The road safety charity Brake are campaigning to have 20mph speed limits implemented in all communities across the UK, replacing the 30mph speed limits often seen around schools and other built-up areas.
Brake believes this will help to reduce the number and severity of injuries sustained in accidents, particularly when pedestrians and cyclists are involved.
The campaign is being supported by Dr Donal McNally an expert who has spent over 20 years researching into the impact of road accidents on the spine.
Ironically, Dr McNally was the victim of a cycling accident himself in 2010 when he was hit from behind and knocked off his bike whilst cycling. The driver who didn’t even stop to see if he was injured was later charged with dangerous driving.
Dr McNally said "The main thing is that [travelling at 20mph] gives the driver more time to see a potential problem and pedestrians or whoever more time to get out of the way.
"If you do have an accident and you hit someone, and you are driving more slowly, that means the energies involved are smaller so the severity of the injury does down."
Dr McNally considers himself lucky to have escaped from his accident with three neck fractures, a lower back fracture and three cracked ribs. He could easily have been paralysed, suffered a brain injury or even been killed in the accident which happened on a 50mph stretch of road.
David Robinson from Thompsons Solicitors’ Serious Injury Team said “We support Brake’s campaign that 20’s plenty in urban communities. A restriction on the speed drivers can do in towns and cities would fit with the Government's purported commitment to encourage people to walk and cycle instead of using their cars to improve general health and reduce carbon emissions. The government now has to come up to the plate and support this logical move to make the roads safer.
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