Traffic calmingisn’t cheap. Even when choosing competitively priced solutions, slowing cars down can still get expensive. Is it really worth the price? While the cost of life is immeasurable, the economic cost is exorbitant. A study conducted by the NHTSA estimated the annual cost of car crashes at $242 billion. When quality of life was added in, the societal cost in one year rose to a whopping $836 billion.
TheAmerican Journal of Public Health stated it simply: managing speed is simply the best prevention against accidents and the injuries and fatalities they cause. The NHTSAfound that speeding contributes to a third of all fatal crashes. Barring constant round-the-clock police patrol, traffic calming is the only way to ensure that speeds are reduced and lives are saved.
Does Traffic Calming Really Help?
Children who live in neighborhoods with speed humpshave a 53-60% less chance of being injured or killed in a car accident. A case study on radar signs found that up to 70% of drivers slowed down when their speeds were displayed. Slower cars mean saved lives- studiesshow that a vehicle hitting a pedestrian at 40 mph is 80% likely to cause death while one travelling at 20mph is only 5% likely to.
Return on Investment
It can be hard to think of something as an investment when there are no dividends visible on a monthly statement. But traffic calming saves lives every day. One pilot program using Traffic Logix SafePace signsin Ecaudor found that 200 lives were saved in a one-year period after solutions were installed. The economic and societal cost of crashes is one that every town, city, and state contends with. Saving those lives is a sound investment.
On roads where speed limits change, it can be hard for drivers to remember, or keep track of different speed limits. Whether entering a school zone, an area where construction is taking place, or just moving from business to residential streets, drivers encounter shifting speed limits every day. Do they notice? No matter how prominently a speed limit sign is displayed, drivers may not notice changed limits, inadvertently putting children, workers, and pedestrians at risk.
How Are Speed Limits Decided?
The most obvious and most decisive aspect in deciding speed limits is safety. There is a simple statistical relationship between speed of vehicles and severity of crashes. In areas where pedestrians are more likely to be present, such as students walking to school, construction workers repaving a roadway, or children riding bikes outside their homes, lower speed limits can mean the difference between life and death. In addition, the speed of vehicles has been shown to be directly impacted by speed limits.
Making Sure People Notice
If speed limits are so crucial to driver and pedestrian safety, how can cities make sure they are more prominent so that drivers are more likely to notice them? Today’s distracted, electronically stimulateddrivers may not notice a changed speed limit sign on the side of the road. However, variable speed limit signs such as the SafePace 550 display speed limits in brightly lit LEDs, which are far more visually stimulating than simple black on white numbers.
What if They Miss it?
The digits on the SafePace 550 sign flash at drivers who exceed the selected speed limit. An included strobe light offers additional warning to speeders that the speed limit has changed. Signs can be programmed to display speed limits based on time of day, week, or month so that drivers always know exactly what the speed limit is. Simple to program and manage from anywhere via the SafePace Cloud, the SafePace 550 ensures that drivers are sure to notice and observespeed limits on your roads.