Don’t Fall for Tunnel Vision’s Game
Imagine a scenario to which we can all relate: being late to work. The ear-deafening alarm clock goes off, and you decide to press snooze. Later, you roll over and see that 20 minutes have gone by—oh no! You quickly get up, rush to get ready and grab a handful of cereal for breakfast. You live roughly 15 minutes from work, and it’s 7:50. You think you can make up the five minutes by driving faster. What you don’t realize is that you are not saving any time. Instead, you are creating tunnel vision while you drive and risking the lives of others on the road. Let us explain.
When you decide to drive over the speed limit, you forfeit your best vision. The faster you go the smaller your view is of the road. Here are some visual references to show this decrease in road visibility.
At 15-25 MPH you have the best chances of seeing things in your surroundings. You can distinguish things out of the corner of your eye. You’re less likely to hit pedestrians or animals that run out into the street. The chance of someone you hit surviving is 95%. You have enough time to brake and avoid crashes.
At 25-35 MPH you have lost some visual acuity. You can no longer see things in the corner of your eye. You’re able to see surroundings starting 10-ft in front of your car. You have less reaction time if someone or something hops out in front of your vehicle. If you were to hit a person at this speed, there is only a 60% chance they’d survive.
At 35-45 MPH your vision is severely diminished. Your peripheral vision can track large objects in the distance but not small ones. You no longer have a reactionary gap large enough to account for pedestrians and animals that might present themselves. Only 20% of the people hit by vehicles going this speed survive.
When you drive over 45 MPH, your tunnel vision is at its worst. Your vision can only focus on the pavement in front of you. You are not able to track any objects passing you while safely focusing on your driving. And we won’t even tell you the survival rate of those hit at this speed.
Remember, the more you speed, the less you see. If the risk of getting a ticket or the fact that you won’t save time isn’t enough to slow you down, the problem of tunnel vision should do it. Think about it this way, if your kid was crossing the street, what speed would you hope vehicles were going?
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