Speeding is of considerable concern to employers, as it continues to be a major factor in road crashes.

Unfortunately we still hear of incidents where a colleague has been killed or seriously injured in a speed?related crash. You've lost a friend and colleague, and an important member of the team ? perhaps forever. Suddenly the old saying 'better late than never' really means something.

Types of speeding

It is important to recognise that inappropriate speed can put you and other road users at risk.

What is inappropriate speed?

  • travelling in excess of the speed limit posted for a particular stretch of road; or
  • travelling at a speed that is unsafe for the road surface and traffic conditions (e.g. gravel road, fog or heavy traffic) even though you may be within the designated speed limit.

In most situations speeding occurs when drivers who have ignored posted limits choose how fast they will go. So why risk your life and the lives of other motorists by speeding?

What are the risks from speeding?

It has been proven that speeding increases the risk of being involved in a casualty accident (i.e. a crash where someone is killed or injured).

Excess speed makes a significant difference to your ability to stop. For example, driving at 50 km/h you can stop your car in approximately 41 metres, but at 60 km/h it will take up to 58 metres before you can stop. Every kilometre of excess speed makes a significant difference to your chances of being involved in a crash.

In a crash, the faster a vehicle is travelling at the time of impact, the more severe the injuries to the occupants of the vehicle/s involved.

Why does speeding increase the risk of crashing?

Research shows that due to speeding the risk of crashing increases because:

  • you have less time to notice hazards (like a child running onto the road ahead of you)
  • if you do notice a hazard, you have less time to re-act and then take action
  • stopping distance is longer
  • you are more likely to lose control of your vehicle e.g. on a twisting section of road
  • other road users and pedestrians may misjudge your speed e.g. a pedestrian may cross the road or another driver may turn right across the path of your speeding vehicle when the distance is not big enough.

How does speeding increase the severity of crashes?

In a crash, the greater the speed the greater the impact.

Your body is not designed to cushion the effects of impact from a crash. Therefore the greater the impact, the greater the injuries to those involved.

From research it has been shown that:

  • in an incident involving a vehicle and a pedestrian, the probability of the pedestrian being killed increases rapidly beyond impact speeds of 40 km/h
  • pedestrians have no protection, so an impact speed that may injure the driver or passengers in a vehicle would probably be fatal for a pedestrian
  • an impact speed of 80 km/h is twice as likely to kill a driver compared to a driver crashing with an impact speed of 60 km/h
  • for older drivers the risk is greater because they are more frail

How to avoid speeding

  • Always stay within the speed limit posted for the stretch of road you are on.
  • Use cruise control, if fitted, on longer trips or freeways.
  • Be alert and respond to changes in the speed limit.
  • When slowing down from a high speed, check your speedometer to ensure you are within the new limit. Note?it can sometimes be hard to adjust after travelling at a high speed for a prolonged period of time.
  • When there are difficult traffic conditions or the weather is poor, you may need to travel below the posted speed limit. The same would apply to speed advisory signs.
  • Fit an over?speed warning device to your vehicle.
  • As your speed increases, increase the safety distance between your car and the vehicle ahead. Should a vehicle ahead of suddenly slow down, stop, or turn you will have enough time to slow down or stop, and avoid a collision.
  • When overtaking large transport vehicles, avoid cutting in front of them as they need longer stopping distance to adjust to changes

The law and speeding in South Australia

Exceeding the speed limit is illegal. If you break the law and speed, you may be subject to heavy penalties (fines, loss of demerit points or loss of licence)

Speed cameras and radar operate throughout South Australia and the Police vigorously enforce speed limits, so of you speed there is a good chance you could be caught.

University Policy

The driver is responsible for all traffic infringements and expiation notices