WASHINGTON (WJLA) - Transportation experts from Maryland and D.C. held a disturbing demonstration Thursday to get drivers to slow down, especially on city streets. They gave a first-hand look at what happens to a pedestrian when struck at what many people consider a low speed.
Cars heading out of the city often ignore the speed limit, but the demonstration gave a look at what happens when a car traveling just a few miles an hour over the speed limit hits a pedestrian.
A car can stop in plenty of time when traveling 25 mph. At 35 mph, however, it's a different result.
"Very likely his head would have hit the hood and he would have suffered a massive brain injury," Jack Sava, a trauma surgeon at Washington Hospital Center, says.
Amy McLean knows just how horrible getting hit by a car, even at a relatively low speed, can be. Two years ago a vehicle struck her as she crossed a street in Adams Morgan. She still walks gingerly and has endured five surgeries. She has two more major operations ahead.
"The last thing I remember is just my head going toward the ground," she says.
McLean hopes demonstrations like Thursday's are effective. If the woman who hit her had just been going a few miles an hour slower, her injuries may have been far less severe.
"That day changed my life," she says.