Lowering Speed Limit Can Actually Hurt Pedestrians

Everyone knows that four-wheel vehicles traveling at high speed can cause accidents, which damage or even kill pedestrians as impact speed increases. So in order to reduce the rate of accident, many countries are lowering speed limit. On the paper, it sounds like a perfect strategy to reduce the crashing rates, since you can always keep yourself and others safe when driving with slow speed. However, lowering the speed limit is actually an rising in accident.

Why Lowering The Speed Limit Can Cause More Dangers?

This plan is called “Vision Zero”, which aim to reduce the rate of pedestrian fatalities to 0, by lowering the speed limit in cities to 20 mph speed. However, the efforts of NYC seems to be unsuccessful. So how it this happening?

The Ignorance Of Speed Limit

lowering speed limit
Many people will ignore the lowering speed limit rule. Source: Express & Star

Limiting the speed at 20 mph sounds like a perfect plan. Since a modern car can stop instantly at this speed, reducing the impact to almost zero. Even with plenty of kids and pedestrians running on the street, there is no way driver can cause accidents. However, it turned out to be a double-edged knife.

Up to closely 80% of British car owners are ignoring the speed limits. If these people think this is an unreasonable law, they feel no reason to follow. And in that situation, they will drive with their comfortable speed, which surely much faster then 20 mph. Not only lowering speed limit makes the drivers impatient, it also forces them to perform a lot of action to maintain this speed. The combination of accelerating and decelerating raises CO2 emissions and reduces fuel mileage.

Lowering Speed Limit, Increasing The Careless

lowering speed limit
Lowering speed limit will also makes pedestrians careless. Source: TheStar

Lowering speed limit is a good plan to reduce the accident. However, it also decreases people’s focus when joining the traffic.

As the matter of fact, people will lose their attention when driving or crossing the street as the consequence. And if you think about it, it really makes sense. The thought of 20 mph as speed limit makes cyclists and pedestrians incredibly reckless. They will become careless since the traffic speeds around them reduce to more than half.

Not to mention, depending on how you hit your head, the damage from getting hit by a slow-moving vehicle can be very dangerous.

     SEE MORE:

Lowering Speed Limit, Decreasing The Patient

Ask yourself: How long can you drive a car with 20 mph? I am sure the answer is not too long, and this is easy to understand. Lowering speed limit leads to slow traffic, and it does not clam drivers at all. It annoys them.

And surely you will understand, an impatient driver is the worst person you want to meet when joining the traffic. The slower the traffic goes, the fast car owners lose their patient, and they will push their rage onto non-motorists and fellow drivers. Regardless of the causes, lowering speed limit, which designed to protect the pedestrians, now actually hurts them.


Speed limits are not very popular, yet speed is surely one of the most well-known problems. However, lowering speed limit is not an effective way, if using it alone. In order to reduce the number of injured pedestrians, we suggest using the traffic calming techniques and driving tips like lane narrowing, speed bumps, changes in roadway curvature along with lowering speed limit.