Speed really does kill

A fascinating study points to an important factor in surviving being struck by an automobile - miles per hour.

The report is titled "Impact Speed and a Pedestrian's Risk of Severe Injury or Death" from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The report is brimming with interesting statistics, but this one stands out:

The faster a car is going when it hits you, the more likely you are to die.

You may be going, "Well, duh!" But the numbers are still surprising.


You are far more likely to die if the car that hits you is going 30 mph than just 25 mph. Not much difference in speed, right? But those extra 5 mph are killers.

If you are a pedestrian, this means it's important to be especially careful when an oncoming car appears to be going fast. If you are a driver, the statistics explain why exceeding posted speed limits is no small matter.

"But officer, I was only going 5 mph over the limit!"

In 2014, New York City lowered its default city street speed limit from 30 mph to 25 mph. People were outraged, as new Yorkers tend to be. But get this - in 2015 the city experienced the fewest deaths by percent for any year going back to before World War I.

As drivers, we resent the law placing limits on what we can do. This is especially true of driving - our cars are our castles.

But if you knew that that simply reducing speeds in populous areas will mean fewer rundowns, and fewer deaths - especially of kids, bicyclists, older people and the disabled - slowing down doesn't seem so bad, does it?

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