Slow down, save lives

 By Steve Rust
Today’s vehicles are safer than ever before. So, why are nearly 34,000 people dying on American roads each year? Major factors are driving over the posted speed limit or driving too fast for road or weather conditions. Speed is the number one improper driver behavior contributing to collisions and violations. The saddest part is that speeding is preventable.
According to the National Safety Council, your chance of death or serious injury in a crash double for every 10 mph over 50 mph your vehicle travels. Having a crash at 85 mph, you are 12 times more likely to be killed than a similar type of crash while driving 50 mph.
Think about how many miles you drive on the highway when commuting to and from work. Remember the posted speed limit on those roads and see how much time you save if you travel 10 miles one direction at various speeds.
If you travel at 75 mph for 10 miles and the speed limit is 65 mph, you only save one minute and 14 seconds. Is that worth doubling your risk of dying in the event you had a crash? If you drive 85 mph, you save two minutes and 11 seconds, but you are four times more likely to die in the event you had a car crash.
 Most people are good drivers, but good drivers must also be defensive drivers and think about all the bad drivers and what they might do. Bad drivers cause good drivers to crash all the time! It isn’t the speed limit law that you need to worry about; it’s the law of physics that kills you.
 Please obey the posted speed limits during ideal conditions, slow down when road and weather conditions are less than ideal and always wear your safety belt.

Steve Rust is the Safety Coordinator for the Kansas Turnpike Authority. 

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