The Fast and the Furious franchise is known for taking things to extreme levels on screen—those characters live their lives one quarter mile at a time, after all. But here's something crazy: All that action and crazy speeding down city streets in souped-up coupes actually leads to a lot more reckless driving in real life, according to a new study published in The New York Times. Art may imitate life, but life imitates Dominic Toretto.
The study, which comes via Business Insider, was led by Anupam B. Jena, an associate professor at Harvard Medical School. Jena et al. focused on Montgomery County, Maryland, between 2012 and 2017, and found that each time a The Fast and the Furious movie was released, the three weekends following the opening of the film saw speeding ticket speeds increase by 20% from 16 miles per hour over the speed limit to 19 miles per hour over. But that's not the half of it.
While that may seem fairly negligible—if you're already going at least 15 miles per hour over the speed limit, close to 20 doesn't seem like such a dramatic leap—the researchers also found that people ticketed for "extreme speeding," or going 40 miles per hour of the speed limit, doubled. Which, and this is absolutely pure speculation, may be the case because people were... racing each other?
With only one county accounted for, it's hard to say if these findings would hold throughout the rest of the U.S., let alone the other international markets where The Fast and the Furious franchise is popular. But certainly any drivers of manual transmission vehicles can agree that watching people shift real fast at a crazy high RPM does kind of bring out the monkey-see-monkey-do mentality. Which is exactly the reason it should be suppressed, or saved for a regulated track.
What do you think about The Fast and the Furious causing an increase in speeding tickets? Is there sufficient data here for you to accept this claim as valid? Give us your thoughts in the comments below!
Images: Universal Pictures
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