Low-Speed Crashes Cause Surprisingly High Number of Injuries
It’s a common misconception that for a car crash to cause serious injury or even fatalities, the crash must have been at a high speed. In reality, serious bodily harm can come from low-speed car crashes. What do we mean by “low-speed”? Low-speed car crashes are defined as crashes when all vehicles involved are traveling between 1 and 10 MPH and do not involve any pedestrians (FLHSMV). This includes cars, vans, trucks, motorcycles, trains, low-speed vehicles, semi-trucks, ATVs and other transport vehicles.
These crashes also include may crash types including going into bodies of water, occupants injured in the back of trucks, and large vehicles such as semi-trucks hitting smaller vehicles like motorcycles or mopeds.
The preliminary report from Florida for 2016 is in and the numbers don’t look good. For just low-speed crashes in 2016, there were 33 fatalities and 4,608 injuries. This was out of a total of 10,761 low-speed car crashes. The numbers for the past 5 years combined are staggering. From 2012-2016 there were almost 54,000 low-speed car crashes. These crashes resulted in 92 fatalities and 23,694 injuries.
It’s also important to note that while the total number of low-speed car crashes decreased from 12,751 in 2015 to 10,761 in 2016, the number of fatalities more than doubled, from 16 to 33.
So what is the takeaway from this data? Firstly, it is crucial for drivers to understand that just because they are driving at a low speed, doesn’t meed they can’t cause damage. Secondly, there is NO excuse to text, use an app or be distracted in anyway at anytime when you are driving. Even at low speeds.