Safe Driving Tips - Why speed matters!

Why speed matters!

The severity of injuries resulting from a crash is directly related to how fast vehicles were travelling before the crash – even if they were under the speed limit.

When a vehicle crashes, it undergoes a rapid change of speed, but the occupants keep moving at the vehicle’s previous speed until stopped. The faster the speed at which the human body must absorb the energy released in the crash, the greater the severity of the resulting injury.

Your speed also dictates what happens if you hit another vehicle or person.

For example, if a pedestrian steps out in front of you and you take one second to react:

  • Driving at 50km/h, you need at least 27m to stop
  • Driving at 60km/h, you need at least 36m to stop

The probability that the pedestrian will die increases rapidly with relatively small increases in speed.

For example, a pedestrian struck by a vehicle:

  • at 40km/h has a 70% chance of survival
  • at 45km/h has a 50% chance of survival

For a child or an elderly person, the odds are much worse.

“Reconstruction” advertisement by the Traffic Accident Compensation Victoria(link is external) – demonstrates the difference 5km/h makes when a vehicle hits a pedestrian (opens in YouTube).

Our Defensive Driver training helps protect the driver by increasing their skills and awareness of their capabilities and potentially reduces the risks for others involved in accidents.