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1s are indistinguishable from 7s unless you're me, or know me well. Lowercase P's look like +'s. So does T. G looks like 6. Only D, E, and P have a lowercase form. Lowercase letters are only used in mathematics. 1, 7, and 2 look the same. 4 is open. :D

This is a reason why i cross my 7s :D

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That is the exact the same story behind my handwriting! In first and second grade, my handwriting could literally have been put in a textbook to show people what letters are supposed to look like. The problem was that it just took me forever to write anything. Then, in third grade, the tests got longer and harder and I had to speed up my handwriting to compensate. So it got really, really bad. It's gotten better since then, but it's still horrible.
Somewhat similar here, I think. I was taught a style of handwriting that I now think really isn't great, but it's too ingrained now. I'm not sure speed was a factor per se.

On a related note, in Britain the term "cursive" is never used. It's just "handwriting" or sometimes "joined-up writing" and is considered the norm. I make a lot of handwritten notes for both my job and my own stuff, and it's always in joined-up. At university, nearly a decade ago now, all my lecture notes were by hand and the same went for pretty much everyone else in my classes; a lecture theatre full of laptops seems to be a very recent thing. Maybe it's subject-dependant too - in the sciences, writing equations on a computer is never as simple and easy as with pen and paper.

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