It’s very clear that pedestrians who are struck by cars are going to be in more danger when the cars are moving more quickly, as the overall energy of the collision is increased with speed. However, just how much more dangerous may come as a surprise.
Multiple studies have shown that the odds that a pedestrian will be killed in an accident sit at just five percent when the car is moving at 20 miles per hour. This should be roughly the speed that is found on many residential streets in Oregon, where the speed limit is 25 miles per hour.
When that speed is increased by just 10 miles per hour, though, the danger goes up at an astounding rate. If the car is going 30 miles per hour, one study found that there was a 45 percent chance that the person would be killed by the vehicle. Another study found that the odds of a fatal accident went up to 37 percent.
Either way, it’s very clear that the odds go up tremendously with even a small increase in speed. If the speed limit is 25, drivers may not feel that they’re even doing anything wrong to drive five over, but this shows just how much danger they are putting pedestrians in.
The trend continued in both studies. If the car was going 40 miles per hour, the odds of death went up to 85 percent in one study and 83 percent in the other.
If you have lost a loved one in a deadly accident, you may have a right to compensation, especially if the driver was speeding.
Source: Human Transport, “Effects of Vehicle Speed on Pedestrian Fatalities,” Patrick Siegman, accessed March 18, 2016