Let’s talk speed… We’re all well aware of the potential repercussions of speeding—loss of control, increased impact in accidents and, of course, the dreaded speeding ticket—but while we can agree that speeding is bad, do you ever wonder how much just a few miles-per-hour (MPH) over the speed limit really matters?
Well… the short answer is that a few MPH can impact things A LOT… In fact, it quite literally could be the difference between life and death. The two sets of statistics below put this in perfect perspective.
- Fatality Rate of Pedestrians Struck By Vehicles Traveling Various Speeds
Can you guess the fatality rate of pedestrians struck by a vehicle traveling 20 MPH? What about 30 MPH? It’s just 10 MPH more, so it can’t make that much of a difference, right?… WRONG! The fatality rate when a pedestrian is hit by a vehicle traveling 20 MPH is less than 10%. Add 10 MPH and that rate jumps to 45%. The rate leaps to a tragic 80% when speeds reach 45 MPH.
If those facts don’t drive home just how big of a deal speeding is, here’s another way to think of it… Every 1% increase in speed increases the fatal crash rate by 4% and the injury crash rate by 2%.
In residential areas, where posted speeds are 15-30 MPH, driving at the limit is so crucial. Lower speeds not only decrease the impact should you collide with a pedestrian, but also can help to avoid the accident altogether—which brings us to the next set of statistics…Click here to view and share infographic.
- Stopping Distance Based on Speed
The amount of time and distance it takes to reach a complete stop includes the mental decision to stop, followed by the action of hitting your breaks and the distance the vehicle travels before it actually stops. We’re taught in drivers training to tediously take these factors into consideration but don’t think much about it after stepping out of the driver’s ed classroom. That’s where it can be helpful to compare “what if” situations to remind us how important all of the little details are.
A vehicle traveling 30 MPH continues in motion for 75 feet before coming to a stop… so what happens if that vehicle is only 50 feet away when a little boy chases his soccer ball into the middle of the street? Now the driver is only left with the option to swerve—which adds another layer of risk—or hit the child. Had the driver been traveling 20 MPH, he would have had the option to come to a complete stop before reaching him.
This is the reason that residential areas—where little ones and pets are more prone to running into the street—have low, speed limits and why it’s crucial to not drive above that speed.
What motivates you to follow the speed limit? A statistic? A personal experience? Let us know on social media!
Children living near traffic-calming devices are 50% less likely to be hit and injured by an automobile in their neighborhood. Click here to earn more about the Speed Patrol sign, the first consumer-price radar speed sign designed specifically to empower residents and homeowner associations to impact the safety of their streets.