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 with Trucks in the Mountains

Safe Driving with Trucks in the Mountains

Introduction Recently, due to fires in the Outeniqua mountains, drivers had to take a detour from Oudtshoorn to George via the Robinson pass towards Mossel Bay. The Robinson pass is much more of a challenge for truck drivers as there are no “extra lanes” and the corners tend to be much

Read More

Safe driving in the mountains / mountain passes

Safe driving in the mountains / mountain passes

#contentcontainer a { display: inline-block; margin: 5px; } 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

Read More

Dashboard Camera Recorders and Road Safety

Dashboard Camera Recorders and Road Safety

Technology is making a significant contribution toward safer roads. Not only are developments in technology maker vehicles safer, but also increases our ability to measure and evaluate driving behaviour. On the Arrive Alive website, we have information on vehicle telematics and how it is best used in

Read More

Trail Running and Safety

Trail Running and Safety

Introduction Not every runner remains satisfied with the usual run on the treadmill or on the road. Many have discovered the beauty of a change in scenery and the challenges of variation in physical terrain, elevation and other conditions. This not only stimulates the mind but also forces the body

Read More

Physical Fitness for Safe Driving / Road Safety

Physical Fitness for Safe Driving / Road Safety

Introduction Much of being a safe driver is being fit to drive in the first place and knowing when this is the case. When we discuss driver fitness we tend to refer to sobriety, fatigue, eyesight etc - all those conditions that might impact on the ability to see, think, and move well enough to

Read More

Running / Jogging and Road Safety

Running / Jogging and Road Safety

Background Information Road Safety is a concern not only for motorists but also for other road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and runners. Running injuries are quite common but can be reduced through proper conditioning and training programs; wearing the appropriate apparel and footwear and

Read More

Load More Pages

Partners

View All