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Sharp Drive Talk About ‘Myth No. 43 ‘Speeding Saves Time

Driving is the #1 risk for most businesses. Mitigate it the easy way with SharpDrive. This month they talk about speed control. The speed limit is the highest speed allowed and you must slow down for adverse conditions such as light and visibility, weather, other traffic and hazzards, the road surface and the terrain. A speed is safe when you allow for the conditions and can stop in the visible distance ahead.

The stopping distance is the total of your reacting distance and your braking distance added together. The reaction distance is how far you go before you actually get onto the brake pedal. It increases constantly with speed. Doubling the speed doubles the reaction distance. A good reaction time is 1.5 seconds. That’s over 20 metres at 50km and over 40 metres at 100km.

Conditons that increase reaction distance are tiredness and fatigue, poor health and fitness not 100%, drugs and alcohol and other distractions. Braking distance is measured from when you first hit the brake pedal to where you stop. The distance increases with the square of the speed. Doubling speed takes four times further to stop. If your braking distance at 50km is only 13 metres, then at 100km it will be over 50 metres.

Conditions that will increase braking distances are road surface, wet or icy roads, vehicle conditon – tyres, brakes and shock absorbers, and downhill gradient. In anything less than ideal conditons your stopping distance at 100km will be well over 100 metres. That is the length of a football field.

Because braking distance increases exponentially, small increases in speed make a big difference to crash outcomes. Two examples, if two cars, one doing 50km and one doing 60km have to stop at the same time, the 60km car is still doing 35km when the 50km car has stopped. If they are doing a 100km and 120km, the faster car is still going at almost 70km when the 100km car has stopped. In both cases the faster car takes one and a half times further to stop.

Impatient drivers will put your life and theirs at risk while trying to make a foolish overtake. If you have vehicles close behind you and a clear road ahead, signal and pull over to let them pass as soon as possible. It is a myth that speeding saves time. Time differences, even on long trips, are insignificant. By contrast, you achieve huge safety and fuel economy benefits by driving at a safe speed within the speed limit. Your safety is up to you.

To find out more about online driver training, advanced driver training NZ and fleet safety please go to http://www.sharpdrive.co.nz .