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Home » Why Speed Kills
April 6, 2015

Why Speed Kills



            According to the National Safety Council, the risk of dying in an automobile crash doubles for every 10 mph that the vehicle travels above 50 mph. The reason that incremental increases in speed result in an exponentially increased risk of death is that the “kinetic energy” (the energy an object has when it moves) increases exponentially. This means that, as the speed of the vehicle doubles, kinetic energy quadruples. For example, doubling the speed of a vehicle from 30 mph to 60 mph increases the amount of energy in a crash by a factor of four. While drivers may unwisely choose to overlook the speed limit, the dynamics of a car crash always observe the law of physics. 



HINT: Increasing the speed of a vehicle increases the distance needed for the brakes to stop the vehicle safely.


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