We all have done it; traveled faster than the posted speed limit in order to arrive at our destination a bit quicker. Perhaps we got a late start to our morning, or were running late picking up the kids – we want to make up those few precious seconds by exceeding the speed limit. Our belief is that small increases in speed will have a massive effect on our ability to make up time, while having little to no effect if an accident were to occur. When it comes to pedestrians, nothing could be further from the truth.
A perceived small increase is speed from 20 mph to 30 mph, increases the likelihood of a pedestrian casualty in the event of an accident nine fold, from 5% to 45%. Another 10 mph increase from 30 mph to 40 mph increases the likelihood of a pedestrian being killed when stuck by an automobile to 85%. That remaining 15% would cause a serious injury. Something to think about when you are driving in a pedestrian zone around parks, schools, shopping centers, and villages.
|Vehicle Speed||Odds of Pedestrian Death|
(Data source: Killing Speed and Saving Lives, UK Dept. of Transportation and Vehicle Speeds and the Incidence of Fatal Pedestrian Collisions prepared by the Australian Federal Office of Road Safety.)