Speed kills, and here are the stats on it

In response to our editorial about the new 40 kph speed limit on most Slave Lake streets, a reader provided us with some interesting information on ‘approximate survival rates,’ of pedestrians when hit at different speeds by a vehicle. It’s from the World Health Organization’s Speed Management Manual, and it’s quite an eye-opener.

For example, at 30 kilometres per hour, approximately nine out of 10 people hit by a car will survive the collision. At 40 kph, this drops to six out of ten. At 50 kph, two out of ten will survive, says the WHO. And at 60, none will.

Those numbers are derived from no shortage of evidence. The WHO manual says nearly 1.2 million people are killed each year in traffic incidents.

It’s useful to keep in mind when driving that you are not just getting conveniently and quickly from one place to another; you are operating a killing machine. If a child darts out from behind a parked car, you want to be able to stop in time. The possibility of that happening should be in every driver’s mind, all the time.

Another angle on this comes courtesy of the editorialist in a recent edition of High Prairie’s South Peace News. In less time than you think, he says, driverless cars will be taking over. Something to look forward to……maybe!

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