Evaluating Health Impacts of Car Speeds

To evaluate health impacts of car speeds, should we solely measure crashes amongst drivers on a particular roadway, or,

should we look at wider implications of higher car speeds where they discourage bicycle and pedestrian use of roadways?

Consider these statistics from Michigan Fitness Foundation:

 

  • For each hour of driving per day, obesity increases 6%.

  • Bicycling and walking levels in the overall population fell by 66% between 1960 and 2009.

  • During that same time period, obesity levels rose by 156%.

  • One quarter of health care costs in the United States are attributable to obesity.

  • The health-care costs for childhood obesity-related diseases are $14 billion a year. 

Communities where more people walk are safer for walkers--

drivers are more careful!  

See chart below for a comparison of Michigan cities regarding 

Number of Walkers in relation to Risks to Individual Pedestrians:

City of Ann Arbor, Michigan, 2013