Small Increases in Speed Have Big Consequences During a Crash

In a recent study published by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and Humanetics Innovation Solutions found that small increases in speed can have major consequences during an automobile accident. The study was conducted in October 2019 and was performed in order to assess the effects of speed on vehicles and drivers.

Three 2010 Honda CR-V EX vehicles were crash-tested for the study, because they represented the average age of vehicles on the road in the United States (11.8 years) and because this vehicle model earned the top rank in crash test ratings. The vehicles were crashed into a fixed barrier at three different speeds: (1) 40 MPH; (2) 50 MPH; and (3) 55.9 MPH.

At 40 MPH, the vehicle aced the test with just a 15% chance of serious injury. However, at 50 MPH, the same vehicle had a 59% chance of serious injury and at 55.9 MPH, there was a 79% chance of serious injury. This testing helps illuminate the fact that vehicles are designed to pass a 45 MPH crash test and not tests at highway speeds.

The study also revealed that relatively small increases in absolute speed (5 and 10 MPH) not only degrade the occupant survival space in vehicles with state-of-the-art crashworthiness designs, but also proportionally increase the driver’s injury and fatality risk.

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an automobile accident, please contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner to discuss your legal options by calling 713-396-3964 or toll-free at 1-800-594-4884.