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

Hijack Prevention Guidelines

Hijack Prevention Guidelines

Introduction: It has become increasingly difficult to steal motor vehicles with all the anti-theft devices, such as immobilisers, gear locks, etc. These steps have resulted in a dramatic increase in vehicle hijackings. The hijacker has the element of surprise and this is a concern. The increasing

Read More

ABC of Accident and Crash Investigation

ABC of Accident and Crash Investigation

Stanley Bezuidenhout is an internationally experienced crash investigator, crime scene analyst, court expert, author, trainer, and public speaker. He has committed more than 20 years of his extensive career to crash investigation and expert services in many countries, including the SADC Region of Africa,

Read More

Analysis of crashing into a heap of sand through crash investigation

Analysis of crashing into a heap of sand through crash investigation

A Dashcam video has been doing the rounds on Social Media, showing the driver of a Jeep driving on the R30 between Bothaville and Odendaalsrus on Friday, 20 May 2022, in darkness. The video shows the time to be 05h26 and the vehicle to be driving at a speed of 100Km/h. The next minute, a literal heap

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

Standard Bank and Fuel Cards, Fleet Cards and Safety from Fraud

Standard Bank and Fuel Cards, Fleet Cards and Safety from Fraud

What are the best measures from the side of the bank to combat fraud with a garage/ petrol card? A robust and state of the art fleet management system is key to assisting customers to manage fleet expenses and combat fraud. In 2010 Standard Bank Fleet Management pioneered and led an industry initiative

Read More

Safe Driving in Heavy Traffic

Safe Driving in Heavy Traffic

Introduction As urbanisation drives many to the cities and vehicle ownership increases, road users have to prepare themselves with the skills and attitude required to drive in heavy traffic much more often. Heavy traffic could be caused by numerous factors including: Usual rush-hour /

Read More

Load More Pages

Partners

View All