In addition to these tragic deaths, hundreds more people every year are injured in speed crashes – some permanently. More than 1000† people are either killed or injured in speed crashes every year.
As the speed of a travelling vehicle increases, so does the risk of a crash. Australian research^ has shown that the risk of a serious casualty crash doubles with just a 5 kilometre speed increase on 60 kilometre urban roads or with a 10 kilometre increase on rural highways.
Regardless of whether other factors (such as alcohol, drugs and so on) contribute to a specific crash, speeding is dangerous because:
- the faster you go, the longer your stopping distance
- the faster you go, the harder you hit.
Driving within the speed limit allows you more time to react to unexpected variables such as the actions of other road users around you (vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists), and changes to the road environment itself (such as pot holes and obstacles). It is impossible to control the actions of other road users, and it is impossible to predict changes to the road environment that may require you to slow down to avoid a hazard.
Driving within the speed limit will allow you and other road users the best chance of survival in a crash.
†Five years 2005–2009 fatalities and all injuries, including hospitalisations for crashes involving a speeding driver or rider.
‡The above social cost figures are provided in 2010 dollar value using the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) 2006 social cost estimates.
^Kloeden CN, McLean AJ and Glonek G, 2002. Reanalysis of travelling speed and the risk of crash involvement in Adelaide South Australia, report CR 207, ATSB, Canberra. Kloeden CN, Ponte G and McLean AJ, 2001. Travelling speed and the risk of crash involvement on rural roads, report CR 204, ATSB, Canberra.