In 2010 there were 258 road casualties in East Ayrshire. Five people were killed, 48 were seriously injured and 205 were slightly injured.
It is not just the number of speeding accidents which is important. How badly a person is injured depends on how hard they are hit. When pedestrians are struck by a moving car:
- at 20 mph only 5 per cent are killed, injuries are slight and 30 per cent will not be injured at all
- at 30 mph 80% survive
- at 40 mph 80% are killed
The possibility of car drivers and passengers being injured in an accident increases with the speed of impact. At 40 mph the risk of serious injury to a belted front seat car occupant is five times greater than at 20 mph. It has been estimated that hitting a solid object at 30 mph is equivalent to a car being dropped nose first to the ground from the height of a two storey building.
The distance required by a driver to stop a vehicle increases dramatically with speed, particularly if it is wet or icy. At 20mph, the shortest stopping distance for a car is 12 metres, at 40mph it is 36 metres and at 70mph it is almost 100 metres or approximately the width of a football pitch.
Even with all the measures taken by the Council and Strathclyde Police, speed is a problem which will not go away until there is a change of heart amongst drivers. It is up to every driver to heed the message of publicity campaigns to avoid people being needlessly killed.
Drive at an appropriate speed for the conditions and slow down:
- when the weather is poor
- in residential areas and near schools
- where additional hazards are highlighted
- on the approach to bends and junctions
The two second rule
To maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front please adopt the two second rule. As the vehicle ahead passes a stationary object such as a lamp post remind yourself ‘only a fool, breaks the two second rule’. If you reach the object before you have completed the saying, you’re too close. This will allow enough time in normal conditions to stop if the vehicle ahead brakes suddenly, you should double the distance in wet weather.