The impact of speed is a major contributor to deaths and serious injuries on WA roads, which is why speed management, including safe speed limits should be a priority of our road network.
Did you know...
Increasing your speed — even by just a few kilometres an hour — increases your breaking distance and can significantly increase your risk of a crash, serious injury and death. For example, on a 10km journey in a 60km/h zone, you save just 46 seconds by increasing your speed to 65km/h but double your chance of being killed or seriously injured in a crash.
Speed affects your reaction time and braking distance
With less time for drivers to react to hazards, driving at higher speeds increases both the likelihood and severity of a crash.
The impacts of speed on our fragile bodies
When a crash occurs, kinetic energy (the energy of motion) is transferred from one object to another. The greater the speed, the greater the kinetic energy. Our bodies are fragile and can only tolerate the force of a limited amount of energy (our biomechanical tolerance). In a crash the speed of colliding objects (e.g. cars, buses, bicycles and people) significantly influences whether those involved are killed or seriously injured.
Vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcycle riders, have little protection, so their chances of survival rapidly decrease at speeds greater than 30km/h. In fact, a pedestrian is twice as likely to be killed by a car travelling at 50km/h than one travelling at 40km/h, and five times as great as one travelling at 30km/h.
Motor vehicles provide a level of protection to their occupants in a crash as their frames absorb some of the kinetic energy releases (vehicles with a 5-Star ANCAP safety rating / used car safety rating provide the greatest level of protection). For motor vehicle side-impact and head-on crashes, the chances of survival rapidly decrease at speeds greater than 50km/h and 70km/h respectively.
RAC's position on safer speeds
RAC advocates for all Western Australians, whether they are a driver, passenger, cyclist, motorcyclist, pedestrian or public transport user.
These documents outline our public policy positions, and what we are calling on from the State and Federal Governments to support better mobility for Western Australians.