Arrive Alive

International Facts On Speeding

The faster you go, the more likely you are to crash. The faster you crash, the more likely you are to die.

Where we don't link speed to a crash - for example, we may blame alcohol or the weather - the outcome depends on the speed the driver is traveling at.

If you're driving at 120 km/h, you are twice as likely to die in a crash than if you are driving at 100 km/h. If you're driving at 130 km/h, you're three times as likely to die.

Slower driving saves lives! International experience shows that as speeds reduce, the road toll goes down.

  • Research in the United Kingdom found that a 1 km/h reduction in the average speed can produce up to a 3 percent reduction in injury crashes.
  • Rural roads: Research in Sweden demonstrated that there will be twice as many fatal crashes when the average speed on rural roads is 120 km/h, than when it is 100 km/h. There are three times as many fatal crashes when the average speed is 130 km/h.
  • Urban roads: Research into urban roads in Australia demonstrated that the risk of involvement in a casualty crash increases exponentially. With each 5 km/h increase in traveling speed above a 60 km/h speed limit, the risk of involvement in a casualty crash approximately doubles.

Evidence of the speed/crash relationship: Evidence of the speed/crash relationship has been demonstrated in studies of the following situations:

  • Between 1987 and 1988, 40 states in the United States of America raised the speed limit on interstate highways from 55 m.p.h. (88 km/h) to 65 m.p.h. (104 km/h). This resulted in an increase in average car speeds of about 3 m.p.h. (5 km/h). Over the same period, there was an increase in fatalities on these roads of between 20 and 25 percent.
  • During the 1973 fuel crisis, the New Zealand government reduced rural speed limits from 55 m.p.h. (88 km/h) to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h). Because of concern about fuel shortages, many people complied with the new speed limit: there was an 8-10 km/h reduction in average rural speeds. This led to a significant drop in the number of injuries on these roads.
  • In Australia, the speed limit on Melbourne's rural and outer freeway network was increased from 100 km/h to 110 km/h in 1987, and then changed back to 100 km/h in 1989. The injury crash rate was compared with a ‘control group' (an area where the speed limit remained the same). It was found that the injury crash rate per kilometer traveled increased by 24.6 percent following the change from 100 to 110 km/h, and decreased by 19.3 percent following the change back to 100 km/h.

Risks to pedestrians

The severity of injuries sustained by a pedestrian hit by a vehicle is clearly related to the impact speed. The risk of death increases dramatically at speeds from 40 to 60 km/h. For example, the likelihood of death for a pedestrian hit at 40 km/h is approximately 30 percent, while the likelihood of death for a pedestrian hit at 60 km/h is around 90 percent. The risks for vulnerable pedestrians, such as the elderly and young children, are even higher.

Some facts about speed cameras

A study of crash data in the 20 months following the introduction of speed cameras in New Zealand in 1993 found

  • a 23% reduction in fatal and serious crashes at urban speed camera sites
  • an 11% reduction in fatal and serious crashes at rural speed camera sites.

International experience shows that speed cameras are a highly cost-effective speed management tool. This means that they save a lot of lives for the cost of putting them in place and operating them.

[Information from the Land Transport Safety Authority in New Zealand]

Loading...

Search Road Safety Articles

Latest Pages

Safe driving in the mountains / mountain passes

Safe driving in the mountains / mountain passes

Introduction With a rather extensive road network across South Africa drivers are bound to traverse across mountains and mountain passes at some time. Even though this may be an exhilarating experience, we often find drivers behind the wheel without the necessary experience and awareness of the unique

Read More

Safe Driving and Towing a Trailer Safely

Safe Driving and Towing a Trailer Safely

Introduction to trailers and safer driving in South Africa In many recent crash reports, a trailer is found somewhere on or near the crash scene. Surveys confirm that many trailer owners are not fully aware of the safest method of towing cargo. We need to recognize that safety information is important

Read More

MasterDrive and Road Safety

MasterDrive and Road Safety

MasterDrive is a result-driven, driver training organisation that engages with and assists companies in managing driver risk interventions. The company was established in 1999 and became part of the RAC Group (established in 1997). By 2008 MasterDrive expanded its field of operation to cover the African

Read More

Safety from Fire at our Homes

Safety from Fire at our Homes

Emergency personnel have to respond to fires at homes and informal settlements across South Africa. In the bitterly cold winter weather, the risk of injury from fire significantly increases. We received safety information from both ER24 and the KZN Emergency services on how to protect ourselves from

Read More

Safety, Prevention and Treatment from Burns

Safety, Prevention and Treatment from Burns

Burns in South Africa: Who is at risk? There is a high incidence of burn injuries in South Africa. The root causes of this need to be addressed, but simply being aware of the risks is enough to increase vigilance and prevention. Burns are extremely painful, often life-threatening injuries that

Read More

Burns and Treatment of Burns - Frequently asked Questions

Burns and Treatment of Burns - Frequently asked Questions

On the Arrive Alive website, we share important information on safety from a fire at our homes as well as the Safety from Burns and Burn Wounds. There are, however, always some questions the public will rise to gain more information on the treatment of a variety of burns. These questions may be

Read More

Load More Pages

Partners

View All