Wednesday, May 14, 2014 @ 12:05 PM
posted by ABL

 Drivers who travel at higher speeds have less time to identify and react to what is happening around them. It takes them longer to stop. And if there is a crash, it is more severe, causing greater injury to the occupants and any pedestrian or rider they hit.

Excessive speed contributes to 14% of collisions in which someone is killed, 7% of crashes resulting in a serious injury and 4% of all injury collisions. In 2010, 241 people were killed in crashes involving someone exceeding the speed limit and a further 180 people died when someone was travelling too fast for the conditions. 1

Approximately two-thirds of all crashes in which people are killed or injured happen on roads with a speed limit of 30 mph or less. At 35 mph a driver is twice as likely to kill someone as they are at 30 mph.

At 30 mph, vehicles travel 44 feet (about 3 car lengths) every second.

Even in good conditions, the difference in stopping distance between 30 mph and 35 mph is an extra 21 feet, more than 2 car lengths.

For pedestrians struck by cars, the risk of being killed increases slowly until impact speeds of around 30 mph, but above this speed, the risk increases rapidly. A pedestrian hit by a car travelling at between 30 mph and 40 mph is 3.5 to 5.5 times more likely to be killed than one struck by a car travelling at less than 30 mph. Elderly pedestrians have a much greater risk of suffering fatal injuries than other age groups. 2

For car occupants, the risk of being in a collision with another vehicle also increases with speed. The risk is much higher in a side impact than in a frontal impact. 2

Even a small amount above the limit makes a big difference.