Speed Kills


  1. The severity of a crash increases with speed. If you speed you might not be able to stop. With a reaction time of one second, it will take the average driver driving at 110km/h about 90m to come to a stop on a dry surface.

    If the driver encounters a hazard such as a pedestrian at a distance, of say, 60m ahead, the car will hit the pedestrian at an impact speed of 80km/h.

    At that speed there is a 100 percent chance that the pedestrian will be killed. If the driver were driving at 100km/h instead of 110, the collision speed would be 60km/h and the chances of the pedestrian being killed would be reduced to 70 percent.

    Had this driver been driving at 90km/h, the collision speed would have been 30km/h and the chance of death for the pedestrian would be educed further still, to approximately 7%.

    And the driver?

    The implications are just as dire for the occupants of the car. Their likelihood of death at a collision speed of 80km/h is 20 times higher than at an impact speed of 32 km/h.

    Put this into an urban context. If a child steps off a pavement 35 metres ahead of you, at the recommended speed of 50km/h you would stop with nine metres to spare. At the speed limit of 60km/h you would have only two metres to spare. At 70 km/h, the child would be dead.

    This is why SPEED KILLS, and why speed is one of the major focuses in the ARRIVE ALIVE campaign

  2. The effectiveness of safety devices such as air bags and safety belts is severely compromised at high speed. The poor quality of many vehicles on our roads and the problem of overloading of vehicles further increase the risk of crashes.

  3. Accident avoidance is more difficult at high speed because of the longer distance travelled during reaction time, the longer distance required to stop and the greater difficulty of controlling a vehicle at high speed.

  4. Increased accident risk as high speed places greater strain on tyres and brakes which increases the risk of failure.

  5. Human factors: High speeds reduce the visual field of the driver, restrict his/her peripheral vision and place greater demand on the task of driving.