Speeding

This is going to be car safety week. First article is on speeding.
I will be covering braking and passive saftey systems in later posts!

Does a small amount over the speed limit really matter?

From a legal point of view the law is clear – the speed limit is the speed limit and exceeding it is breaking the law. From a safety point of view, it’s not as clear cut.

Driving at any speed, even under the speed limit, has some level of risk. Many people think that going a small amount over the speed limit doesn’t greatly increase the level of risk. However, research suggests that travelling at 65 km/h in a 60 km/h zone is an equivalent risk as driving with a BAC of 0.05, doubling your chance of having a crash that injures someone. At 70 km/h, the risk is the same as having a BAC of 0.10, or about 4 times the risk (from Kloeden et al.) .

“Many people are surprised to hear how long it actually takes to bring a car to a stop. Driving at 60 km/h, it takes an alert motorist around 38 metres to perceive, react and brake to a stop on a dry road or 46 metres on a wet road. That’s around the length of an Olympic sized swimming pool. Remove driver alertness or add distractions and this distance increases by about 50%.

At 60 km/h, a vehicle travels 17 metres every second – close to the length of a cricket pitch. At 100 km/h this increases to 28 metres.

However, it’s important to remember that stopping distances increase at a higher rate than the speed increase. For example, 80 km/h is 25% faster than 60 km/h, but the stopping distance is up to 70% further. “

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