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A small amount of speed makes a huge difference

Think back to the last time you were driving down the road in a 30 mph zone. Were you actually going 30, or were you going 35? Odds are you don’t even remember, because that difference is so slight that it feels, to a driver, like basically the same speed. You were right around the speed limit, so the risk is the same, right?

Not for pedestrians. For them, even such a small variation in speed can be the difference between life and death in a car accident.

Think about it like this: If you’re walking into a crosswalk and a driver doesn’t see you until he or she is 45 feet away, the brakes are then engaged at that point. At 30 mph, this slows the car enough that it comes to a complete stop. It doesn’t hit you at all. You continue on across the road and go about your business, perhaps not thinking of the incident again.

Now, keep everything the same, but make it so that car is going 35 mph when the driver sees you in the crosswalk and hits the brakes. Not only will the car not stop before running into you, but it will be going 18 mph at the time of the collision. This is fast enough to cause significant, life-altering injuries. It’s even fast enough to kill you.

That’s the difference five mph makes. Drivers may think it’s all the same, but speed effectively takes lives in many wrecks. If you’ve been hit and injured by a speeding driver, or if you lost a loved one in a crash, you may be able to seek financial compensation. Remember that even the smallest details can make a big difference.

Source: Smart Motorist, “What Causes Car Accidents?,” accessed Dec. 08, 2016