What Causes Car Accidents?

The dictionary defines accident as "an unexpected and undesirable event, a mishap unforeseen and without apparent cause." Strictly speaking, most accidents are not accidents at all: they are collisions that could and should have been avoided. So, what causes them, and how can you avoid them?

Four factors contribute to the vast majority of collisions. In ascending order they are:

  1. Equipment Failure
  2. Roadway Design
  3. Poor Roadway Maintenance
  4. Driver Behavior

Over 95% of motor vehicle accidents (MVAs, in the USA, or Road Traffic Accidents, RTAs, in Europe) involve some degree of driver behavior combined with one of the other three factors. Drivers always try to blame road conditions, equipment failure, or other drivers for those accidents. When the facts are truthfully presented, however, the behavior of the implicated driver is usually the primary cause. Most are caused by excessive speed or aggressive driver behavior.

  1. Equipment Failure - Manufacturers are required by law to design and engineer cars that meet a minimum safety standard. Computers, combined with companies' extensive research and development, have produced safe vehicles that are easy and safe to drive. The most cited types of equipment failure are loss of brakes, tire blowouts or tread separation, and steering/suspension failure. With the exception of the recent rash of Firestone light-truck tire failures, combined totals for all reported equipment failure accounts for less than 5% of all motor vehicle accidents.
    • Brakes - Modern dual-circuit brake systems have made total brake failure an unlikely event. If one side of the circuit fails, the other side is usually sufficient to stop a vehicle. Disc brakes, found on the front wheels of virtually every modern vehicle, are significantly more effective than the older drum braking systems, which can fade when hot. ABS (Anti Blockier System) or anti-lock brakes prevent the wheels from locking up during emergency braking maneuvers, allowing modern vehicles to avoid many accidents that previously would have occurred.
    • Tires - Today's radial tires are significantly safer than the bias-ply tires of 25 years ago. They still, however, need attention regularly. Under inflation, the most frequent cause of tire failure is considered the main culprit in the recent Firestone tire-failure fatalities. Uneven or worn-out tires are the next most serious problem and can also lead to tire failure. Uneven wear is caused by improperly balanced tires, or misaligned or broken suspensions. Remember, all that keeps you connected to the roadway is your tires. If you don't check your own, have your mechanic check them every 5,000 miles.
    • Steering & Suspension - Your suspension keeps your tires in contact with the roadway in a stable and predictable manner. Your steering enables you to go around road obstacles and avoid potential accidents. Even a safe, well-trained driver is helpless in the event of a steering or suspension system failure. Such failures are catastrophic, especially at high speeds. Have your suspension and steering systems checked out by a mechanic every 10,000 miles.
    • With regular component inspections by trained individuals, equipment failures can be virtually eliminated.
  2. Roadway Design - Motorists may blame roadway design for accidents, but it's rarely the cause. Consultants such as the Texas Transportation Institute have spent years getting road barriers, utility poles, railroad crossings, and guardrails to their current high level of safety. Civil engineers, local governments, and law enforcement agencies all contribute to the design of safe road layouts and traffic management systems. State and federal governments provide guidelines to their construction, with design flexibility to suit local conditions. Roadways are designed by engineers with special consideration given to the following:
    • Hazard Visibility - Permanent roadway hazards consist of intersections, merging lanes, bends, crests, school zones, and livestock or pedestrian crossings. Temporary hazards include road construction, parked or disabled vehicles, accidents, traffic jams, and wild animals (especially deer).
    • Roadway Surfaces - Engineers can use different surfaces (for example, grooved pavement) depending on the environment, traffic speed, traffic volume, and location of the roadway (noise barriers). Roadway markings let drivers know about their ability to pass safely (dotted & double lines), the location of the roadway in inclement weather (reflective cats-eyes & stakes), and where road surface ends and the shoulder begins.
    • Traffic Control Devices - Traffic light signals, speed limit signs, yield and stop signs, school & pedestrian crossings, turning lanes, police surveillance cameras, and traffic circles or roundabouts.
    • Behavioral Control Devices - Built-in obstacles that limit the ability of a vehicle to travel, including crash barrels, speed bumps, pedestrian islands, raised medians, high curbing, guard rails, and concrete barriers.
    • Traffic Flow - Interstate highways remain the safest roads because their flow of traffic is in one direction. One-way streets ease traffic congestion in city centers as well. Rural two-lane roadways are statistically the most dangerous because of a high incidence of deadly head-on collisions and the difficulty impatient drivers’ face while overtaking slower vehicles.
    • Roadway Identification Signs - enable someone without a detailed map to travel from one place to another. They give advance notice of intersections, destinations, hazards, route numbers, mileage estimates, street names, and points of interest.
    • Weather - inclement conditions can aggravate existing hazards and sometimes create new road surfaces (ice & snow).
  3. Poor Maintenance - Roadway maintenance contributes to some motor vehicle accidents, but not to the extent that drivers use it as an excuse. Unfortunately maintenance schedules and procedures vary greatly from city to city and state to state, so nationwide standards don't exist. Below we outline some potential roadway maintenance shortcomings that you should be aware of.
    • Debris on the roadway can be a problem, and is the responsibility of local highway departments.
    • Faded road signs, and signs obscured by foliage, occasionally contribute to accidents. If you know of any offending signs, contact your local police department to see if they can get the problem remedied.
    • Potholes cause a small number of accidents (primarily tire & suspension failures), but the accidents usually occur at low speeds and don't cause many injuries. Call the police to get large dangerous holes attended to. Some Northern US cities have pothole complaint lines that are active during the winter and spring.
    • Roadway construction is an oft-mentioned reason for accidents. Again the blame usually rests on aggressive drivers who are unwilling to merge or slow down when approaching a construction zone. In most states, fines are doubled in work zones, making it expensive as well as unsafe to speed. Stop-and-go traffic requires thoughtful, alert driving to avoid a collision with the car in front of you. Too often we worry that someone will cut in front of us in a traffic jam. The real problem is that drivers forget about the vehicle directly in front, rear-ending it while looking in their rearview mirror or daydreaming. Leave plenty of room between your car and the one directly in front of you. Our 3 second rule applies to traffic jams as well. If a few people cut in front of you, let them.
    • Salting & Sanding - Many wintertime accidents are blamed on inadequate salting or sanding of icy roadways, but as so often, the real culprit is usually excessive speed. And salting only works if the ambient temperature stays above the middle teens. Recent environmental concerns have curbed widespread salting in recent years so less effective materials like clay, sand, and soot have replaced it in some areas. The fact remains that if highways are icy, speed needs to be reduced whether the roadway is salted or not.
  4. Driver Behavior - Humans tend to blame somebody or something else when a mistake or accident occurs. A recent European study concluded that 80% of drivers involved in motor vehicle accidents believed that the other party could have done something to prevent the accident. A miniscule 5% admitted that they were the only one at fault. Surveys consistently reveal that the majority consider themselves more skillful and safer than the average driver. Some mistakes occur when a driver becomes distracted, perhaps by a cell phone call or a spilled cup of coffee. Very few accidents result from an 'Act of God,' like a tree falling on a vehicle.

Speed Kills - The faster the speed of a vehicle, the greater the risk of an accident. The forces experienced by the human body in a collision increase exponentially as the speed increases. Smart Motorist recommends that drivers observe our 3 second rule in everyday traffic, no matter what your speed. Most people agree that going 100 mph is foolhardy and will lead to disaster. The problem is that exceeding the speed limit by only 5 mph in the wrong place can be just as dangerous. Traffic engineers and local governments have determined the maximum speeds allowable for safe travel on the nation's roadways. Speeding is a deliberate and calculated behavior where the driver knows the risk but ignores the danger. Fully 90% of all licensed drivers speed at some point in their driving career; 75% admit to committing this offense regularly.

Consider this example: a pedestrian walks out in front of a car. If the car is traveling at just 30 mph, and the driver brakes when the pedestrian is 45 feet away, there will be enough space in which to stop without hitting the pedestrian. Increase the vehicle speed by just 5 mph and the situation changes dramatically. At 35 mph, with the pedestrian 45 feet away and the driver braking at the same point, the car will be traveling at 18 mph when it hits the pedestrian. An impact at 18 mph can seriously injure or even kill the pedestrian.

Who are the bad drivers? They are young, middle-aged, and old; men and women; they drive luxury cars, sports cars, SUVs and family cars. Almost every qualified driver I know admits to some type of risky driving behavior, most commonly speeding.

Aggressive Drivers - As we've described, modern cars are manufactured to very safe standards, and the environment they're driven in is engineered to minimize the injuries suffered during an accident. The most difficult area to change is aggressive driver behavior and selfish attitudes. A 1995 study by the Automobile Association in Great Britain found that 88% of the respondents reported at least one of the behaviors listed below directed at them (in order of descending frequency):

  • Aggressive tailgating
  • Lights flashed at them because the other motorist was annoyed
  • Aggressive or rude gestures
  • Deliberate obstruction -- preventing them from moving their vehicle
  • Verbal abuse
  • Physical assault

The same group was then asked about aggressive behavior they had displayed towards other drivers. 40% indicated that they had never behaved aggressively towards another driver. A further 60% of the survey respondents admitted to one or more of the following behaviors (listed in order of descending frequency):

  • Flashed lights at another motorist because they were annoyed with them
  • Gave aggressive or rude gestures
  • Gave verbal abuse
  • Aggressively tailgated another motorist
  • Deliberately obstructed or prevented another from moving their vehicle
  • Physically assaulted another motorist (one positive response)

These behaviors are probably under-reported, since most people are not willing to admit to the more serious actions, even if no penalty exists. The majority of these incidents happened during the daylight hours (70%), on a main road (not freeway or divided highway).

NYS Police characterize aggressive driving by the following traffic violations:

  • Excessive speed
  • Frequent or unsafe lane changes
  • Failure to signal
  • Tailgating
  • Failure to yield the right of way
  • Disregarding traffic controls
  • Impaired driving

The NYS State Police point out that there is a difference between aggressive driving and "road rage." Road Rage behaviors, such as using the vehicle as a weapon or physically assaulting a driver or their vehicle, are not aggressive driving. They are criminal offenses, and there are laws in place to address these violent crimes.

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Lack of road signs kill

Navigating in street is simplified as GPS devices are being used nowadays. But a lack of proper street names in city areas can also lead to dangerous, unintentional behavior in busy streets. This is an issue which should be overcome with with standards developed for the placing of road signs with topology taken into account as all street vary with types of visibility problems. Otherwsie this reveiw on road safety has some plusses, but failt to mention if we drive a 5 mph we ca nstill kill someone. Me I'm staying at home when that idea hits the road safety people.


GPS' are for people who can't find their own behind.

Do some research, speed doesn't cause accident, people with poor driving skills and people not paying attention cause accents. Exceeding the speed limit simply makes the government, police department, and depending where you live the insurance company more money. Wait, who has the most influence on traffic laws and fines... all three who benefit from people exceeding the speed limit, what a surprise. Remember what cars were like when the standards for current speed limits were set up, I don't I wasn't born yet but I think it would be safe to say I can go a little faster in a modern car then I could in one of those, makes u think huh? you web site needs some revisions, i bet its funded by insurance companies huh? big surprise

Speed doesn't cause accidents.

I have done a lot of intensive and hands on research about road traffic crashes - more than 40 years of it to be exact. It is not the car which is the core element or cause of a road traffic crash - it is the human being in control of that car who is the core element of crashes. How cars were when the standards for current speed limits were set up had virtually nothing to do (in my country at least) with the criteria used to set up the limits - the criteria used was twofold: (1) "human perception time + human reaction time + time taken, after the perception/reaction phase, to complete or achieve what is necessary to avoid an impending collision like stopping or swerving in time". (2) The actions and reactions of road users based on their experience and expectations of what they perceive other road users are usually doing - virtually all driving decisions are based on what the driver expect or belief another road user is doing based on his previous experiences regarding the usual behavior of other road users. Example: when a driver wants to cross a road he looks for approaching vehicles on the road he wants to cross and when he saw a vehicle approaching he will decide, based on his previous experience and what he normally expects from other road users, to cross or wait. If the approaching vehicle is at a distance which his experience taught him he has enough time to safely cross, he start crossing the road. Now imagine, if the approaching vehicle is doing 130 miles per hour instead of the 30 miles per hours it is supposed to do at that section of the road, what would happen? (the point here is that it is not the great capabilities of the driver or the greatly advanced modern car of the speedster that should be the criteria for determining speed limits but the reasonable expectations of the average road user).

The speed limits were thus based on the average time it takes for an average human to perceive/react/achieve in relation to the rate of speed of a moving object AND the way the average road user usually react to the actions of other road users.

It is thus the capabilities and perception of the human which is the central factor in collision avoidance and NOT how good or bad the vehicle is. The modern car may have improved tremendously over the older cars BUT the capabilities and perception of the human (the road user) has NOT improved (changed) at all between then and now so no new justification or reason to change the current speed limits came up.

It is true that poor driving skills, recklessness, negligence and criminal behavior (breaking the law = speeding) are SOME of the factors that must be present to cause an accident but the other factor SPEED (speed is the rate of movement of an object) must ALWAYS be present as without it no collision can happen (no movement = no collision - unless you belief in motionless collisions of course). The test to decide if a factor (speed) is the cause of a result (collision) or not, is to simply take away the factor and see if the result still follow - if the result can not follow without the factor, the factor is obviously the cause for the result. A collision is a forceful contact between two or more objects due to the movement (speed) of one or more of the objects involved in the collision and the force of the contact (lethality) is caused by the rate of speed involved in the contact - so speed is not only an essential cause (requirement) for a collision to happen, it is also the main cause of the severity of the collision AND will determine if the collision can be avoided or not due to to reduced action/reaction time available caused by higher speeds. Today, in contrast to the past when current speed limits were set up, traffic is very much more dense and the typical distance between people/vehicles on the road is much less (much shorter distances) than in the olden times drastically reducing the available time for road users in which to act or react so current speed limits should in the interest of road safety be reduced and not increased. As to your moaning that speed limits make only the government / police department / insurance companies rich I counter with the following: (1) do not make the criminal speedsters who have no regard for the law or the safety of other road users out to be "poor victims" - they are not! (2) The desire to speed in public spaces can not outweigh the desire of the law abiding to be safe on their roads. (3) Speed limits can not be based on how good a driver you are or how fantastic your cars is - it must be based on the capabilities and expectations of the average road user. (4) Speed limits can not be based on your lightning like reflexes or the carbon fiber brakes of your car but on the reflexes and standards of the average driver and car. (5) "Let crime pay" - it cost to protect the law abiding road user and somebody must pay for it. I much prefer that the criminal rather than the law abiding tax payer do the paying (through heavy fines how else) - In fact I would like the criminal to pay so much that he also fully cover the cost of medical care, pain and suffering and the damages and stresses he caused. Arrive alive! and remember speed kills.

You're overthinking it

It's actually very simple.

Speed in and of itself doesn't cause accidents, regardless of what that speed may be. One can be at 0 MPH and be hit by someone else.

What causes accidents is an unexpected or unplanned disruption in a vehicle's velocity, linear or angular, due to hitting something or simply not anticipating or addressing the change properly.

In other words, it's not the motion but the disruption of it.

See also Newton's Second Law.

Put another way, most collisions occur from two distinct objects trying to simultaneously occupy the same space, and that simply doesn't work with motor vehicles.

However, the statement that speed is a factor in the severity of the damage and injury of a crash is entirely true.

I agree with Adam. Another thing that causes accidents is people going the wrong speeds. If everyone is traveling 115 (km/h) on a highway and you're going 95, you're the most dangerous driver out there.

speed doesn't cause accidents?

Sounds good to me.Make the driving tests 4 times as hard.No one with less than 5 years driving expeirience should be allowed on the roads to insure adequate driving skills.Then the roads should be safe for those that want to drive whatever speed they want because there would be far less drivers on the road to challenge your driving skills.

Speeding is for selfish people that don't give a crap about anyone else on the road.

Speeding, good or not?

Speeding renders you into less control of your car. If you are driving at 50mph, you can make a turn easily, but if you drive at 100 mph, that is impossible to make a turn.

Requirements for Driving

I have rarely read a statement as illogical as this one. I do agree that a tougher driving test may weed out a number of people who probably should not be driving. However, the second requirement calling for 5-years of driving experience before being allowed on the road is so ridiculous that it is funny. Where do you suggest a person GET that experience - backing the car out of the garage and down the driveway for Mommy and Daddy, doing laps around their house (thru the yard, of course), or ripping up some corn field?? On one hand, ALL traffic accidents would be prevented because NO ONE would gain that 5-years of experience so NO ONE would be allowed to drive. On the other hand, maybe someone who demonstrates reasoning skills like Bill's shouldn't be allowed to drive - at least not where their ability to THINK and make logical decisions could endanger others...like on any ROAD where there is traffic. Here's a better idea...make a mandatory I.Q. test part of the driving test. That would clear the roadways even more than Bill's requirements. 'Course, it would also clear the roadways of Bill himself.

I think he was joking

The guy who said that people not drive unless they have driven for 5 years was kidding...


"No one with less than 5 years driving expeirience [sic] should be allowed on the roads to insure adequate driving skills."

Wait, Whaaa....???

How, pray tell, shall those inexperienced drivers get their experience if they don't drive on the roads? Really now, your logic is non-existent. The permitting laws are designed to give new drivers a year to sit behind the wheel with an experienced, licensed driver to steer them through the morass of learning to drive (I remember how hard it was to learn to drive; I've had my license for six years now). The experienced driver is also supposed to help the learning driver begin to build a bank of good judgment by learning from the mistakes that inevitably occur. It is also a good idea for the supervising driver to have the trainee drive at or a little below the speed limit.

In the end, the young driver will gain enough experience and age to be out on his own, and he will have to decide for himself how he feels about the speed limit. The speed limit is just that: the LIMIT. Some people don't understand it, and I agree with you that they make it dangerous for everyone.

The 'wrong' speed is really a 'significantly differently' speed. However, while it may cause more accidents, the greater damage is done at higher speeds. The slower vehicle frequently is the cause of the accident, but is not involved in the car-nage. So the best scenario is a freeway with every car maintaining the speed limit, conditions permitting.

Thats the stupidest idea to make the tests 4 times as hard. Try more education not making the test harder.

Car accidents

Totally agree. Doesn't matter how hard it is. The government will always want a certain amount of passes to increase revenue. Early education is the answer.

i agree with nat boys just have the need for spped you all need to realise that if you stick to the limit and know how to dirve then everyone will be safe.

motorist, 44 years, delivery driver, 25 years

Speeders don't gain much, but lose a lot.
Quick to pass you, they end up just ahead of you at the next red light. Their driving style is hard on their nerves, hard on gas mileage, hard on brakes, and hard on vehicle maintenance. At the end of a day, they saved 15 minutes to a half-hour over the time they would have spent driving at the speed limit. Add to this the risk of tickets or accidents, and they gain NOTHING. If they got onto the road when they should have, instaed of hitting the'snooze' button for an extra 15 minutes in bed, no speeding would be necessary.

30 minutes a day only??

You must really have a boring life. 30 minutes a day equal over 10 years at the end of your life. 10 years more you could have spent with your wife and children. 10 years more you could have spent doing something other than driving. By the way don't say if your life ends because you speed the 10 years dont matter. You could die crossing the street, taking the bus, going to the bank, going on an airplane. That counter argument is just boring.

Ten years is more than 10% of

Ten years is more than 10% of the average lifespan and 30 minutes is less than 5% of a day, how in the world could your math be correct?

Because you are probably

Because you are probably using two different measurements. years and minutes are way different thus getting way different percentages

Ummmmmm. No, not really...

Years and minutes are different scales of the same things. A year can be converted into minutes to determine the appropriateness of the relationship.

And while the 5% and 10% were not an accurate measure, the point that was trying to be made was valid.

A person that saves 30 minutes a day (interesting that that write took the end of the scale most beneficial to their arguement) = 48 days to gain 1 day of time (24 hours to day / .5 hours = 48). So, in a year (365 days) we gain 7.6 days per year. Average lifespan of say 76 years and we get 76*7.6= 577.6 days. Accounting for sleep @ 8 hours/day (count extra time showering, using toilet, etc. and let me average to this - don't argue you only sleep 6 hours a day) and you get 577.6*0.66=381.2 days.

So, effectively, your speeding gains you slightly over 1 year of life. Subtract from that the loss of time for being in accident, hospital costs, legal costs, court time, etc. from effects of speeding, as well as effects on blood pressure, etc. from speeding and I would side with the initial writer.

Slow down, take a couple of minutes all will be ok. Put on a podcast of the news or a digital reading of a book or something and make back that time you would otherwise lose.

The end result/argument is the same - don't speed!

Great Counter-counterargument

Love the way you took simple math and showed the guy with the "gain ten years" comment where that time actually went. I agree with you, if you don't have to deal with court time, hospital costs, legal costs, etc., you will save significantly more than one year, because money (in reality) is congealed TIME. My only complaint is that you chose to post anonymously. It would be nice to know that someone so logical and calculating lived near me and was out on the roads which I drive on a regular basis.



If you consider how many accidents occur because of speed and momentary inattentiveness, then you can understand why we have speed limits. Unless your a UFO driver from mars, you probably should obey speed limits no matter how long it has been there. One, if you crash anyway you won't end up as mangled. Two, you're late to something driving 20 mph faster doesn't get you from home to work 5 highway miles away much faster. Three, there are jobs people have that take into account how people drive in an area and how the roads are, so they set the limit to keep people from getting hurt. So all in all, speed limits are to help keep people safer. No one is an acception, we all drive at different skill levels, but that doesn't mean nothing can happen to you.

Speed isn't the problem.

The Autobahn is much safer than US highways and there isn't a speed limit. Speed in itself isn't dangerous. Going significantly faster or slower than the prevailing flow of traffic is what is dangerous. As far as saving time goes, during urban commutes, the time savings is negligible. On a 500 mile road trip going 75 vs 55 mph will save you almost 2.5 hours.

Speed limits are about revenue. Plain and simple.

It is a question of kinetic

It is a question of kinetic energy. KE = half of the mass times the velocity squared! Increasing your velocity exponentially increases the amount of energy that your car has. More energy means more damage during a crash. Speed is dangerous.

KE is not always dangerous

Kinetic energy is only dangerous when an impact occurs. Impact's are not always avoided by stopping, many can be avoided by maneuvering or accelerating out of the danger zone.

For example, why is it that Colorado is one of the last states to require motorcyclists to wear helmets? Because as a motorcyclist they are more maneuverable and capable of acceleration beyond that of most cars, therefor it is safer and better to NOT limit the viability of a motorcyclist so that he/she can avoid the incident instead of try to survive it. No helmet = more situational awareness. If drivers in automobiles maintained half the situational awareness of motorcyclists we would have safer roads and eventually higher speed limits.

It is always the minority that are target when it comes to driving.

Speeding doesn't make you a worse driver look at the autobon for example, drivers can drive as fast as they want. How often is there an accident there. When a driver drives fast a driver becomes more cautious and watches the road much closer and the other vehicles around. Meaning there would be less accidents, if anything in my opinion drivers that drive too slow cause accidents because then people get anxious and mad and decide to pass at inappropriate spots i would also have to agree with everthing Adam said before me.

Check the facts...

Germany spends a ton of money in design, upkeep and maintenance on their world famous attraction, the "Autobahn". They also are notoriously strict in enforcing posted limits (yes, there are unlimited zones, but they are strung together by limited zones). The roads are PRISTINE. Public transportation being so popular in smaller European countries also makes it so that most Germans who drive, drive a relatively late model, well-kept vehicle. When I was there the only junky cars I encountered on the Autobahn were driven by US service people who paid the military to bring their Chevettes along for the ride. Also, while there are less deaths per million miles driven (I could only find old info on that) it seemed to be understood by the locals that any sort of crash in an "unlimited zone" would generally result in fatalities. Not many people walk away from a 100mph rollover, no matter what your nationality. The driving age their is also 18 rather than 16. The fact that they don't put ages on drinking also seems to have a positive effect on drinking "maturity and responsibility" for new drivers, where in the US kids routinely use "cars" as their "bars" because there is no where they are allowed to do what we know they will do anyway. I'm just tired of hearing people shout about how safe the autobahn is comparatively when they have never been there or looked into the facts... it just sounds cool to say something rebellious about speed limits.... for those who cite this, I say, speed in Germany and see how long before you are pulled over by the Landespolizei (unlimited zones being the exception)... alternatively, get in an unlimited zone and see if you can handle a 100mph plus spinout... then I will shut up.


I have been to Germany and I have driven the Autobahn.

Yes, there are limited and unlimited zones. The limited zones are strictly enforced, but, really that's mostly unnecessary because for the most part Germans follow rules no matter how silly the rules are.

However, the limited zones in Germany are often set at a much higher limit than would be the case for an equivalent zone in the US and in many cases, the limits in those zones are enforced more by the laws of physics than the landespolizei.

Yes, accidents in the unlimited zones are often spectacles of carnage due to the KE involved, but, they are also quite rare.

Speed doesn't cause accidents. Differential speed causes accidents. On the autobahn, every driver understands that if the car behind you wants to go faster, you're too far to the left and you should move to the right. If you think you get pulled over quickly for speeding in the limited zones, you should see how fast people get pulled over for failing to yield in the unlimited zones. That's because the Germans understand that the guy going slow in the fast lane is the real source of disaster, even if the faster driver manages not to hit him in the process of the collision he caused.

In the US, generally, this accident causing party drives off oblivious to the fact that he caused an accident and is rarely prosecuted for his non-contact hit and run.


thanks your website helped me alot with a school project

Distracted drivers

The biggest threat to the driving public is the motorist who isn't paying attention to the task at hand -- operating a 3,000 pound projectile moving at 65mph. Every day I see dozens of female motorists gabbing away on cell phones, completely oblivious to the world around them. My traffic unit issues over 150 citations a week for this but the problem continues unabated.

These individuals are responsible for the overwhelming majority of rear-end collisions, and occasionally cause a serious wreck with life-threatening injuries.


Thank you so much your sited help me with a research paper and it helped alot.


i think speed its one of the causes of accidents

in response to OCSD Deputy

Funny that you single females out as unsafe motorists. Statistics show that males have more traffic accidents than femals...

teenage student

i think that if you want to make the driving test harder ya'll are all ridiculous.. i promise you right now if you make the driving test harder all the adults who drive would be totally screwed because your driving skills are not wonderful.. speeding is a leading cause of crashes, but want to pull out other reasons... inattention.. adults talk on their phones when driving more than us kids do.... DUIs its all adults right there.. i aint saying kids dont but heyy ya'll are worse.. when we are drunk we dnt always get behind a wheel and some of us are responsible and take keys.. i havent heard of adults taking any keys here lately.. hmmmm.. and DISOBEYING TRAFFIC SIGNALS.. apparently when your older u decide i've been driving for years and you dnt think u'll wrect so you go on, you hurry all that dumb stuff.. NEWS FLASH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! the sogns were put there for old ppl too!!!


You saved my life from the school P.E department. Ty.

re:teenage student

See though, it's not necessarily the test that would be harder, it's the fact that the laws\\regulations\\techniques have changed since way-back-when. plus, there's a #### load more people on the road now than then that would make everything more difficult.

Groups like this cause accidents

Where to start... Speeding does not cause acciidents! It reduces your time to react to a hazard. The only reason why people have accidents is at least one driver is not paying attention and/or is under-skilled. All of these other factors are either mitigating or agravating factors. What a bunch of idiots.

drunk and drive

Most issue that causes accidents on our roads is the behavior of drivers.They are drinking beers while driving ,that particular driver result indrunk and losses control on the roads.Me as atransport manager I request that according to AARTO if a driver fund drunk must be arrested instead of giving him or her fine.Im tellimg you this law will be approved soon.

Road too good

The roads in Africa are much better than they use to be, hence drivers are going too fast.


Revert back to stones and dirt road so driver slows to avoid bursting tyre.

or build system of reducing and braking speed at intervals.


thanks for all this information, helped with a school project. i hope this gets the message out to people to stop speeding!!

speed kills

Speed is adeliberate and calculated behavior where the driver knows the risk but ignores so speed lastly leads to loss of life, time and wealth than gain so before you speed think about this losses. Thanks

Slow the hell down....

Most accidents ARE caused by speeding. Knowing how to drive and to manuever your vehicle are not skills. Those are things you learn when taking the drivers tests. But SPEEDING is a skill. Anyone can speed but it takes a skilled person to do so without hurting himself or anyone else around him. Which is usually unheard of..so if u think u can speed becoz ur skilled well think again...but don't go out and try it...u just might not be as skilled as you thought...Follow the speed limit...its best to drive slow and enjoy the ride while it lasts anyways...life is too short..why make it shorter???

Speed kills

On the subject of speed, it is important to realize that, the high speed are not the only cause and major cause. SPEED VARIATION is the biggest culprit. Scientific studies proved that a deviation of about an approximately 30 km/h ish.... above and below the average traffic flow.

Say for example driving at 70km/h at a 120km/h zone causes gaps to close between vehicles. the more overtaking is done the higher the risk, etc.. I underwent driving test in Deutschland, nearly fail for driving 40km/h for more than 2 mins at a 70 km/h zone, with the argument that i caused gap reduction, congestion, disruption in average traffic flow bla bla bla .. hope that reasons it .. but there are better explanation than this..


Really? 15 years speeding and 1 accident. When I was backing up at a Chevron parking lot going less than 5MPH. Speeding FORCES you to do nothing EXCEPT drive. No texting, no cell phones, playing with the radio, staring at the passengers Im talking to in the car, JUST DRIVING... thats why and if you research it. Speeders (statistically proven) get into A LOT LESS accidents.


I think that they should go to church and save their soul instead of being in the world get spiritual.


they spelt behavior wrong lots of times

for me

drunk driving is the most common cause of car accidents.whereas most drivers losses their concentration on the road when they are drunk......


Officially speeding causes 3 percent of automobile accidents in Britain. Speeding is not nearly as dangerous as people think, and the speed limits are so ridiculously low in America. The Autobahn is a tribute to this fact and you are more than welcome to look up death rates and fatality numbers as much as you want. If you intend on speeding you should just be aware of how your car performs that is all. Cars cause accidents through poor performance. And having a race mentality causes accidents as well. You are not racing anyone your just speeding.

The Money pit verses real road safety

Be very careful what you wish for folks! I live in a State in which we now have ... wait for it

a 25Kph speed limit in certain suburban environments.

That is the ultimate end game for the logic that says 'road safety is only possible through the reduction in force' that is the proper term BTW for 'speed' which interestingly enough is a relative term and correctly does not really exist.

The real solution is a mix of sound driver education, sensible speed limits and realistic enforcement. Was it Mark Twains favourite saying that there are 'lies Dam lies and Statistics' well beware of those peddling simple statements like '95% of all accidents involve speeding' ... what the hell I have yet to see two stationary cars manage to collide!

Actually it is not speed that kills it is massive changes in velocity that does the job ask any fighter pilot what he feels under 8g! Same for you in the car that decelerates from 100 down to 0 in 10 feet!

So the real issue is how do we make the road safer let us try and stick to that outcome and we will all likely not have to bury one of our children which has to be the most awful of outcomes that comes out of this debate so much more often that it need.


any one moment when your conscience tell you 'come on what are doing' think twice and slow down

drunk driving

it causes a lot of accident due to drivers who are drunk........when those drivers met accident they blame other people.


u think speeding is not a problem then one day when u r in that ER room, u be regretting and remember abt this article...by then, u can find ur own answer.

Go Dennis!!

I fully agree with Dennis C. Ryan's comments. Way to put my thoughts into words, Dennis!!


what are your thoughts on driving fast through neighborhoods where there are childern playing

Thanks a lot

Thanks a lot you really helped me in my research. I wish that all people read that & to be carfule next time.

car accidents

l dont like car accidents put people at risk.

car accidents and speed

All of the above can contribute to an accident. But the thing about speed is that it increases the severity of an accident, and the injuries. My son was in an intersection accident. he was broadsided by a speeding driver in a 4x4 pick up truck. He suffered traumatic brain injuries because his brain went from 0 to 45 miles per hour in less than 1/100 of a second. the car he was a passenger in was pushed over 100' past the point of impact. My son will never be the same, and he requires 24 hr care. If the other driver had been doing the speed limit she could have slowed her truck enough that my son would have suffered no injuries, or she could have avoided the accident all together. Her speed caused his injuries.


Your son was broadsided? I'm sorry for this tragic occurence. But the fact you said 'intersection accident' caught my attention. Thereby, in your own words, you showed it was NOT speed that caused the accident, but the fault of either your son or the other driver's lack of attention. Speeding does not cause accidents. At worse, it aggravates a situation already in place. In proof, look at the Autobahn. There is a specific lane where if you ARE slower traffic and don't move to it, they fine you. There are hardly any wrecks on the Autobahn because driver's obey laws and signs in place. Their speed is not a factor.


Sorry...like it or not...the road is not a place for impatient people or those that like to pretend they are driving in the Indy 500. Intersections are where many accidents occur, no one should be going fast through an intersection. Speeding gives everyone less time to react, including the speeder. Citing the Autobahn as evidence that speed is not a significant factor in an intersection collision is naive. It is an intersection, not a controlled access highway; that said, speeding on highways is also dangerous. Your reaction time is affected seriously!

Speed does NOT cause accidents

Government statistics on accidents and the cause of accidentss over the last five years have shown that ONLY 3% of accidents are caused by speeding. The primary cause of accidents are drinking, use of illegal drugs, driver carelessnes and driver error.

90 percent of US drivers admit to speeding (five miles or more over the limit) on a regular basis. If speed is the root cause of accidents there should be many more accidents then there are since 90% of drivers are speeding on a regular basis.

Thiese speed statistics shows the fallacy of police speeding programs as a purpose for public safety (since speed causes very few accidents) and proves the intent to earn revenue through fines (since the police know that 90% of drivers routinely speed)

Uk perspective


The article states that 95% of root causes are driver behaviour. Travelling to fast for the conditions is contracted to 'speeding' but obviously 'speeding ' also means doing 71mph in a 70 mph zone.

So in reading these articles you need to be careful as do the writers in setting people up with the language used. Speeding is not specific enough.

I am a UK safety professional, I work with the UK police, Roads agencies and colleagues in the insurance industry as part of my job (not traffic related) and enough info has rubbed off on me to verify that the thrust of this article is genuine.

At the end of the day it is ordinary mum's and dad's who work for the police and the roads service, not government henchmen. They want to see a drop in road deaths because they meet the familys who have to deal with the aftermath.

I grew up steeped in motor racing culture, following road racing, superbikes, world rally and my home countries most dangerous race the North West 200 and the Isle of Mann TT. I love speed.

200mph high octane fun. Speed is grand when you all go in one direction and the road is closed with a perfect finish.

I used to have a 40 mile commute over irish country roads took about an hour every morning. I would book it, 75mph on some stretchs. Yet the same guys every day would pass me on blind corners and humpbacks doing 90. I used to swear at them and shout 'get up earlier you ****head and slow down'. Should have shouted at myself too, had a few near misses.

Then one snowy morning I had to drive the whole way at 30mph. I was 10 mins late.
Fast driving in some conditions is an illusion, accelerate hard brake hard, average slow.

So in closing , save some money, save some tyres, save a life, wise up, slow down or as you guys say Arrive Alive.

Safe home.


I agree with the rest; speed is not a cause. It makes it easier to crash if you are already inattentive, drunk, or something else. Also makes the crash worse. But if the behavior was avoided in the first place, then the crash would have been averted. Only exception is people spinning out their cars on turns, which could be said more to be stupidity. The whole 'speed kills' garbage is just justification for unfair fines.

Speed enforcement kills because it takes attention away from the real problems; tailgating drivers, inattentive drivers, drunks etc. Cops who could be doing good are wasting their time enforcing unfairly low speed limits. Case in point, there's this road with some developments on either side and a few houses a way down, but its wide. Huge shoulders too. Has been 50 for years. Residents whined about making it 40 forever. Nothing has really changed on the road, but the county reduced it to 35 (yes, THIRTY FIVE) because they said it couldnt be 40. Guarantee that within 3 years people will get pissed enough to make it 45 or 50 again, but only after hundreds upon hundreds of unfair tickets. Is it unsafe to go 50 there now because some idiots whined and it was put too low? The area is SAFER to go fast in than many 45 and 50 mph roads I have seen. Also, low speed limits contribute to tailgating, as some people try to obey them somewhat (10 over) while the rest continue going their original speed (IE 15-20 over). They're arbitrary often too; same road can be 50 in one place and 40 in another place, or highway at 60 in one state and 70 in another, etc.

no title

I had a discussion with a neighbor that cell phones are as dangerous as running a red light what is your opinion

Safety Devices

When vehicle design did not involve government mandated safety devices (safety glass, seat belts, airbags, etc.), accidents were more lethal. Yes, innocent victims would die in accidents that would be survivable today, but so would the drunk/aggressive/irresponsible driver that caused them. They were thus removed from the driving population, making it paradoxically safer. To really make driving safer, the stakes must be raised. Remove all safety devices and install daggers and broken glass to all dashbards. I gaurantee a dramatic reduction in traffic accidents.

Level of experience

i have to agree that speed does kill but it is because of inexperienced drivers driving at high speed, if you take race car drivers for example how many of them have died from travelling at high speeds, some yes but it was probably because they hit another car in the race, so that proves that if you have an experienced driver at the wheel of a high speed car it is less likely that they will have an accident


whether you like or not speed kills, and i agree with tina YOU WILL HAVE TO SEE TO EXPERIENCE.

Its all good when you are putting the foot on the paddle, but the Q is where are you rushing to?

Speeding does kill

The ones that say that speeding does not kill should not be on the road. Speeding does kill and I know a few people that died iby the time they were 21 because of speeding. One lost control on a curve and hit a tree and the engine was in the passenger compartment. That would not have happend if he was driving the 25 or 30 mph speed he should have been driving on a city back street. Another one I know lost control on a curve and rolled the car. I also saw what happens when a semi speeds. It causes an almost eplosion when it hits stopped cars on the interstate. People that say that speed does not kill have not heard about the 10s of thousands of people that were killed because of it. They say it is thngs like distracted driving etc. that are the cause of deaths, but it is the speeding along with such activities that cause the death.

Impacts kill. Speed does not.

If speed kills, then can you name precisely what speed... kills? If speed kills, as a matter of fact, it will be predictable and repeatable. It will be scientific. So, can you name that speed?

No... No, I don't think you can. That's because speed does not kill. Speed did not kill your friends in the car accidents you reference. Driving in an unsafe manner for the conditions is what killed them. Driving beyond the limits of their vehicle is what killed them. That can happen at any speed. Safe drivers need not to follow a speed limit to maintain safe driving habits. Safe drivers can drive at speeds that are comfortable for them, their abilities, and within the confines of the performance their vehicles are capable of.

If you're driving a high-end BMW, Porsche, Audi, Merc, etc. equipped with high performance tires, large brakes, and a large engine, and all the latest stability equipment... I challenge you to prove that driving an econo box at the speed limit is safer than the high-performance vehicle moving 30+mph faster.

You need to put speed in the right context. It's a condition. A factor. One of hundreds. In order to understand the big picture, and to properly assess risk, you need to combine that factor with not just mechanical factors, but also road conditions, and the human factor as well. An even greater risk to safety is driving with bald underinflated or overinflated tires, bad shock absorbers, sagging springs, tires rated underrated for the way you're pushing them, poorly maintained brakes, small brakes. These are the vehicles you should be most concerned with, because they're all around us. At ANY speed the drivers of these vehicles are dangerous. And they most certainly affect YOUR safety.

Now, combine a poorly maintained mini-van with the kinds of things a typical soccer mom does when she's got a car full of kids. She's doing her hair, she's putting on her makeup, she's talking on the phone, sipping her coffee, she's swatting the kids in the back seat, they're jumping around without seat belts on. Is she paying attention? No. Does she care about her safety? No. Is she attentive of the lane she's in, the drivers around her, and whether anyone is next to her when she changes lanes? Nope. Now imagine what happens when a vehicle like that exceeds the speed limit. This is what speed enforcement is designed to curtail. But what we're now witnessing is the widespread abuse of speed enforcement to impact safe drivers who drive above the speed limit in a manner that does not impact anyone's safety, merely for the purposes of revenue generation... under the thin veil of "safety".

Driving beyond the speed limit is not synonymous with reckless, unsafe driving. Unsafe driving is driving beyond the capabilities of yourself or your vehicle. What we need to be focusing on is lobbying law enforcement to engage in enforcement that is symbiotic with actual safety, and not merely a facade of safety that suits their revenue goals. Let's begin with lane courtesy, a law that's been on the books for a long time... and the system by which our multi-lane freeway system was designed. Once we get our heads in the right place regarding efficiency, reinforcing predictable driving habits of courteous drivers who are attentive and focused, we can then begin actually making serious progress towards a revolution in safe driving. Without educating drivers using public service announcements, and proper law enforcement, safe driving will be a fallacy.

Variation of speeds kill

Some that have commented here say that the distraction of speed limit signs kill. He has not seen the facts that variation of speeds cause a lot of accidents and when you increase your speed and are in an accident the forces that occur on the car and your body are tremendously increased. They believe that because they say speed makes no difference that it will somehow change the laws of physics.

speeding can kill

people imagine if you get a puncture driving at a high speed, will you be able to control your car well ? i dont think so. some cars are very light and when speeding with them becomes risky as they may be blown by air

A puncture at any speed is

A puncture at any speed is very bad. At high speeds it's even more likely to end in disaster, but that's not really an argument. The solution is to avoid punctures.

Also, I drive a fairly light car at fairly high speeds, and I do feel the blowing on windy days. If I was an incompetent driver, it could end in disaster. But I'm not, and I find that it's quite easy to move my steering wheel the sixteenth of an inch that is required to adjust for the wind.

THe people who can't do that shouldn't be on the road.

Cell phones kill much more than speeding

Speed limits surely are or should differ between trucks and passenger cars. Though most of the roads have one speed limit for all vehicles, no matter what. This makes speed limits ineffective.
Speeding by itself makes only 3% od all road accidents in the US. Compared to 30% due to cell phones talk or texting.


I read a really good book on the subject Traffic. I recommend it to all.

Speeders Are Part of The Problem

Though causes of vehicle accidents range from inattentiveness, aggressive driving, cell phone use to equipment failure to poorly engineered roadways, speed is a major factor. Whether it is the driver who has to weave through to get in front of every other car on the road or the driver who stays fifteen miles-per-hour under the limit, speed differential is the cause of many accidents.

The speed limit is the law. It is there to keep all vehicles moving at about the same speed, thus reducing the need to pas and chance of collision. Those who drive at excessive speeds are violating the law and endanger others on the road. That is why they get tickets and fines.

If you don't approve of the speed limit on a road, highway or in your state, and you have a reasonable argument against it, get it changed and then go faster.

Meanwhile, obey the law and don't endanger those of us who already do.


The Speed Kills example is just B.S., if the law is really base on braking distance. The speed limit should be different for every car/engine/tire configurations because they all have different brake performance.

Lack of correct judgement and driving skill are the main cause, imo.

Poor road Condition

Nothing kills more than poor road conditions in our country. Nigeria still bask in the euphoria of bad governance and insensitivity to security of life and properties. Such unresponsiveness has caused Nigeria untold hardship most especially road users.
For instance, Over ten years now, Lagos-Benin-Onitcha road, a major highway carrier linking the East with the West was a nightmare for both industrialists, traders, citizenry of the Nation. Economic activities has been paralyzed while the production and agric sectors surfferd untoald losses due to truck breakdown and several thousands of Nigerian ended their life abruptly to fatal accidents, frequent truck and petrol tanker fire explosions etc. No wander our dear former works minister; Hon Madam wept openly on site inspection of the road.. three years latter people are still dying..
Uhnnm.. Thank God for gookluck.


this web page has been a great help to me with my research paper.

reckless driving

Drivers do not care what happens to people so for that they drive carlessly. So please I beg drivers to drive with care no matter where they are going to

car accidents in oman

in my country people get hurted by car accidents.. here the cars are travelling around 180km per hour..could u just belive..
my friend died because ofher father car speed and at the last they all died but her small brother left over..soo am telling that car accideants are the most reason for death..


I agree with Adam. Another thing that causes accidents is people going the wrong speeds. If everyone is traveling 115 (km/h) on a highway and you're going 95, you're the most dangerous driver out there.


Speed doesn't kill kids. Bad drivers do. If your going 190mph and u hit something or lose control then guess what, you fail as a driver for many reasons. I've been a doctor for 18 yrs, seen a lot and as a hobby have gone to three racing schools. If your skilled and engaged in driving well then u won't go faster than u can control (what others do {like pull out in front of u as your doing 100} is their fault) and thusly speed isn't the culprit. The problem comes from those who aren't skilled enough to know their limits, their cars limits and the road conditions. I've gotten speeding tickets but never once caused an accident, I drive passionately and with the intention to avoid actions that would make other drivers change their actions all while enjoying what I'm doing.

If ppl loved driving they would be far better and yea as it is maybe a 3rd of the ppl on the road now would still be there if driving tests were as stringent as they should be.

Citizen, Father, CPA

Speed Kills. Yet Government continues to attempt to regulate driver behavior in the name of saving lives and high medical costs of rehabilitation . If Government would regulate the top speed that urban vehicles were manufactured to achieve, how may more lives could be saved with this one major law?


All cars should be equipped to travel NO faster than 75 miles per hour. Why is it o.k. for cops to use their flashing lights, sirens and speed just to get through a stop light? The cops should obey the same laws as the citizens they serve.
Cars are made on a daily basis to exceed the speed limit....why?
Also, car insurance should be like health insurance. The same coverage for all people including the rates. Our society has become so quick to sue over every little thing that these the current law allows people to gain in monetary ways for a death in a accident.

75mph? Seriously? I drive

75mph? Seriously?

I drive 80mph+ on a regular basis, and have never endangered anybody. It's all about the conditions, and speed isn't necessarily the evil. If you need proof, look at the autobahn. People drive 175-225mph in the left lane on a regular basis, but accident rates don't soar. Why? Because the roads are built better and because the people behave more appropriately.

Eg. The left lane is only for passing. Never pass in the right lane, and watch for traffic moving faster than you so that you can get out of its way.

That doesn't happen here in America because the average driver is insufficiently tested, is distracted by cell phones etc, and is an arrogant asshole who likes to inconvenience others.


i am doing course work on accidents on the roads, and when your going on to websites its sayin different things that dont acctualy happen and it confuses me. i think most accidents are caused by speed and behaviour. sometimes drugs and drink driving can cause it, also being tired and driving and falling asleep behind the wheel.. well i dno but i will find out for sure!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

defect in vehicles

defection in vehicles such as tyre bursting,failure of brakes.due to such occurenc the driver loses control of the car and an accidents results.

Its the choice that kills

I feel compelled to comment on this post. This is not something I do often. Firstly I agree with the fact that competent drivers are rare, and that we as a society need to improve our driving skills. I also agreed that speed is not the 'culprit' in the cause of accidents, but certainly increases the probability and the severity of the consequences if or when an accident occurs. It is the behavior of an individual that 'CHOOSES' to speed that is the 'CULPRIT'. It is the individual RISK we are willing to take (chance), based on the skill, knowledge and desire (Competency) that allows us to make informed and competent decisions.

Now let

Tailgating is the worst way of driving

I've crashed two times by tailgating.

I think the article should

I think the article should note the difference between speeding above speed limit and what is considered safe by research especially since most driver drive at the speed they judge to be safe not what the post says. Decrease the speed limit does not really slow down traffic much but does cause a much bigger differential where the majority of people would want to pass the slow cars who are in compliance with the law, the added need to pass is more accident prone and can cause emotional/irrational responses. On the other hand, increase in speed limit increase the compliance rate and data shows little increase in speed and it decreases the chance of drivers wanting to pass another car, improving road courtesy and less angry drivers who might cause accidents because they get stuck behind a car that is doing "legal" speed.

Of course, speed kills, its pure physics but it does not justify an artificially lowered speed limit as theres more complication and negative change in behavior that is more than kinetic forces.

Road accidents in Ghana.

Lack of knowlege, poor maintence on both small & big trucks, poor road maintence, poor education on driving, buying driving licence whiles in homes. All this contrubute accident in Ghana.


Speed is one of hundreds of variables that influence road safety. Certainly, given the same driver, in the same car, under exactly the same circumstances, the faster the vehicle is traveling, the more damage will be done. Beyond that, generalizations are impossible. If you want to discourage speeding, cite gas savings, not some pseudo-ethics about the immorality of going a few miles over an arbitrarily established speed limit.

Speeding and lame justifications...

I haven't read all the comments above, but I've read enough to get the gist. People give all kinds of rationalizations to justify their own behavior, and speeding is no different. Newer cars, speed limits unreasonably slow, everyone else is speeding... these are but a few.

What NOBODY addresses is SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY. The underlying rationale for so many of the comments above is that the individual is responsible to NO ONE but him/herself on the highway. For a civilized society to survive - and I mean "survive" literally - there needs to be a sensibility in everyone that in modern urban society we live very close to each other... AND that we have an EQUAL responsibility for the safety of OTHERS as the safety of OURSELVES. On the road, we are frequently no more than a couple of feet from our neighbors. It's cheek to jowl !

IF... and I mean a really BIG IF... you or I decide to care about something other than our own selfish desires... we will WANT to adjust our driving habits accordingly. If we see driving to be a collective and mutual activity involving ourselves and everyone else on the road with us, then we will adopt a COLLABORATIVE attitude as opposed to a COMPETITIVE one. Allowing others to merge in front of us, maintaining several car lengths between ourselves and car in front of us, cooperating with the flow of traffic, slowing down when someone needs us to surrender the right-of-way, seeing the other guy as my neighbor and friend rather than a nameless, faceless nuisance... all theses things would automatically make the roads infinitely safer.

Am I my brother's (sister's) keeper? YOU BET !!!

Thanks for reading this.

Speed Does Kill

I have been in this business quiet long ,there is no doubt about it. When a motorist at inconsiderate and unreasonable speed in an area with a speed limit , the chance of meeting an accident is high. Only reasonable and trained person can avoid an accident after taking an account of other road users. With a high speed at hand compliment with density of traffic, complacency of other road users i.e most are being inattentive while on the road, unfamiliar road conditions pluses inexperience driving technique, can he be not risking someone else lives. Likewise slow speed also kills , there are instances people get killed in hypermarts parking areas , by golf buggies. How do draw a line here. Unlike autobahn , it mean for high speed motorists. Not for weak - hearted n slow drivers whom can be equally dangerous to others. The other high contributors to the statistics are motorcyclists and cellphones users ( texting n talking ).

Slow drivers cause just as many accidents as fast drivers


Tonnes of information with links here dismissing the myth that speed kills.

If everyone is driving 75 mph, the person doing 55 mph will be more likely to cause an accident. All the "speed kills" fearmongering is actually making the roads less safe.

Let me explain this simply for you

If you have ever been to a race track when they have an open track day you would have noticed that the officials will seperate the drivers into groups depending on ability of the car and/or driver. When a driver is seen to be going too slow or too fast for the group they are in, they will be pulled from the track and put down or up a group. This is done mainly for safety reasons, as the slower driver could easily be hit by one of the faster drivers. In other words, it's done so that the faster drivers can go fast SAFELY.
It's not hard to understand that more skill and/or a better car will allow you to go faster without crashing, which is why there is a variation in speeds for the different groups.

If the officials decided to put all the cars on the track at the same time and all the drivers wanted to drive at the speed they were able to safely drive at, there would be carnage as the faster drivers tried to avoid the slower ones. It wouldn't take too long for one of the faster cars hit a slower car and a crash would happen.
Now, if you told all the drivers they had to drive at a speed that was roughloy average for what the cars were capable of, the less experinced drivers would soon wind up in the kitty litter, or in a tyre wall. This would simply be unavoidable as some of the cars (even with more experienced drivers) just wouldn't be able to handle the high speeds required to keep up.
The alternative would be to pick a safe speed that everyone could handle. The really experience drivers would almost never crash, and the inexperienced ones would have a much better chance of staying on the track. Not much fun for the better drivers though!

So the difference between a race track and the open road, is that variation in driver or car ability is almost completely eliminated on a race track, but on the open road, drivers and cars of various ability are on the road at the same time, and it is unavoidable.
Speed limits as they are will never prevent all the accidents, and even reducing the limits probably wouldn't help much either. But increasing them, and certainly exceeding them, can (and does) only make it worse.

Shurely even those of you who advocate for higher speed limits can understand that?

Speed Kills - But So Does "Normal" Stupidity

The statements made that speed is not a factor in accidents doesn't hold water. Just do the friggin' math, people. The faster an object is moving, the less of a guard band of reaction time you have. The simple and well-known laws of physics should tell you that once an object is in motion, it takes a helluva lot more effort to stop that object if it's moving beyond a reasonable speed.

If speed wasn't a factor, then why don't you drive around town at full throttle? Try that for a day and see what happens, with or without traffic laws....dummy.

It almost pains me to have to explain that to someone (without being condescending). Having driven for 30 years and thousands of miles (or km), I've witnessed on a daily basis people who barely have the skills to push a lawnmower, let alone handle a 2 ton vehicle. Countless documentaries and TV reports have clearly shown that people are IDIOTS that can't remember the last sign they saw, fail to use their rear view mirror correctly, can't focus their attention on what's in front of them for more than 2 minutes, and haven't a clue how a 4-way stop even works. Factor in the attention-grabbing toys they bring along with them for the ride (i.e., cellphones, unruly kids and pets, gut-rumbling audio equipment) and you have to wonder why ten times more people don't die on the roads each day.

Let's not forget the injustices and irregular implementation of the laws. How many people are allowed to drive that have serious health issues and their doctors turn a blind eye to it. Yet, in my own personal case, had my license revoked due to extremely mild sleep apnea while my in-laws had quadruple bypasses, undiagnosed narcolepy, restless leg syndrome, cataracts, coronary stents, and poor driving skills... (my license was reinstated after I went to see a real sleep specialist, rather than a guy who just wanted to sell CPAP machines).

Einstein said it best: "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

The only way road "accidents" can be resolved is by taking the independent driver out of the equation, and creating self-driving car like Google is working on. Once that becomes universal, the statistics will shift dramatically. We'll have to find other ways to "thin the herd". Another war or natural disaster anyone?

Speeding is not the biggest factor in accidents.

You guys fail to realize that bad drivers are the cause of accidents.
Speed may play a part yes but a good driver knows what speed to travel at regardless of what's posted.
I'll give you an example.
Someone stops in front of me suddenly. I hit them. Most common type of accident.
I was following too close- that is a driver skill in order to figure out what the safe distance is
I did not stop fast enough- small factor in speed but yet again.. drivers fault they should know what speed and have a faster reaction time
Wasn't paying attention- all driver error
Driver in front wasn't paying attention so they slammed on brakes hard then u hit them- driver error AGAIN
Look at speeding PSA commercials every single one can't put the blame on speed.. it's simply driver error. If they were serious about wanting to save lives they'd have stricter testing guidelines. Speeding tickets are a revenue.. Get your head out of your asses people.. god

"Driver in front wasn't paying attention"

Regardless of what you think, the driver in the front of a rear-end collision is NOT at fault. The driver in the rear cannot anticipate the proper distance needed for every situation, therefore, driving the posted speed (and BTW, posted speeds are the MAXIMUM...in California, the speed limit varies by road and traffic conditions, but never exceeds the posted limits) and allowing enough distance to stop in all circumstances is not only safer, but the law as well. Regardless of how the driver in front stops, if the driver in the rear hits the other, they are at fault.
Personal experience: I was stopped at a light with three cars in front of me. My passengers were telling me to creep up and not leave such a huge distance from the car in front of me. I watched as a car behind me (DUI, hit and run) raced full speed into the back of my car. Only because I had left that distance did I get hit hard, rool forward and not hit the person in front of me.
And, speeding tickets are not simply for revenue. They are to protect all drivers from harm based on many years of data to back them up. To think otherwise is ignorant. And if you believe that it is only for revenue, then keep your money and abide by the law. FYI...when you sign for your license, you agree to abide by those laws. If everyone did this, it would be less expensive for everyone. Less collisions = lower insurance premiums, less citations = less fines levied, fewer collisions with traffic barricades, trees, buildings = less wastefull spending to rebuild infrastructure.


how do you reduce human error? slow down

Throughout the history of the

Throughout the history of the automobile, people have blamed the car for everything from breaking down to developing problems that cause accidents. Or we blame the manufacturer for building a defective product. I, for one, believe that blaming both the car and the manufacturers is wrong. I don't believe that manufacturers deliberately set out to build a bad car. I think it has to do with the pressures govt. makes on car manufacturers. Changes in laws every year to make cars safer, etc.

I totalled my car a couple of

I totalled my car a couple of weeks ago.........i hit a kangaroo.
I was traveling at the speed limit.
If I was speeding, i would have been past the point of impact a couple of secs earlier and therefore not hit the roo. And of course if I was traveling slower, skippy would have bounced out and into the bush on the other side without incident.
Crashes have nothing to do with speed.....how 'bout we mark up all crashes as "wrong spot - wrong time" - or "fate"

Informative article or editorial?

This author, whomever it is, does have some relevant points to make. It is unfortunate that the tone of this article is so accusatory, preachy, and just plain unpleasant. "...since most people are not willing to admit to the more serious actions...". A statement such as this is an opinion, and it has no evidence to support it. Studies, both psychological and sociological, show that people actually ARE willing to admit when they're wrong, they ARE basically honest and truthful, and they DO tend to behave in altruistic ways. It appears that, instead of being a factual article that might reveal some important, and perhaps difficult to hear, information that was written by a professional, this was written by an amateur - an opinionated amateur with an ax to grind. Why not call this what it is - an editorial - an opinion? Otherwise, rewrite it so it isn't so condescending and so negative. When has it ever been effective to attempt to bludgeon people over the head with the truth? Feel free to disagree with me. However, a professional would have cited their sources - at a minimum, the dictionary from which the definition of 'accident' was borrowed. Whomever wrote this did nothing to give credit for borrowed information. Well, I would expect someone willing to commit plagiarism to be one whom would expect most others to be as equally dishonest and one whom would not see much good in others. I guess that would explain the tone in this editorial.


It was never speed that caused them. Here is how I can prove speed is actually not a problem:
If we were all driving Model-T Fords, then going 50km/h would be very dangerous. If we were all driving UFOs with anti-collision systems, not going at warp speed would be a waste of time.

The speed at which you can driving safely depends on:
1. Your vehicle
2. The road
3. Yourself (skills, mental/physical state, awareness etc)

Main cause of vehicular accident

HUMAN FACTORS: This accident is caused as a result of driver's negligence and human error such as Driving under the influence of alcohol, accident cause due to drunkness of the driver. Distration while driving, for example answering mobile phone calls, distration from the children inside the vehicle.Negligence of speed signs, over speeding is one of the most common causes of accident it is advisable for drivers to always check for speed limit signs and keep to it. Finally, Driver fatigue, this occurs when a driver refuses to take a rest or break after driving for a long hours and distance.
the most common causes of vehicular accident is human factor, although this can be prevented by paying good attention on road and avoiding all kinds of distraction like eating, drinking while driving.

Driver Unawareness Causes All Accidents

Despite the inclusion of 3 other areas causing accidents, I am firmly convinced due to my own experiences, and being a yoga teacher for over 40 years, that all accidents could have been prevented were the operator of the vehicle been fully present while driving their vehicle.

I suggest that all driver trainees be required to undergo some form of meditation or mindful focusing in order to obtain a license. Without teaching human beings to 'keep their minds on the road,' all the other efforts will be minimal. I have found that listening to relaxing &/or rhythmic music contributes to my 'being in the flow' and all my moves being in harmony with other drivers on the highways. After a musical drumming event, I literally feel myself almost float down the highway, and nothing whatsoever bother me, drivers cutting in, tailgaters, etc.

Let's assume full responsibility as conscious/aware beings for what happens in all our driving experiences, and if we are involved in an "accident," then learn the lesson it posed for us; i.e. where was our mind focusing at the time of the accident?

views on road traffic crashes: causes, speeding, enforcement.

As is to be expected - a lot of different opinions and recommendations! Unfortunately most of the respondents base their comments on raw emotion and very little fact or logic. Many respondents are more concerned with playing with words and arguing about the meaning of words rather than addressing the questions and basics of the topic, still more hate the "crimp" placed on their "freedom" to speed in shared public space so they will always be anti speed limit and anti enforcement - nothing wrong with any of this as it makes the dabate more interresting. Herewith my penny's worth:

The argument about speed seems to revolve mainly around four aspects: (1) speed as a cause of road traffic collisions: (2) "speed kills", (3) speed limits, and (4) enforcement of speed limits.

(1) Speed as a cause of crashes: The first problem here is that people seems to have a widely different interpretation of the word "speed" when it is used in the context of road traffic crases. Let us define it a little so everyone attach the same meaning to it.
"a collision (road traffic crash) is the forceful impact (contact) between two or more objects of which at least one is MOVING in relation to the other". The essential element here is "MOVEMENT" (motion) as there can be no collision if there is no movement - except of course if your belief in motionless crashes!). Movement require time, distance, direction and rate of movement in relation between two or more bodies to exist. "Speed" in the context of road traffic crashes means the "the rate of movement between two or more objects when they make contact". The test for determining whether a factor (speed) is the CAUSE of a result (collision) is to take away the factor and see if the result still follow. Clearly the collision (result) wont occur if speed (movement) is not present - so speed must be the first requirement (cause) for a collision to occur.
Touching without impact is not considered a road traffic crash (collision) in the context of traffic safety. "Impact" in the context of road traffic crashes means "force with the potential to cause damage, injury or death". Impact can only be present in a crash if a measure of speed is involved at the time of the crash (just as there can be no crash without motion, there can be no impact without motion - unless you belief in motionless impacts of course!). The test to determine if speed (movement) is indeed the cause of impact is to take away the element speed and see if the impact still follow. Speed cause impact.
Please note: I don't say that speed is the ONLY cause of road traffic collisions (it requires two or more factors to cause a collision) - I only say that speed (movement) is ONE of the factors causing collisions AND the one factor without which no road traffic crash can occur. (remember: no movement/speed no contact/impact).
(2) "Speed kills": Nobody will dispute that it requires some measure of impact (force) to bring about any damage, injury or death in a road crash (unless of course if you belief that impact don't cause damage, injury or death!). Impact is the product of (caused by) movement/speed. The test to determine whether impact is being caused by speed is to take away the speed and see if the impact still follow (remember the cause/effect principle). If speed is not the originator and therefore the cause of your death in a road crash please tell me what it is that cause your death.
Speed kills - unless you belief that motionlessness kills of course)
(3) Speed limits: It seems that a lot of respondents only hates the enforcement of speed limits more than they hate the speed limits itself!
Drivers can obviously NOT be allowed to go faster,

In the first place, than they are able to perceive a potential situation, recognise it as a threat, properly decide what would be the best way of reacting to it, react to it and allow enough time for the remedy, like stopping or swerwing in time, to take effect - in the road traffic contexts this is called the typical reaction time of a driver. In order to determine the safest speed limit the EFFECTIVE average reaction time of the majority of road users must be used (effective reaction time = average human reaction time + a reasonable extra margin of time for safety reasons). The probable distance at which the average driver will usually first see a potential threat is also important in calculating the safest speed limit for the area as this will determine the time available to effective react before the driver reach the spot where the threat's at. The probable distances to threat keeps getting shorter as traffic congestion is increasing leaving less and less effective reaction time for drivers - so speed limits should be lowered instead of increased for safety sake.

In the second place, drivers cannot be allowed to go faster than other road users expect them to go. Virtually ALL driving decisions are based on what one expect other road users to do and one's previous experience of what other road users usually do. Example: When a driver wants to cross a road he looks out for approaching vehicles. If the approaching vehicle is, based on his previous experiences (like people is usually driving within the speed limits) far enough away he will start to cross. Imaginge what will happen if the approaching vehicle is moving at 130 miles per hour instead of the 30 miles per hour it is expected to do in this case.

One respodent stated that since cars are so much better than the old cars when speed limits were set, he should be allowed to drive faster. He miss the point - his car may have got better but HE did not as the average reaction times of the human species has not changed that much since then. Collisions are caused much more by human reaction than vehicle specs.

Speed limits can never be higher than the required effective reaction time of the average human, or so fast that the point of threat is reached in a period shorter than the average reaction time, or higher than what other road users expect people to go on specific sections of the road, or which is unsuitable for the local traffic density or road conditions. Unfortumately we can never allow public roads with no speed limits as too many Americans are completely irresponsible and incompetent for that - and please don't refer to the Autobahn as The average American is nowhere like the average german so its useless to do so. Speed limits must be set according to the competense of the average (lower) road user and not to that of the gewiz driver with his supercar in order to cater for everyone's overall safety. So speed limits must be there - and of the conservative rather than liberal kind. If you must speed go to a racing track but stay of the shared public spaces for that.
(4) Enforcement of speed limits: Actually nothing to say about this - either you are a sober, adult responsible law abiding citizen who obeys the laws of the majority and respect public safety and shared public space rules (even the ones you dont like or agree with) or you are a criminal (law breaker). Much more people agree with speed limits and enforcement of speed limits than the few who moans about it so deal with your dislike for it.
Moaning about the fact that government/police/insurance is "making money" out of speed limits and the enforcement of speed limits make only sense to those (the speedsters)who have to pay that money - law abiding citizens dont moan as they dont have to pay that money.
I belief that "crime must pay". It cost a tremendous amount of money to provide for the safekeeping (law enforcement) of our public roads and somebody must pay for it. I much more prefer that the criminal rather than the innocent law abiding tax paying citizen bear that cost. In fact I would like that the criminal pay very much more (by way of fines how else?) than they do now so that they can also cover all of the costs for the pain and suffering, deaths, damages, medical treatment, loss and stress they cause by their bad behavior. Dont regard or hold up speedsters as poor innocent victims - they are not, they dont give a rats ass for the safety rules of society or the safety of you and me or our loved ones. All the bad things happening to them are of their own doing (and most bad things happening to us on the roads are also of their doing!).

Menance of Over- Speeding on our Roads.

Frankly speaking very high percentage of roads crashes are over-speeding related, most especially in most of African countries or the developing countries generally. imagine when a heavy duty vehicles broke down in a blind spot or sharp road bend and may be with just little lost of concentration or at a blink of eyes driving with a very high speed, what do you think will happen...
Vehicles traveling at night without rear light...another vehicle with worn-out engine pumping out smokes like something else, a vehicle coming with at very high speed... what else..

Don't Stay Left

How about use the left lane for passing only. I see so many tempers flare due to idiots just hanging out in the left lane. Pull over and let faster traffic go by and I promise, there will be less accidents.

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