Speed

Speed Limits

The reality is that it may seem to be narrow, but in fact it’s wide enough. For example: An urban residential street like Hillview Crescent, Timaru. People do not want vehicles to go fast in residential areas where kids may be playing on footpaths etc. The only way to reduce the speed is to narrow the lanes so that we get the “side friction” that naturally make drivers go slower because the space seem to be tight. Below is a diagram of such a road.

As shown, there are still plenty of space for even large vehicles to come through with ease.

The width of a car is about 1.8 m and maybe 1.9 m for a large SUV. A bus and truck is about 2.4m to 2.5m wide.

Speed Cameras

If you drive within the speed limit and adjust your speed to the conditions you won’t have to worry about speed cameras or police officers checking for speeding drivers. Forget about all the schemes to “outsmart” the system and follow your speedo literally. In most cases the speedo will read a bit higher than the actual speed. Use the electronic speed signs in your area to check your speedo. Those signs are very accurate.

Speed kills a myth or not?

Unless you drive in outer space with extremely limited chances of hitting something, then yes just by going fast may not kill you. Unfortunately we all drive on roads here on earth and here speed is a factor. Why? There are too many road side hazards and road conditions a driver has no control over.

Most common road side hazards

Trees, telephone or electricity poles, ditches, embankments, water canals, rocks, stray animals, road signs, parked vehicles and limited recovery areas.

A simple illustration

Peter drives the same car on the same date and time, on the same road and crashes into the same tree. The weather and road conditions are all the same.
In the one incident Peter is not injured and in the other he is seriously hurt. Why?

The effect of speed comes into play when a driver has to avoid a crash. The higher the speed the less time there is to react. At 100km/h a vehicle moves forward at 27 meters per second.

Two aspects relating to speed

People make mistakes. While you are driving you have to be prepared to take evasive actions. The lower the speed the more time you have to take action and the less the risk of losing control of your vehicle.

The second aspect is when a crash cannot be avoided; speed determines the seriousness of injury.

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WHAT CAN YOU CONTROL?

You only have control over:

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  • The choice of vehicle you use
  • The route you take
  • The number of passengers in the vehicle
  • The day and time you travel
  • Your driving behaviour
  • The speed you travel at

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