FACTS ABOUT SPEEDING
In road traffic, the term speeding refers to the state of a motorist driving at a rate
exceeding the legal speed limit. For example, a driver traveling at 60 kilometers per
hour along a section of road with a speed limit of 50, is considered to be speeding.
Speeding has been a major contributory factor to crashes that occur on roads in Accra
and the country at large.
The physics of a crash
In a crash, it is the amount of kinetic energy that is imparted which causes injuries or
death. This kinetic energy increases exponentially with speed. A doubling of speed is
not equal to twice as much kinetic energy, but rather a substantial increase much
beyond that and it is much more lethal. A 20% increase in speed is roughly a 45%
increase in kinetic energy.
In a high-speed crash, a passenger vehicle cannot handle the force of the crash.
As crash speeds get very high, airbags and seat belts do not work as well to
keep passengers safe.
Speed influences the risk of crashes and crash injuries in three basic ways:
By the time the driver realizes the need to react, they would have traveled
closer to the danger.
This causes a majority of drivers who find themselves in this situation to
try stepping hard on the brakes.
This increases the general impact of the crash.
If a driver doubles their speed – for instance from 30 mph to 60 mph – the
braking distance does not become twice as far. It becomes four times as far.
Traveling at 55 mph, it will take about 6 seconds to stop the vehicle. The vehicle
will travel approximately 302 feet before coming to a stop. That is longer than the
length of a football field.
When a driver is speeding, other drivers have a hard time telling how fast they
A driver should consider road conditions, weather and road design and slow
down when those change. For instance, it is easier to lose traction when
speeding around a curve and the high center of gravity makes it easier to roll
over. A driver should slow down before curves.
Safety tips from: Accra Metropolitan Assembly and the Bloomberg Initiative for
Global Road Safety
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