Corporal Gary Lewis has been in 150 car crashes -all intentional. His job is to help the Montgomery County Police Collision Reconstruction Team learn how to put the pieces of a crash together - marking skid marks, measuring the distance the car traveled and assessing the damage in the aftermath.
The day ABC7 caught up with Lewis, he was behind the wheel of a car to demonstrate the impact of going just 30, 35, 40-miles per hour - the speed limits posted in most school zones and neighborhoods. During one of the tests with an unbelted adult and baby dummy, Lewis noted that a slight increase in speed limit could mean very different outcomes for real-life scenarios.
The same applies to pedestrian-related car crashes. According to a AAA study, the difference between 40 miles per hour and 30 miles per hour lowered a pedestrian's risk of dying by 15 percent.
“Slower you're traveling, less damage and chance of being injured in a collision,” Lewis noted.
AAA says out of the 1,140 children who died in car crashes in 2011, more than one in three was unrestrained. Lewis says that shows why it's so important to buckle up no matter what.
“Most bad wrecks happen within five minutes from your house,” said Lewis. “Going to buy a loaf of bread or something stupid.”