Every km/h Counts - a Plea for Adjusted Speeds

What difference do just a few more kilometres an hour make?

In terms of traffic safety and reducing road deaths, a considerable amount! The chance of a pedestrian surviving a collision with a vehicle travelling ~32 km/h (20 mph) is just over 97 percent. When you increase this speed to ~64km/h (40 mph), the situation drastically changes: the pedestrian’s survival rate reduces to just 10 percent!

Project EDWARD (European Day Without A Road Death) 2018 which is organised by TISPOL, the European Traffic Police Network, seeks to bring together everyone with an interest in reducing the number of people killed on our roads. Everyone can make a small change to help reduce road deaths and from our perspective, adjusting driver speed is the most effective to implement right away. We are all committed to doing this personally.

Speed Monitoring Increases Traffic Safety

Using innovative technology, VITRONIC has the task of increasing the safety of every single road user. It contributes to road safety using compliance monitoring solutions which enforce speeds as defined by legislation. By no means does this reduce driver enjoyment; it simply adjusts speed behaviour to ensure greater road safety. Statements such as, "those who drive faster, drive more attentively and are therefore safer" are not a result of evidence-based research. A study entitled "Speed and Crash Risk" by the International Traffic Safety Data and Analysis Group was created on behalf of The International Transport Forum to respond directly to this fictional proclamation.

The Correlation Between Speed and Accident Incidence

The aim of the “Speed and Crash Risk” study is to objectively measure the relationship between driving speed and accident risks. The outcome of the study shows that the higher the speed, the higher chance of a crash. This can be explained by driver reaction times, specifically the need for enough time to react and respond to unforeseen events. Thus, the faster the driving speed, the further a vehicle moves until the driver reacts to the situation. At higher speeds, the response time and driver manoeuvrability is lower. In addition to this, the greater the speed difference between vehicles, the higher the risk of a serious accident occurring.

Theory and Practice

There are numerous empirical studies which have examined the extent to which a change in average speed affects the severity and frequency of accidents. For example, Nilsson's Power Model states that a 1 percent increase in average speed leads to a 2 percent increase in accident frequency, a 3 percent increase in major accidents, and a 4 percent increase in fatalities. This is a clear indication that lower speeds lead to reductions in accidents. The lowering of the maximum speeds in different countries has often led to a noticeable reduction in average speeds and as a consequence, reductions in the number of accidents caused by speeding.

Our Approach: "130 km/h by Choice"

Due to our close involvement with road safety topics, we at VITRONIC are always thinking about safe speeds. As part of the German National Road Safety Day in June 2018, we launched the "130 km/h by Choice" employee campaign. VITRONIC’s goal is to motivate its employees to voluntarily limit the speed they drive using fleet company vehicles to a maximum 130 km/h on unrestricted roads such as on the Autobahn. The symbolically blue "130 km/h By Choice" stickers have been attached to all fleet vehicles as a reminder. With this campaign, VITRONIC actively sets a positive example within its own organisation. VITRONIC sees itself as a technological pioneer and leading company in traffic safety solutions which are crucial for contributing to road safety!