Inappropriate or excessive speed is one of the major factors contributing to accidents on Victoria's roads and research shows small changes in speed can result in a significant reduction in road trauma.
In average conditions, a car travelling at 60km/hr will take 45m to stop in an emergency braking situation. A car braking from 65km/hr will still be moving at close to 32km/hr after 45m travelled.
Research from the Road Accident Research Unit of the University of Adelaide has shown:
- the risk of involvement in a casualty doubles with each 5km/hr increase in free travelling speed above 60km/hr and
- a 5km/hr reduction in speed can lead to at least 15% decrease in crashes.
- Over the last five years, around 236 people have been killed on the road each year, with excessive or inappropriate speed a contributory factor in many crashes.
- Driving 5km/h less can lessen the severity of injury and mean the difference between - death or a serious injury or a serious injury and a minor injury.
Speed can be divided into three categories:
- excessive - speeding is deliberate and substantially over the speed limit
- low level - the driver travels at a speed marginally over the posted speed limit, typically by 5km/hr (research shows the majority of motorists engage in low level speeding) and
- inappropriate - travelling at a speed that is inappropriate for the conditions such as travelling at the speed limit when the road is wet.
All of these types of speeding are dangerous. Speeding reduces the time drivers have to avoid crashes, their ability to control the vehicle and lengthens stopping distances, increasing both the likelihood of crashing and the severity of the crash outcome.
The TAC has worked closely with Victoria Police to target speeding motorists by funding the purchase of speed detection equipment.