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  1. #1
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
    near Toronto, Canada

    Arrow Lower speeds increase life expectancy

    Lower speeds increase life expectancy

    We could be speeding our way straight to an early grave, according a new study that suggests we lose an average of 20 minutes off life expectancy for every hour we spend in the car.

    That’s because of the increased risk of a fatal crash, as determined in a speed-impact study by two Toronto researchers that gives extra ammunition to those advocating for lower speed limits. Living in the fast lane may seem to save you time, but statistically 60 minutes at high speed could actually cost 80 minutes of your life.

    Lowering the average speed on North American roads by even 3 km/h could eliminate 4 million collisions a year and save about $3 billion in property damage, according to researchers Dr. Donald Redelmeier, of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, and Dr. Ahmed Bayoumi, of St. Michael’s Hospital.

    “If you speed up slightly, you will reduce your trip time slightly, but you increase your hazard penalty to a greater degree. By speeding up a little bit, it actually costs you in the long run on average,” said Redelmeier, whose research, based on computer modeling of U.S. crash statistics, was published in the Journal of Medical Decision Making on Monday.

    The researchers used U.S. data to calculate the loss of life-years based on the average age of those who died in car crashes. Computer modeling determined where the time savings from faster speeds were offset by the prospect of crashing.

    “The direct implication is that efforts to reduce speeding merit more attention in terms of photo radar, traffic calming and street-racing crackdowns,” he said.

    Redelmeier, whose previous studies have documented the impact of cellphones and speeding tickets on driver behaviour, and the spike in accidents following the Super Bowl, says his research is inspired by the trauma patients he meets at Sunnybrook.

    Small reductions in speed and laws that are even partially successful in altering driving behaviours can make a big difference, he said.

    “Many of the (trauma) cases are due to excess speed, but not due to excessive, wild speeding,” according to Redelmeier.

    The speed limit needs to change, as well as individual driving habits, because every time you take even a short trip you’re at the mercy of someone else’s driving.

    But slowing down too much isn’t the answer, he said.
    “If you reduce (speed) by 10 km/h, then all of a sudden you end up costing more than you’re saving. Sure, fatality rates go down, but trip times would escalate excessively,” said Redelmeier.

    The implications of the research, he said, “are particularly poignant for young drivers simply because they’ve got so much more to lose.”

    About 1 million people die worldwide each year in car crashes. That includes about 42,000 who died in about 30 million North American collisions, says the study.

  2. #2
    Site Admin MikeTrin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Overland Park, ks
    and lower speeds increase gas economy

  3. #3
    YoYamma's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Central Florida
    Also, no texting and stay off the freaking road while your drinking... alcohol contributes to nearly 30 percent of all Canadian traffic fatalities and 44 percent of traffic fatalities in the United States!

  4. #4
    mjh3ides's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Jupiter, Florida
    The researchers used U.S. data to calculate the loss of life-years based on the average age of those who died in car crashes. Computer modeling determined where the time savings from faster speeds were offset by the prospect of crashing.
    Unfortunately, Americans are horrible drivers compared to many European countries because we rely on traffic law enforcement rather than driver training. If they had used data from German car accident fatalities, the conclusions would have been much different. Fatality rates on the non-speed restricted sections of the German Autobahn are nearly the same as sections that have speed limits. Some of the factors that contribute to their superior highway safety are: it's illegal to pass on the must move right to allow faster traffic to pass...large trucks are restricted to the right lanes. I also remember hearing that if you get a DUI in Germany, you lose your license for life. I've never driven in Germany, but two years ago I drove from north Holland to central France & can tell you it's night & day from the idiots we allow on US roadways. IMO, we don't need lower speed limits, we need better trained drivers!!

  5. #5
    There was a good read about safe driving in the December 2009 issue of Men's Health. Article was titled "Death Threat" by Oliver Broudy.

    Here it is online if anyone would like to read it (it's kinda long, 10 pages)

  6. #6

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