Travel

Speeding and Inappropriate Travel Speeds: Stay Safe on the Roads

Driving at excessive speeds can have dangerous consequences. In South Australia, the maximum default speed limit outside built-up areas is 100km/h, while in built-up areas, it is 50km/h. These limits ensure road safety, and driving above them is illegal. Speeding not only increases the risk of a crash but also intensifies the severity of injuries. Even a small increase in speed can significantly impact road safety.

Speeding can be equated to driving under the influence of alcohol. For example, every 5km/h increase in speed in a 60km/h zone is equivalent to an increase of 0.05 in BAC. Shockingly, speeding and inappropriate travel speeds account for approximately one-third of fatal crashes on South Australia’s roads each year.

Keep Your Speed Down

Maintaining a safe speed is crucial for road safety. At 60 km/h, it takes about 3/4 of a second or 12 meters for a fit and alert driver to realize the need to brake and at least another 20 meters to come to a stop. As speed increases, so does the required stopping distance.

Read more  Best Time to Travel to Tasmania

While it is essential to drive within the posted speed limit in good driving conditions, certain circumstances may necessitate a reduction in speed. Factors such as bad weather, heavy traffic, and the presence of children or pedestrians require drivers to adjust their speed accordingly. By keeping your speed down, you increase the time available to avoid crashes and minimize injuries or damage. Remember, driving at a speed that allows you to stop within your field of vision can save lives.

Keeping a Safe Following Distance

Maintaining a safe following distance is crucial for road safety. The ‘following distance’ refers to the space between your vehicle and the one immediately in front. This distance varies depending on your speed and the braking ability of both vehicles.

The recommended minimum following distance is the distance your vehicle will travel in three seconds. For instance, at 60 km/h, this distance is about eight or nine car lengths. It allows you enough time to check mirrors, signs, side roads, and vehicles further ahead while keeping a sufficient safety space in case the vehicle ahead suddenly brakes.

To estimate the following distance, use the time lapse formula. Allow three seconds to pass between the time the rear of the vehicle ahead passes a stationary object, such as a signpost, and when the front of your vehicle reaches the same point. This rule applies to all travel speeds. However, certain conditions, such as wet or slippery roads, poor visibility, darkness, heavy loads, or unsealed roads, may require more than the standard three-second distance.

Did you know? Approximately one-third of all crashes are rear-end collisions. Don’t tailgate!

Total Stopping Distance

The total stopping distance refers to the distance a vehicle covers from the moment a driver realizes the need to brake until the vehicle comes to a complete stop.

Read more  Australia Per Diem: A Comprehensive Guide for Business Travelers

The total stopping distance can be broken down into two components: the reaction distance and the braking distance. The reaction distance is the distance traveled while the driver realizes the need to brake and starts to physically apply the brake. On average, a fit and alert driver takes about 3/4 of a second or 12 meters to react at 60 km/h. Doubling the speed doubles the reaction distance. To reduce reaction time, scan the road ahead to anticipate potential problems.

The braking distance is the distance traveled by the vehicle once the brakes have been applied. Factors such as wet or slippery surfaces, uneven or unsealed roads, and downhill slopes can increase braking distance. Heavy vehicles, including buses, have significantly longer braking distances. It’s crucial to exercise caution when changing lanes in front of them.

Remember that the increase in braking distance is not linear with speed. As speed doubles, braking distance quadruples, and if speed triples, braking distance increases ninefold. For example, if a vehicle takes 20 meters to stop from 50 km/h, it will take approximately 80 meters to stop at 100 km/h on the same road surface.

Approaching corners or bends at high speeds can lead to loss of control. To maintain stability and control, it’s important to brake to a safe speed before entering a corner or bend in a straight line.

Allow More Room for Heavy Vehicles to Stop

Heavy vehicles require a longer distance to stop. When traffic lights turn red and a truck or bus is approaching, avoid pulling into their lane to ensure they have enough stopping distance. Similarly, when flowing through traffic, be mindful of heavy vehicles maintaining a safe distance from the vehicle in front. Cutting in front of them may leave insufficient room for them to stop safely.

Read more  How Long Does It Take to Get to the Moon?

FAQs

Q: What are the maximum default speed limits in South Australia?

A: The maximum default speed limit outside built-up areas is 100km/h, while in built-up areas, it is 50km/h.

Q: How does speed impact road safety?

A: Speeding increases the risk of crashes and intensifies the severity of injuries. Even a small increase in speed significantly impacts road safety.

Q: How can I estimate a safe following distance?

A: Use the time lapse formula. Allow three seconds to pass between the time the rear of the vehicle ahead passes a stationary object and when the front of your vehicle reaches the same point.

Conclusion

Keeping a safe speed and maintaining a sufficient following distance are essential for road safety. By adhering to speed limits and adjusting your speed to suit road conditions, you can prevent crashes and reduce the severity of injuries. Remember, the aim is to arrive at your destination safely, so always prioritize safety over speed.

For more information on road safety and driving tips, visit iBlog. Drive safely!

Related Articles

Back to top button