70. If it says 40, do 40

This isn’t really a “green” change, but I’m posting it anyway because after I read it a couple of years ago , it just stuck in my head and has impacted my driving ever since. I have this book called Change the World for Ten Bucks and in it, Action 12, actually, it says just that “If it says 40, do 40”. The reason? If you’re doing 50 km/h (about 31 mph) you are twice as likely to kill someone you hit than if you’re doing 40 km/h (about 25 mph). 40 zones are usually near schools and in small residential streets, so it makes sense.

Need more information? The Roads and Traffic Authority for NSW (Australia) has a (flash) video on the stopping distances at 40 and at 50 km/h and says:

“A car is travelling at 40 km/h. Another car is travelling at 50 km/h. Both drivers see a child about 27 metres ahead, recognise the danger and brake. The car travelling at 40 km/h will stop safely after 26 metres, avoiding the child. The car travelling at 50 km/h will take an extra nine metres to stop, and will still be travelling at 41 km/h when it hits the child.”

It’s something to think about it when you see a 40 km/h (25 mph) sign. Every time I’ve seen a 40 sign (while driving) in the past couple of years, that little mantra has gone through my head. It just stuck.

As for the book, it’s nice. It has some good ideas and facts in it. I think Action 43 (Unplug electronics when not in use) stemmed a little research into the phantom power issue and now I switch off the computer’s power bar every night and unplug chargers that aren’t in use. I recommend the book. It’s ten bucks and it makes you stop and think about 50 little things we can do an why we might want to.

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