now let me preface this by stating that I know I am going to piss off a lot of you.

Since I have been on the hunt for this car I have read virtually all of the threads in this group and many others. One thing that is apparent is that a large majority of the Prius owners and want to be owners share a belief that they are helping the planet. Believe it or not that point can be argued. Disposal of batteries is just one of many ways to approach that argument.

What concerns me is that in a recent post a member asked a question concerning a radar detector The responses this member got we're more along the lines of chastisement rather than advise.

Well I am here to tell you that I did not buy this car because I am trying to save the planet. I purchased this car because I was looking for a reliable vehicle at a reasonable price, a vehicle that had good reviews - ie Motor Trend Car of the Year, reduce my wifes consumption of fuel on her commute from San Diego to Los Angeles 6 times a month, had cool toys - bluetooth, GPS, etc. etc. etc.

I and my wife are those drivers who do drive 90 mph in the fastlane and will not hesitate to flash the brights or honk the horn at the Volvo drivers who go 65 mph in the fast lane. In 40 plus combined years of driving between my wife and I, neither of us have ever been the cause of an accident. Matter of fact the only things either of us have been involved in we're being rearended.

In regards to this member and his question about radar detectors I am happy to share this with him / her and any others that find this of help.

On my trip back from Kentucky to San Diego the first thing I did upon entering the car was hooked up my Escort 8500 to the power connector and mounted it to the right of the rearview mirror and slightly below all of those little black dots.

I promptly started my journey by setting the cruse control to 86 mph in a 65. Things we're fine until a laser got me in Illinois. As I tell everyone who asks - if the laser gets you just pull over. The tropper clocked me going 84 in a 65 and the fine is 75.00 in Illinois. Rather cheap.

Throughout the rest of my journey I encountered no more lasers thank God, however I did pick up the KA band with between a 1/4 mile warning up to 3 miles depending on terrain. Not once did they get me or my wife.

In regards to the prius and how it holds up at the upper speeds, heres my summary.

Top speed: 107 mph

Average Speed during our 3000 mile plus trip: high 80's

Mountain ranges crossed: 3

Desserts crossed: 3

Average MPG for whole trip: 41

At 90+ mph: Low 30's sometimes high 20's

At 80+ mph: High 30's - low 40's

Highest acchieved: 51 mpg

Cruise control limit: 99 mph

Cruise control going over the mountains: works great - will keep you right up there in the high 70's

Handling at high speeds: excellent even with strong winds - just have to be ready.

Continued passing people in the mountains as well as on the flat roads of Nebraska. No problems with power as long as your not expecting a hemi.

Lastly because of the design of the rearend of the vehicle it might be difficult to pick up lasers. Believe it or not this was part of the discussion the trooper and I had.

In summary. This is a great car. Everything I had hoped for.

Will I save the planet by purchasing this car - hell no. Can I make a little dent and possibly help broaden the field for other car makers to enter the hybrid field - maybe.

My point here is that none of us should talk down to someone who is asking for advice. If you can't answer his/her question keep your comments to yourself. He/she did not ask for your thoughts about saving the planet, he/she asked about a radar detector.

Lastly - for all of you slow ass drivers in the fast lane - look out for my wife and I as we flash your ass with the brights in our blue 2004 Prius.

Peace

Michael
 

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I'm not pissed. But I would be if I was going 15+ MPH over the legal limit while in the fast lane, and somebody flashed their brights in my rearview because they wanted to go 25+ over the legal limit.

You say you've never caused an accident, but I remind you that many accidents are not caused by the people directly hit, but by somebody who did something sudden and escaped unharmed, undented, unscratched.

And maybe even oblivioius to the possibility that they caused an accident.

Not to chastise you or anything, but please! Be careful when riding somebody's tail at highway speeds.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
If your in the fast lane and someone comes up on you, as they do on my wife and I, you should have the commonsense to move over. If people repeatedly come up on you, then you should not be in the fast lane.

In regards to the what ifs in life - I guess the clap of my hands just might shift the winds enough to cause a troical storm somewhere, however we will never know, so its really an argument that circles itself

For all drivers - please drive within your skills and be defensive.

Peace

Michael
 

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michaelsteiner1 said:
...In regards to the what ifs in life - I guess the clap of my hands just might shift the winds enough to cause a troical storm somewhere, however we will never know, so its really an argument that circles itself...
I'm not referring to hypothetical clapping hands and tropical storms. I'm merely referring to the driver whos careless bumper-riding or self-absorbed road-weaving causes somebody else to make a mistake, hurting or killing many people in the process, but not the careless one, who's already off toward the horizon.

I've heard about, read about, and even witnissed people who cut others off, causing that person to take evasive action. The accident with the "cutter" was avoided, but "cuttee" wasn't able to avoid the subsequent median crossing head-on collision.

It happened to me, but lucky for me, there was a concrete wall between me and that oncoming semi. About 15 years ago, a lady cut me off, and I hit the I-94 median in downtown Detroit. I'm lucky to be alive today. I was able to avoid her, but I couldn't escape an untimely meeting with that big wall. As lucky as I was, she was luckier than I. I had a huge car, and surely would have hurt or killed her if I hadn't taken that evasive action.

Yup...I saw it all. In that split-second of her selfish action and my reaction, I saw it all. Her gender, her race, her hair color, and the color of her car. The other cars on that crowded downtown freeway at rush hour. A snapshot in my mind's eye. I could paint it for you. I could film a re-enactment, with the birds in the sky and everything! I never struck her car. I was able to avoid her. I had to avoid her. It was truly a life-or-death, split-second reaction.

My car was too damaged to catch her. And even if I did, what could I have done? Remember, I never struck her car. Technically, she wasn't involved in any accident; only I was! In fact, she probably never even saw that she had a close call. She probably never even knew she almost had to have an "Oldsmobile-ectomy", because I very nearly almost put the giant hood of that car right where the sun never shines!

You see, I was penalized for her selfishness. For her self-absorption. For her carelessness. I'm just glad I only hit a concrete wall, and not a car with a family in it.

So again, I patiently repeat: Oftentimes, the speeder is unaware that he caused an accident. This is not a hypothetical, nor does it have anything to do with the winds and weather. It is fact. I humbly suggest that if you're driving 107 in a 70 mile zone, it's quite possible that you are being somewhat inattentive to other drivers, maybe in more ways than one.

Please do be careful.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So to follow your argument, speeders are unaware of their actions when they switch lanes without first looking in their mirrors and looking over their shoulders.

Hell I think that that statement can be applied to just about anyone on the road. Speed is not the factor here, its the irresponsible driver thats the factor here, whether thats because they have not checked their mirrors, loooked over their shoulder, are going to fast in the area, don't have enough experience, etc.

In regards to my 107 - thanks for passing judgement. I would also guess that you are possibly the person who sits in the fast lane going 15 mph over the limit and then when another car comes up on you from behind, rather than switch lanes to allow that person to pass you, you will say to yourself that that person is going to fast and I will park my butt right here in the fast lane and block them.

Peace

Michael
 

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...or flashing troopers driving unmarked cars...

The best I have seen across the country would be in Washington state where they will take a 15 year old suburban and strap a couple bycycles to the rear end to make it appear as though its a family on vacation. Have to give them a A for creativity.
 

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michaelsteiner1 said:
...In regards to my 107 - thanks for passing judgement....
Truth be told, you and I have more in common than not. You and I have both purchased our cars partly for the technology and the toys. We both enjoy driving our cars, sometimes a little bit fast.

I'm sorry if you think I passed judgement on you. But I half-expected the accusation. After all, you started this thread by putting up the "don't judge me" comment as if it were your own personal shield. Was that intended to stifle an honest and frank discussion and presentation of opposing viewpoints? We're just having a discussion, and you and I have different viewpoints.

I assure you, I have not passed judgement on you, so please don't jump to any conclusions.

And I stand by my statements: Lots of people in a hurry DON'T check their mirrors or blind spots. Also, when somebody roars up on my tail and it looks like they might hit me (as somebody doing 107 in a 65 or 70 zone might appear), well, yes, I may have to take evasive action. I may have to do it in a hurry. And it's possible that I may not have time to check my own blind spot.

Things can happen very quickly on the highway. It's a recipe for an accident, and maybe a death or two. I do know these types of accidents happen, and I think it may not be a coincidence that people in a hurry don't often look in their mirrors; they're too absorbed in their own thing; too busy anticipating the next bumper or upcoming weave.

If I may make an observation: You began this thread by saying "don't pass judgement," or something like that, then you proceeded to go on and brag about driving fast and crossing deserts and mountains and how cheap your $75 citation was. And you went on to tell us how you expect everybody else to just shut up and be tolerant of your driving.

When somebody calls you on it as I did, you got defensive and accusatory. Hmmm, passing a little bit of your own judgement on me, maybe?

Well, that's okay; I'm not offended. As I said at the outset, we're just having a conversation, aren't we? There's no need for either of us to be defensive. I never accused you of personally causing an accident. All I did was raise the possibility, and make a plea to you to please be careful. Really, where's the harm in that?

Here in Florida, I constantly hear about these tragedies where a family looses somebody in a wreck or where entire families get killed while on vacation to Disney World or Universal Studios. Certain sections of I-95 are extremely dangerous, as is the I-4 corridor through Orlando. Vacationers and local people alike are often cut off by somebody in a hurry. The drivers don't have enough reaction time, particularly if they're on an unfamiliar road in an unfamiliar part of the country. Or in an unfamiliar country, even! We have lots of international visitors, and yes, many of them drive here.

One accident, just a year ago or so, the family minivan was cut off by some guy-in-a-rush, and they went over the median and collided head-on with a tractor-trailer in the oncoming side of the highway.

The entire family was killed. Mother, father, children, baby. Wow, when they only wanted to see Mickey and Minnie and Goofy. How sad.

Often, they don't, but this time they caught the guy who caused the accident. No dents or dings on his car. He was just in a hurry, and excercised poor driving judgement.

But his life will never be the same now. Lots of dates with lawyers and judges. And the guilt of having caused these deaths.


In answer to your statement...no, of course I don't "park my butt" in the left lane. Not at any speed. That would be irresponsible and dangerous. It's also illegal, because the left lane is usually reserved for passing. Funny you should think that I might do that, all the while defending your own actions, which are um..technically illegal.

Remember, the left lane should be for passing. If I am passing another vehicle, there's no law saying that I have to drive at a specific speed. Nor is there any law saying that I have to go your speed. However, there usually is a law saying that I should not exceed a specific speed, although to be safe, I probably will exceed it so as to complete my pass as quickly as possible and get out of your way.

Anyhow, thanks for a stimulating discussion. I hope you stick around to contribute more! Drive safe!
 

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Re: Radar Detectors, Going 107 MPH, Cool Toys, Saving The Wo

michaelsteiner1 said:
Since I have been on the hunt for this car I have read virtually all of the threads in this group and many others. One thing that is apparent is that a large majority of the Prius owners and want to be owners share a belief that they are helping the planet. Believe it or not that point can be argued. Disposal of batteries is just one of many ways to approach that argument.
life cycle assessment for the newly redesigned 2004 Prius:
http://www.toyota.co.jp/en/k_forum/tenji/pdf/pgr_e.pdf

(you'll need to download the japanese fonts for your PDF reader, but
there's no japanese characters to be found in the document (it's all
in English))

Hybrid battery disposal? there's no heavy metals in there (unlike your 12v lead-acid accessory battery which all cars have). NiMH is easily recycled. Instructions (toll-free phone number) is printed right on the hybrid battery pack, besids in the freely-available Prius Emergency Response Guides, about how to recycle them (return to a Toyota dealer).

To quote Toyota in http://pressroom.toyota.com/photo_libra ... d=20040623 "Is there a recycling plan in place for nickel-metal hydride batteries?

Toyota has a comprehensive battery recycling program in place and has been recycling nickel-metal hydride batteries since the RAV4 Electric Vehicle was introduced in 1998. Every part of the battery, from the precious metals to the plastic, plates, steel case and the wiring, is recycled. To ensure that batteries come back to Toyota, each battery has a phone number on it to call for recycling information and dealers are paid a $200 "bounty" for each battery."

going by the life cycle assessment Toyota provided, the bigger environmental expense is the production of the vehicle, which is offset by the lowered pollution during the lifespan of the vehicle and it's recyclablilty.
 

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Thank you, Michelle:

I think I also read someplace (I just cannot remember where) that Toyota uses bio-based materials for some of the plastics during the manufacture of the Prius. Can you confirm this?
 

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BIF said:
Thank you, Michelle:

I think I also read someplace (I just cannot remember where) that Toyota uses bio-based materials for some of the plastics during the manufacture of the Prius. Can you confirm this?
it's in the life cycle assessment link I posted.
 

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Yea, you need to slow down. You don't need to drive that fast regularly. The risk is not worth the reward of possibly arriving a few minutes earlier - be smart about this.
 

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BIF said:
However, there usually is a law saying that I should not exceed a specific speed, although to be safe, I probably will exceed it so as to complete my pass as quickly
...and safely as possible; I'll second that motion.
 

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I understand all of us being safe.. but seeing he says he's never been in an accident.. which i'm asuming he's never caused one either ( except for being rearended)... we should just leave his driving style alone. It's like me telling all the people who drive under the speed limit to drive faster, because they cause gridlock. but i have no right to. I understand givng advice.. but that's a pretty damned clean driving record.

I may not drive as fast as he does.. but i would consider myself an excelent driver also. I've had cars some strait at me and because my visability is set up to it's best, i can see any car around me. No blind spots. There's even a time where someone doing a fairs speed pulled out in front of me when i was only 50 or so feet away (possibly less) . So, i had to turn and make my car slide around his front without hitting him or oncoming traffic. This was in my old car. The prius is much easier to drive.
btw.. the reason i said slide.. is because the groud was still wet. if i were to have breaked.. i would have t-boned him. I coudn't see him pulling out because a car was on my side of him. He was at a stop sign. If the car that was there didnt' move.. neither should have he. some people get drivng.. some done.
 

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Need to get out my radar detector...

Hey Michael,

Love the brutal honesty of your (initial) post.

I have not move the radar detector from the trade-in to the Prius yet - will be doing that this week. We don't go nearly as fast as you and your wife but do tend to go over some. We live in the sticks where there is almost no traffic...so sometimes we are flying low. Was it difficult to wire into the mirror? Did you have to take the overhead light console out or just use the wiring from the mirror?

One of the awkward things we are going through is with our son - who is seven. He is becoming more aware of right/wrong and is beginning to notice speed limits. When he sees us speeding, he asks about it. Yes, the posted speed limit is the law, so yes we are breaking the law and that is wrong. Not setting a good example for him.

I know some areas where if you don't keep up with the traffic around you that you become a hazard, so I guess it depends on sometimes.
 

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Saving the world

Michael,

One of your points about saving the world - that was not a deciding factor for me either. I bought the 04 in November last year and already have 23,000 miles on it. Mainly, I wanted the fuel economy for the large amount off driving we do - to save me money. We just started getting around 50 MPG - been averaging between 45-48 though.

I also like the toys and the cool technology that it has. There are only two other families in town that have one (we're in a small town), so it gets a lot of looks.
 

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V8Cobrakid said:
I understand all of us being safe.. but seeing he says he's never been in an accident.. which i'm asuming he's never caused one either ( except for being rearended)... we should just leave his driving style alone. It's like me telling all the people who drive under the speed limit to drive faster, because they cause gridlock. but i have no right to. I understand givng advice.. but that's a pretty damned clean driving record.
I understand your anaolgy, but the reasoning is slightly flawed. By compelling drivers who are driving dangerously slow to speed up, you would be encouraging them to drive legally.
Imagine the original post had claimed, "My wife and I have been firing rifles in traffic for more than 40 years, and we're such good shots that we've yet to hit anyone." I doubt there would be much discussion as to whether or not this was an okay activity to continue.

I may not drive as fast as he does.. but i would consider myself an excelent driver also. I've had cars some strait at me and because my visability is set up to it's best, i can see any car around me. No blind spots. There's even a time where someone doing a fairs speed pulled out in front of me when i was only 50 or so feet away (possibly less) . So, i had to turn and make my car slide around his front without hitting him or oncoming traffic. This was in my old car. The prius is much easier to drive.
btw.. the reason i said slide.. is because the groud was still wet. if i were to have breaked.. i would have t-boned him. I coudn't see him pulling out because a car was on my side of him. He was at a stop sign. If the car that was there didnt' move.. neither should have he....some people get drivng.. some done.
Exactly, that's why there are race tracks; presumably everyone there "gets it." To believe (as the original poster apparently does) that your driving skill is so great that you can drive at raceway speeds and still overcome all the uncertainties and unpredictable dangers inherent to driving public roadways is to be egotistically blinded. Such behavior is selfish, foolish, stupid, assinine, ignorant, irresponsible, and reckless--to name just a few. Hey, what do you know? I've passed judgment.
Drive happy,
Moo :)
 

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a) I'm impressed to hear that the tires hold up apparetly ok under extreme speed (i.e. heat) - I somehow got under the impression that since the tires were smaller, they heated up faster and were not as safe to drive at excessive (i.e. 80s+) speeds.

b) I too speed even when I know I shouldn't, but I think it's important to understand one thing in particular: when the "rule" for folks is a speed limit - that's what the majority of people operate by. i.e. on the Autobahn, Germans understand that in parts of the road, the law allows for an extremely high speed limit, and drivers respect that. However, in the US, when the law sets the speed limit, too many people (I include myself in this category too often) believe they are entitled to do any speed they feel is safe. How can drivers on the road react to others driving in a respectable manner when the driver themself is not driving in a respectable manner? It is mere fact that the faster your drive, the shorter time you have to react to others. As my mom always said "It's not your driving I worry about, it's everyone else's." Please, everyone, think twice before driving fast - you never know what the outcome might be, no matter whose fault it is.

c) glad you are enjoying the car, no matter the reason you bought it - it is a great car!
 

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Bob Allen said:
What do you plan to do with the 147.9 minutes you have saved over the course of your driving career by going 90-100 mph?
Well now you're just being picky.

If my average commute is 100 miles a day (I picked a nice round number to work with), and I drive it at 60, I'm looking at 100 minutes to get to and from work. And please, don't think 80 is going outrageously fast. On the NJ Parkway, that's called "keeping up with traffic".

If I drive it at 80, I'm looking at 80 minutes. The 20 minutes I save, daily, could be very nice to get dinner ready, walk the dog, etc. Or ride a bike, which is one of the fewer vechicles that pollutes less than a prius.

Over the course of a week, I've saved 100 minutes.

I know not everyone works in IT, but when you have deadlines, and spend 10-12 hours a day in the office, an extra 20 minutes can make the difference between sanity and... the dark places.
 
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