The temptation to speed when driving can be justified with many excuses. A driver may have been running late, or perhaps simply wanted to make the driving experience more interesting or exciting. Many drivers might disagree that speeding is per se negligent, especially when road or traffic conditions are good.
In the specific example of pedestrians, however, the data directly contradicts that erroneous viewpoint. According to a study, the risk of wrongful death increases with impact speed, as well as a pedestrian’s age. For example, a 70-year-old pedestrian struck by a car traveling 40 mph has twice the odds of dying as a 30-year-old.
Notably, the odds of serious pedestrian injury also make a big jump once a car’s impact speed goes slightly over 20 mph. In fact, the difference between 30 mph versus 20 mph is about a 70 percent greater chance of fatal injury.
Pittsburgh and surrounding neighborhoods in Allegheny County have many downtown areas frequented by pedestrians. Although a driver may be impatient at slowing his or her speed to under 20 mph, the corresponding safety increase cannot be overstated.
As a law firm that focuses on wrongful death lawsuits, we unfortunately have seen far too many examples of impatient, speedy driving. For surviving loved ones, that death can be even more difficult to accept when the tragedy was caused by another driver’s negligence. Our attorneys take on such difficult cases in order to help surviving family members move on with their lives.
Source: Pro Publica, “Unsafe at Many Speeds,” Lena Groeger, May 25, 2016