Get the facts

Driving too fast is the single biggest contributor to death and injury on NSW roads. Each year, speeding contributes to about 41% of road fatalities and 24% of serious injuries. Almost 135 lives are lost and 1141 people are seriously injured.

Your speed decides the outcome

Speeding is never safe. Speed increases the risk of having a crash, as well as the severity of the crash.

Road users caught driving too fast will also face speeding penalties


The faster you go the more: 

  • time you need to react and avoid a crash 
  • stopping distance is needed  
  • severe the impact of a crash 
  • chance of death or serious injury. 

Stopping distances

The faster you go, the longer it takes to stop. A typical stopping distance when travelling at 30km/h on a reasonable road surface is 19 metres. At 40km/h, the stopping distance increases to 27 metres. 

Even a small difference in your speed can greatly affect the likelihood of death or serious injury. 

If you’re driving at 50km/h, it will take you about 37 metres to stop. At 60km/h, that distance jumps to 56 metres.

If a car hits a pedestrian at 50km/h

The impact is twice as likely to cause death than if the car had been travelling at 40km/h.


Other factors that affect stopping distances include: 

  • distraction, fatigue or dim lighting, as drivers take longer to react 
  • wet roads or worn tyres, which can lengthen braking distances. 
  • poorly maintained brakes.

To reduce the risk of a crash, you should stay under the speed limit and drive to the conditions. Slow down in wet weather or when road conditions or visibility are poor. 

Speeding and fatalities

  • In a crash between a car and a pedestrian, there's a 90% chance a pedestrian will survive if the car was travelling at 30km/h. There's a 60% chance if the car was travelling at 40km/h, and a 10% chance at 50km/h. 
  • In a side-impact crash with another vehicle, there's a 90% chance that a driver or passenger will survive at 50km/h. There's a 60% chance at 60km/h, and a 20% chance at 70km/h. 
  • In a head-on crash between two vehicles, there's a 95% chance that a driver or passenger will survive at 60km/h. There's a 90% chance at 70km/h, and a 20% chance at 90km/h. 

(Based on Wramborg, P 2005, ‘A new approach to a safe and sustainable road structure and street design for urban areas’, Road safety on four continents conference, 2005, Warsaw, Poland, Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI), Linkoeping, Sweden.)