Everyone Makes Mistakes
Driving is something that is done everyday and, everyday even the best drivers make mistakes. More competent drivers make fewer mistakes and are typically able to recover from them without issue but even competent drivers make slight errors in judgement from time to time. The faster we drive the less time we have to react an error we make or an error made by someone else. And, while the other person should be paying attention and not making errors, nobody wants to go home knowing that they could have prevented the injury or death of someone else. One of the best ways to prevent this damage is by driving a little slower and certainly not exceeding the speed limit.
In Alberta in 2014 there were 369 people killed and 18,745 people injured in the 144,740 collisions that took place. The evening Rush Hour (aptly named since everyone seems to be in a hurry) was the worst time of day with almost a third of all collisions taking place at this time of day. One quarter of the drivers killed on Alberta roads were driving at an unsafe speed.
Making up time…? Really?
People will often speed in an effort to make up time while they are driving. Of course leaving earlier and planning ahead are skills that many of us have yet to acquire. At highway speed, 100 km/hr it takes one hour to travel 100 kms (I suspect this is obvious to most). At 105 km/hr the most we make up is three minutes. At 110km/hr it’s six minutes. We save ten minutes when we travel at 120km/hr and fifteen minutes at 130km/hr. However, as our speed increases so to does our chance of being in a serious collision. We have far less time and space to react to an emergency situation.
If you are in an urban area driving only 5 kms at the posted speed of 50km/hr you will arrive in six minutes. Bump your speed up to 60km/hr and you save one minute. At 70km/hr you save just under two minutes. The biggest factor in the the length of your commute is the traffic and stop lights. We have all seen and maybe done it our selves where a driver accelerates heavily from the stop light only to be stopped at the next light. Nothing has been accomplished other than stirring one’s anger and wasting one’s fuel.
The time we save may not ever make up for the damage we do in a collision. Even a few kms/hr can be the difference between life and death. The best way to make up time is to leave earlier.
Our modern vehicles have many features designed to protect us in the event of a collision. However, even with the best protection, those in the vehicle can experience serious injuries.