I have been reading a lot of questions (including my own) and answers on this great forum, and it would seem that this Google Maps (or other electronic mapping device) driving time issue comes up all the time. People assume the times they give you are realistic and then start planning their trip accordingly, only to be told that their trips are not feasible, which of course is then very disappointing.
The biggest hindrance to the planning of my own future trip are these Google times, even if I have now become aware of how unrealistic they are. It is a constant hassle to be thinking about how long driving a particular distance might actually take.
I personally do not understand why Google put those times there - who could they possibly benefit? - and also know that of course they will never take them down. So my suggestion is this (I am a very new and inexperienced member on this forum, so I don't expect my suggestion to carry a lot of weight... : ) But I will put it out there nonetheless): SO,
Why not have a clear and permanent thread about these driving times somewhere on the forum? Advising people to add 20-30% to the Google drive times or, as per Donna's advise, divide your distance by 50-55 miles per hour to get a realistic time, and so on?
I think that a lot of people (myself included) would find this very, very helpful.
Anyway, just a thought.
Thank you, as always, for a great site that is helping me a lot with my road trip planning!