Speed Does Not Cause Accidents





Speed Does Not Cause Accidents

I attempted to perform extensive research on road traffic accidents. With regard on my findings, I was able to establish that when considering speed, the vehicle is not the cause element of the accident; rather it is the driver controlling that vehicle. Vehicles are normally developed to conform to particular standards such as the speed limit in numerous countries. Currently, companies are required by law to engineer vehicles that adhere to safety standards. Hence, with the help of computers and extensive research, manufactures have been able to produce safe and easy to drive vehicles (Chin, 16). The most cited areas of improvement include efficient braking systems, tires, steering and suspension. Therefore, with these strict rules and technological breakthroughs, it would be correct to say that accidents are often caused by human error rather than speed.

Take for example the speed limit in a country such as America. Traffic engineers in conjunction with the government usually employ a two fold criteria when establishing the specified speed limit. One is the human perception and time taken to react, and the second is the after perception and reaction phase; to achieve the necessary action of avoiding a collision by either swerving or stopping (Haglund, 27). The action and reaction of motorists on their expectations and experience on what they perceive other motorists are about to do. In other words, driving decisions are made with regard to what drivers perceive of other motorists. For example, when a driver intends to cross to the other side of the road, he is going to base his judgment on previous experiences and what he expects of the speed limit in force in that particular area.

If this approaching vehicle is at a distance that prompts the drivers experience to advice on crossing, he will then proceed on and cross the road. Now take a situation whereby the approaching vehicle is going at 100 miles per hour instead of the prescribed 30 miles per hour. In this case, the speed limit was established at this road section to limit vehicles at thirty miles per hour, and the driver about to cross puts this into consideration therefore proceeding on to cross. At the extreme, this .would leads to a fatal accident between the two vehicles. In this case, the speed limit was established to make the transportation system safer, but its perception has led to the wrong direction.

Therefore, it would be correct to say that speed limits are based on a human’s average perception and reaction time in relation o the speed of an approaching or moving object, and the way an average motorist would perceive and react to other road users. Hence, the perception and capabilities of the human should be considered cause factor of the collision, rather than the condition of the vehicle (McKnight, 18). The modern vehicle may have undergone tremendous improvement, but the perception and capabilities on traffic rules and other road users is still same.

However, it is correct to attribute recklessness, poor driving skills, criminal behavior such as speeding, and negligence to certain accidents and collisions. However, speed limits cannot be established in consideration to how excellent the braking system of a car is, or how efficient the steering and suspension is, but on the qualities of the average motorist (Trier, 45). Currently, in contrast to previous times when speed limits were being established, traffic has become denser and the distance between vehicles/ pedestrians has shortened.  In these particular cases, traffic rules such as traffic lights and strict speed limits have been established to govern proceedings in the transport system. In my belief, the considerations have been implemented for the purpose of making roads much safer. However, how individuals perceive these rules as well actions of other road users has had significant impact of steering us in the wrong direction.


Works Cited

Chin, H C. “The Practice of Road Safety Audits.” Urban Transport Viii. 2002: 763-774. Print.

Haglund, Mats, and Lars Åberg. “Speed Choice in Relation to Speed Limit and Influences from Other Drivers.” Transportation Research. Part F, Traffic Psychology and Behaviour. 2000. Print.

McKnight, A J, Diane B. Katz, and Gerry A. Simone. Integrated Safe Driving Information System Development.Washington, D.C: The Administration, 2001. Print.

Trier, H, and G Heuser. “Development of Safe Road Transport Informatic Systems.” Advanced Vehicles and Infrastructure Systems. 2004. Print.

Wang, Hui, Patrick Hasson, and Mac Lister. “Safer Roads Thanks to Its.” Public Roads. 65.6 2002: 14-18. Print.


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