Sometimes it takes a graphic image to incite people to do, or deter them from doing something. We’ve seen the strategy used in campaigns from everything to stopping consumers from smoking to striking fear in the hearts of drunk drivers. Now, one New York company has teamed up with New York City’s Department of Transportation to use a similar method in an awareness campaign to reduce speeding. Of course, speeding is one of the primary causes of car accidents and is a major contributing factor in the seriousness of injuries in a pedestrian accident.
If a driver is following the speed limit when approaching the new two-paneled electronic matrix sign, the traditional image of a pedestrian will appear in the top panel, along with the driver’s rate of speed. If the radar detects the driver is exceeding the speed limit, the pixilated image of a skeleton will appear in the bottom panel, along with an emphatic warning to slow down. Personal injury lawyers see cases everyday in which these signals may have made a difference.
The campaign was primarily inspired by the following statistic: When a pedestrian is struck at 30mph by a vehicle, there is an 80% chance they will survive. If a pedestrian is struck at 40mph, there is a 70% chance they will die. 10mph, a seemingly subtle difference while you are behind the wheel, is the difference between life and death as a pedestrian.
According to the New York Times, the campaign will hit the city’s streets sometime this summer. Atlanta car accident attorneys wonder whether this unique tactic designed to curtail speeders is one that will be adopted in Georgia. Novel ideas are certainly needed. Georgia’s Department of Transportation says that from 2000 to 2006 in Georgia over six million people were involved in a motor vehicle crash either as a driver or passenger or pedestrian. A majority of those accidents involved people who failed to yield to pedestrians while turning, or were speeding, texting or talking on cell phones, or otherwise distracted. For now, it seems that only time will reveal whether New York’s plan turns out to be a success, or just yet another distraction.
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