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Excessive and Inappropriate Speeds

First word: They say it is not speed that kills but change in speed. Confused? Don’t be because simply put, if a vehicle travelling at 100km/hr is suddenly forced to 0km/hr in a few seconds, the results can be devastating. The occupants could be in for a lot of trouble especially if they were unrestrained by seatbelts while the vehicle was still in motion. That then is the logic behind the saying that it is not speed that kills but CHANGE in SPEED!

Excessive speeds + Loss of control accounted for 35%+17% respectively i.e. 52% of crashes recorded in the country – Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) Corps Marshal. – (Jan-Nov. 2012).

Speed Limits

World Health Organization (WHO) identified the issue of speed as a risk factor in road traffic injuries, influencing the risk of a crash as well as the severity of injuries resulting. In fact, WHO and the Global Road Safety Partnership, in a publication, Speed Management: a Road Safety Manual for Decision Makers and Practitioners recommended that speed limits be introduced in every country as a part of global strategy to cut down road fatalities.

National Road Traffic Regulations, 2004 specifies speed limits allowed on Nigerian roads.

What is Excessive, What is Inappropriate Speed?

What is excessive speed? It is defined as exceeding posted speed limits, while inappropriate speed is driving at speeds unsuitable for prevailing conditions. Excessive and inappropriate speeds are responsible for a high proportion of the mortality and morbidity that arise from road crashes.

It is said that in some low and middle income countries, speed is estimated to be the main contributory factor in 50% of all crashes. Excessive speeding decreases driver’s response or reaction time in an emergency and may increase the risk of a crash. It equally reduces the ability to safely maneuver on the road, increases stopping and breaking distances because the higher the speed the shorter the reaction time for the driver to try and avoid an imminent crash.

So whether excessive or inappropriate speeds, it simply doesn’t make sense to indulge in turning the highway into a racetrack because nothing good or safe comes of it for occupants and vehicle when a crash occurs. Vehicle crashes cost the victims much more than just dollars and cents, sometimes a whole lot more! The good thing though is most of them can be prevented if we are keen on doing just that. All it takes a little effort: thinking + discipline = control.



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