The rate of road fatalities is on the rise again. In the past 12 months there has been an increase of 3.2%. in NSW. But what are the reasons behind the rising road toll, and what can we do about it?
More than 76% of all road fatalities are caused by one or all of the following:
In this article, we are going to focus on speed.
Since childhood we’ve heard time and time again, speed kills!
You may think it sounds cliché, but the fact is that speeding contributes to at least 43% of all fatalities, so it’s clear that speed really does kill.
Excessive speed drastically reduces the time available to stop or avoid a crash, as well as extending the distance your vehicle travels while you react. The faster you go, the chances of you avoiding a crash grows smaller. But most importantly, the higher the speed you travel at, the greater increase in the severity of the crash when it occurs.
At 60km/hr it takes 45m to stop. But at 50km/hr, your stopping distance is just 35m.
Your stopping distance is affected by two things. The time it takes you to react and the over all braking distance. Your reaction times count for how long it takes you to respond, and can be affected by:
- Driver distractions
- Being under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
- Your general health
In addition to your personal reaction times, we need to factor in the actual capabilities of the vehicle in reducing the stopping distance. The distance it takes your car to stop, after you have reacted can include;
- General mechanics of the vehicle
- Condition of tyres and brakes.
- Road surface
Also, traffic conditions are not predictable, and some conditions require drivers to travel slower than the speed limit (such as when it is congested or raining). So ‘speeding” is not just driving faster than the maximum allowed speed, but can also be driving too fast for the conditions and the environment.
Speed limits are the limit, not the goal. Reducing speed saves lives.
To find out how you or someone you know can become a safer driver visit our website www.roadsense.org.au and enquire about one of the great programs we have available.