FOLLOWING our previous article on speed and accidents, it is imperative to note that, though many may attribute speed to accidents, hard facts point otherwise.
This is perhaps a more telling chunk of information which aims to show the most common factors involved in different types of accidents, such as vehicle-pedestrian, single-vehicle etc. Excessive speed doesn’t feature directly in this information because it is considered to be a subcategory of “loss of control”. The governments and road safety campaigners will always tell us that pedestrians are killed because of speeding motorists. This simply may not necessarily be true. Would you believe that, a staggering 84% of pedestrians involved in accidents are killed or seriously injured due to their own incompetence? Several reports show that, the prime factors involved in pedestrian fatalities are listed as: Pedestrian entered highways without due care (84%), Vehicles unable to avoid pedestrian on highways (12%) and other causes (4%).
So in the real world, it’s not motorists tearing up and down town centre roads at speed that is to blame for pedestrian fatalities, but the pedestrians themselves for stepping in front of moving vehicles without bothering to look where they’re going. This simple fact alone explains the push in current car design to make more pedestrian-friendly front ends for vehicle. If you can’t stop the idiots from blindly wandering into the road, then you need to try to damage them as little as possible when you inevitably run them down. Amusing data is, another report further subcategorises “entering the highways without due care”, and shows that after dark, 77% of all adult pedestrian fatalities are caused when the pedestrian is above the legal drink-drive limit – i.e. is technically classified as drunk - and staggered into the path of an oncoming vehicle.
As for other types of accidents, the “loss of control” figures were as follows: single vehicle, built-up area - 77%, single vehicle, non built-up area - 85%, multi-vehicle, built-up area - 15%, multi-vehicle, non built-up area - 22%. Bearing in mind that “loss of control” covers a wide variety of factors. Excessive speed contributes to only 4.04% of all “loss of control” accidents.
As a rejoinder, there’s one other grouping of figures which makes for a good read too. It’s not technically to do with speeding, this one particular section is headed “Attribution of precipitating factors in accidents which involved one car and either a pedestrian or one other vehicle.” In other words, where a car was involved, what percentage of those accidents was actually attributable to, or caused by the car? Car collides with pedestrian - 12%, Car collides with bicycle - 79% and Car collides with motorcycle - 90%.
There you are, think twice before you begin apportioning blame on speeding motorists. The fact is that, anyone caught up in the middle of the road and in front of a speeding vehicle would always want the blame put on the vehicle or vehicle driver!