The Dangers of Speeding
In today’s society, driving is how the majority of the world travels. Laws have been placed in order to regulate the speed at which people are allowed to travel on public roads. With the exception of the Autobahn in Germany and the Isle of Man speed limits exist on the roads throughout the world. These laws have been established for safety, for the sake of the driver, pedestrians, and the general population within the given area.
Since 1861 when the Locomotive Act was passed in the United Kingdom to reduce the speed of automobiles, which were considered light locomotives, in towns limitations on the rate of travel have existed. Safety is the primary concern for such laws. As speed increases the overall amount of control a driver has over a vehicle decreases. This leads to a higher percentage of being involved in a collision. Physics helps explain the amount of damage that an automobile can cause at any given speed. In car collisions the kinetic energy, the extra energy which an object possesses due to the object’s motion, is relative to the square of the speed of impact. The risk of a fatality in a car collision begins to rise when the change in speed at the moment of impact exceeds 30 mi/h (48 km/h) and is more than 50 percent likely to be fatal when the change exceeds 60 mi/h (96 km/h). The probability of death from an impact speed of 50 mi/h (80 km/h) is 15 times the probability of death from an impact speed of 25 mi/h (40 km/h) (Joksch 1993). In 2005, speeding was a contributing factor in 30 percent of all fatal crashes, and 13,113 lives were lost in speeding-related crashes in the United States (NHTSA, 2005). Not all car crashes due to speeding are fatal however, thousands of people are injured in some way every day.
H. C. Joksch, "Velocity Change and Fatality Risk in a Crash-A Rule of Thumb," Accident Analysis and Prevention, Vol. 25, No. 1, 1993.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,...