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

Eating behind the Steering Wheel and Distracted Driving

Eating behind the Steering Wheel and Distracted Driving

Introduction The first thought for most on distracted driving is about texting while driving and drunk driving. Eating while driving is, however, one of the most common forms of distracted driving. With a fast-paced modern life and drivers rushing from one responsibility to another fast food and

Read More

Safe Driving and Preventing Jackknife Crashes

Safe Driving and Preventing Jackknife Crashes

What are jackknife crashes and how can we adjust our driving to prevent these crashes? We approached a few industry experts on driver training and crash investigation to gain some important insights! What is a jackknife crash and how does it happen? Jackknife crashes are, unfortunately, among the

Read More

Road Safety Conferences

Road Safety Conferences

The Arrive Alive website supports those individuals and institutions who take the initiative to arrange road safety conferences in South Africa. We believe that this contributes to greater awareness of road safety and could assist in planning effective road safety strategies. 14th Annual Leadership

Read More

Preventing Fuel Card Fraud

Preventing Fuel Card Fraud

Introduction Technology has made it much easier for road users to travel and transact along their journeys. It is no longer necessary to travel with substantial amounts of cash to fill up along the route. Petrol and garage cards enable travellers to have more peace of mind that they would be able

Read More

Alco-Check and Road Safety

Alco-Check and Road Safety

Alco-Check is a social responsibility-driven company that supplies breathalysers throughout South Africa. With branches in Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg and Pretoria, we aim to educate people and create awareness of alcohol consumption and the effects on blood alcohol content(BAC), we provide a tool

Read More

Fleet Insurance and Truck Insurance for Commercial Vehicles

Fleet Insurance and Truck Insurance for Commercial Vehicles

Introduction The Fleet Management and Logistics Industry is one of the best indicators of the heartbeat of the economy of a country. Fleet management is a term used to describe the management of any/all aspects relating to a company’s vehicle. Fleet vehicles are those vehicles over which a

Read More

Load More Pages

Partners

View All