Why Does Speeding Cause Crashes?
It’s so tempting to speed when you’re running a little late. You know the road, you’re not going too fast – no harm done, right? Wrong.
Firstly, speeding above the limit is illegal (for most people that’s a pretty big deterrent). Secondly, the national and state statistics on speed-related deaths and injuries should tell you all you need to know about whether speeding really can cause accidents.
On average, over a third of the fatalities on the road are caused by speeding, and there are hundreds of non-fatal accidents and incidents each year that are caused in some way by someone speeding just to get to a party on time or to avoid being late to work.
As a driver you have the ultimate responsibility to drive responsibly and to be in total control of your vehicle. You are more likely to have a crash when you’re going over the limit because:
- Speeding reduces your ability to make decisions, giving you less time to react to avoid a potential crash. Even just going 5 kilometres over a 60 kilometre limit doubles the risk of being involved in a serious crash! When you mix drugs, alcohol or even fatigue into the equation then you double your risk again.
- Thanks to the immutable laws of physics, the faster you go, the faster it takes you to slow down and stop altogether. Apparently the stopping time of a car is actually dependant on 4 different things: human perception and reaction time (covered by the first point) as well as the car’s reaction time and its braking capability. It becomes really complex when you get into factors such as road surface and the weight of the car. To make it easier for drivers, road traffic authorities have produced safe stopping distance guides which state, for example, that if you’re going 60kms, you are going to need at least 56 metres before your car will come to a full stop. How many tailgaters do you think remember this when they suddenly see the car in front of them brake suddenly?
No one expects to get into a crash when they get into a car as a driver or a passenger, but the unfortunate reality is that speeding can make a serious or even fatal accident considerably more likely. The faster you go, the more likely you’ll be unable to stop if faced with a potential collision with another car, a pedestrian or an object. Slow down, follow the speed limits and you and your passengers will be guaranteed to get to that party or to work safely every time.