Centre for Road Safety

Watch crash camera video of head-on crashes at 60 km/h vs 100 km/h.

Watch crash camera video of head-on crashes at 60 km/h vs 100 km/h. (duration: 41 seconds, file size: 2.4Mb).

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The biggest killer on our roads

Speeding remains the biggest killer on our roads.  In NSW speeding is a factor in about 40 per cent of road deaths.  This means on average around 177 people die each year in speed-related crashes in NSW.

Speeding was a factor in the deaths of 857 people over five years 2006-2010. In addition to those killed, more than 4100 people are injuried in speed-related crashes every year.

The cost of speeding is not only a human one, speed related crashes cost the community around $1.5 billion each year.  Community costs include emergency services, hospital and health care and loss of productivity in the workplace.

Year Total road deaths Speeding deaths Speeding deaths as % of road toll
2002 561 256 46
2003 539 209 38
2004 510 195 38
2005 508 190 37
2006 496 197 40
2007 435 140 32
2008 374 152 41
2009 453 207 46
2010 405 161 40
Five Year Average (2006 - 2010) 433 171 40

What are the risks of speeding?

Speeding increases your chance of having a crash, and increases the risk of serious injury or death if you do crash.

The risk of a death or injury crash in an urban 60km/h speed zone increases rapidly even with relatively small increases in speed. The casualty crash risk at 65km/h is about twice the risk at 60km/h. At 70km/h, the casualty crash risk is more than four times the risk at 60km/h.

Speed – km/h Risk relative to 60 km/h
65 Double
70 4 times
75 11 times
80 32 times

For pedestrians, the risks are even greater. A person hit by a car travelling at 40km/h has a 25 per cent chance of being killed. Increase the speed to 60km/h and the crash becomes barely survivable with the pedestrian having an 85 per cent chance of being killed (Monash University Accident Research Centre Report 229. Figure3.5).

Speeding also increases stopping distances. A car travelling at 60km/h in dry conditions takes about 38 metres to stop. A car travelling at 80km/h takes the length of more than half a football field to come to a stop.