Exceeding the speed limit and not wearing a seat belt are usually the most common infractions. What happens if we have an accident, are not wearing a seat belt, our child is not fastened in the corresponding child restraint system and, furthermore, we are speeding? We're talking about a fatal scenario. The report “The contribution of speed in preventing accidents in Spain” report drafted by Fundación MAPFRE reveals that approximately 400 lives would be saved each year if all drivers refrained from speeding.
In the event of an accident, speeding is an aggravating factor. The higher the speed, the worse the consequences. However, we need not end up in an accident for speeding to be harmful, especially if we have children with us: sudden movements, braking, accelerating... all of this while keeping in mind the fragility of a baby or child. We recall, this way, "Speed from a child’s point of view. You would never have imagined it like this."
The MAPFRE Experimentation and Road Safety Center has reconstructed 500 accidents and invested over 30 hours of work for each claim; in other words, 15,000 hours in total for drafting this report.
SPEEDING IN FIGURES
- Speeding is the cause of over half of all collisions between vehicles entailing fatalities and of 44 percent of all collisions resulting in serious injuries.
- Speeding also occurs in 36 percent of all accidents in which pedestrians are run over, resulting in death, and in 32 percent of accidents in which pedestrians are seriously injured.
- 4 out of 10 drivers involved in accidents with victims exceed the maximum speed allowed (43 percent in the case of collisions between vehicles and 34 percent in the case of accidents in which people are run over). The majority of these accidents occur mainly during the day and on inter-city roads.
- 379 lives could be saved in Spain if speeding did not occur. In other words, 22 percent of all collisions between vehicles and 25 percent of all accidents in which people are run over. In addition, a total of 1,852 seriously injured persons each year (20 percent of the total of seriously injured or hospitalized) would be avoided.
This report has been presented during the "Intelligent Speed Assistance (factory installed in all vehicles)" seminar organized by the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), the Directorate General of Traffic (DGT) and Fundación MAPFRE. It is expected that this "Intelligent Speed Assistance" (ISA) system, will reduce the number of collisions by 30 percent, and deaths by 20 percent.
WHAT IS THE INTELLIGENT SPEED ASSISTANCE?
In Spain, without traffic jams, between 22 and 48 percent of vehicles speed, as indicates Jesús Monclús, Manager of the Fundación MAPFRE Accident Prevention and Road Safety Area, who adds that "a 1 percent decrease in average traffic speed entails a decrease of 2 percent of accidents with injuries, of 3 percent of accidents with serious injuries and of 4 percent of fatalities".
This system uses a video camera that recognizes speed limit signs and manages information such as speed limits linked to GPS to advise drivers on the current speed limits at all times at each point of the road. The system initially automatically prevents a driver from exceeding these speed limits, though this function may be temporarily annulled or disconnected.
With this system, one cannot claim ignorance of the speed limit, not having seen a sign or distraction, as the speed is permanently indicated for each stretch.
It is expected that this system will be included in the new mandatory safety standard protocols for vehicles in the European market that is being drafted by the European Commission.