Speed is a critical factor in all road crashes and casualties. Driving is unpredictable and if something unexpected happens on the road ahead – such as a child stepping out from between parked cars – it is a driver’s speed that will determine whether they can stop in time and, if they can’t stop,how hard they will hit.
Breaking the speed limit or travelling too fast for conditions is recorded (by police at crash scenes) as a contributory factor in almost one in four (23%) fatal crashes in the UK.
Stopping distances – Speed and stopping distances don’t increase at the same rate. Small increases in speed result in bigger increases in stopping distances. Stopping distances include the distance travelled while the driver notices a hazard and applies the brakes (thinking distance), and while the vehicle comes to a full stop from its initial speed (braking distance).