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Speed and the dangers

Feb 6, 2015

 Source: Infopolitie.co.uk

The government estimates that speed is involved in 30 percent of accidents. Moreover, greater speed also leads to a more serious accident outcome. A right of way error at 30 km/h probably leads to some collision damage, but at 80 km/h the risk of (serious) injuries is already very high. Studies have shown that lowering the average speed by just 5 mph can lead to a 30% reduction in accidents.

50 km roads

You are many mater more likely to be involved in an accident in a residential area than on a motorway or highway. Traffic in the city (or village) is more intense and the differences between vehicle use are greater. Consider, for example, bicycles and cars. There is danger at every intersection with taking and giving right of way. Therefore, observe speed and visibility at intersections. The following applies here: adjust your speed at every intersection in order to brake or stop in time.

80 km roads

Because speeds are naturally higher on 80-km roads, the average driver is more alert than on 50-km roads. Despite this, most deaths and injuries occur on these roads. 20% of annual minor injuries, 32% of annual hospital injuries and 48% of annual deaths occur on these types of roads.

Auto (highways)

Basically, auto (express) roads are the safest roads because there is no mixing of slow and fast traffic and everyone drives in the same direction. Excessive speed also has its limitations here, such as sticking. This brings aggressiveness in traffic, putting other traffic at risk at high speeds, such as passing on the right and using the emergency lane.

Speed checks

Aside from whether you agree or disagree, it might be good to take a moment to point out the speed at which you are eligible for a fine in our country.

The speed limit within built-up areas is generally 50 kilometers per hour. There may be deviations of 30, 60 or 70 kilometers per hour. Outside built-up areas, apart from occasional restrictions, the speed is 80 kilometers per hour.

The setting value of the speed control devices is 7 kilometers above the speed limit. So you will only be flashed if you are driving at 7 or more miles above the speed limit by radar.

People who receive a giro slip from the Central Judicial Collection Agency (CJIB) for a speeding violation will see the measured speed indicated on it with the comment “after correction”. That correction is a result of a Supreme Court ruling on Dec. 12, 1995.

At the time, the Supreme Court concluded that the technical accuracy value of the measuring equipment used could vary by three percent. As a result, three percent is deducted from the measured speed (the correction), and then the fine is determined. In practice, the following deduction is used.

000 to 100 km/h : 3 km
101 to 130 km/h : 4 km.
131 to 165 km/h : 5 km.
166 to 200 km/h : 6 km.
201 to 230 km/h : 7 km.

In practice, this means that if the driver’s measured speed is 57 kilometers per hour within the built-up area, he will thus receive a fine for 54 kilometers. So a fine for 52 kilometers is not possible.

Brake path

Driving at a certain speed means that the vehicle needs a certain distance to come to a stop in an emergency. However, before a driver actually brakes, 1 second of reaction time has already passed in which the speed has not decreased.

The distance covered in this reaction time is called the reaction path. This is followed by the stopping distance, which together with the reaction distance forms the so-called stopping distance.

Speed has a relationship with stopping distance. However, that relationship is not proportional. Of course, the type of road surface, the condition of the road surface and weather conditions also play a major role. So stopping distance is reaction distance + braking distance.

Stop distance calculation:

Below are some calculations of stopping distances and the consequences of driving at higher speeds. This uses the formula: S=VoT+ Vo2 / 2A (S=braking distance, Vo=starting speed, T=reaction time, A=delay)

As deceleration is assumed to be 7.2 m/s2, which is feasible for most passenger cars.

At 36 km/h, the braking distance is: 10×1 sec+102/2×7.2=10+100/10= 17 m.
At 72 km/h, the braking distance is: 20×1 sec+202/2×7.2=20+400/10= 48 m.
At 108 Km/h, the braking distance is: 30×1 sec+302/2×7.2=30+900/10= 92.5 m.

What should YOU do with these figures? The braking distance should determine for YOU what speed you will drive at. During traffic education evenings, the following example is often given.


  • If, while standing on the ground, you allow yourself to fall forward, it is equivalent to a collision of about 30 km/h.
  • If You make the same fall, but from a desk, it is equivalent to a collision of about 50 km/h (50 mph).
  • If you also place an office chair on the table and let yourself fall forward from it, you will experience a collision at a speed of 55 km/h (55 mph).

So now you know why fines are issued for speeding from 4 km/h and above. Incidentally, a radar speed of 57 km/h was actually measured at 54 km/h. In fact, the judge ruled, the radar measurement has a deviation of 3 km/h at speeds below 100 km/h and of 4 km/h at higher speeds.

On top of that, a radar speed of 57 km/h is a calibrated speed. Your own odometer probably shows a different, higher value, as most meters exaggerate.

Measuring factors

You are dealing with many factors. Each of the following factors affects braking distance.

The weather conditions

In rain, your concentration will be higher than in sunny weather. Prolonged driving in the rain, however, is tiring and requires a lot of concentration, which will slacken as a result. Your reaction time will probably reach the second in the beginning, but not after that. Also, braking distance will be higher because the road surface is wet.

On the other hand, a sun shining straight in your face is also very tiring. The reaction second will not be met over time.

The type of road surface

On open asphalt concrete, a car brakes less than on ordinary bitumen. On cobblestones and cobblestones, the braking distance will be different again.

Your own health and state of mind

Someone who feels lousy will have a slow response. The reaction second will not be met and thus the braking distance will be longer. What would the response time be like if YOU just got into a banging argument at home?

The state of the vehicle

A poorly maintained vehicle can be a danger on the road if the vehicle’s brakes are not good. The brakes are the most important part of the car. Unfortunately, they are also the parts that are cut back on, if at all possible.

People would rather buy a digital car cassette recorder with CD connection of the most expensive brand with matching amplifiers and speakers than go to the garage to have the brakes checked once. Fortunately, the MOT inspection took a lot of bad maintenance off the road.

The fellow road user

Everyone pays the tax associated with the car, so everyone has the same right to use the road. The stereotype, reviled by many a road user, of the old grandfather driving down the highway at 90 km/h, has paid more taxes in his lifetime than that “many a road user.” Therefore, everyone should be a little more tolerant towards each other and allow each other to have their dignity.

It cannot be, that everyone just has to pull over for that one rider, who left home 15 minutes late and tries to make up the time on the way to work.


I myself once did a test during two trips between the Achterhoek and Schiphol Airport in the days when driving faster was not such a big item and cameras were not everywhere. The first time I drove according to the prevailing speed limits (120 km/h everywhere, back then) the second time I got all I could out of the car (about 180 km/h then)

The gain of the second ride over the first ride was 15 minutes. At this distance a negligible gain in my opinion. The big loss was in gasoline consumption, the first trip 12 km per liter, the second trip 8 km per liter.

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