Ef­fects of speed

The Morning Bulletin - - YOUR SAY -

I RE­CENTLY did a speed and stop­ping dis­tance pre­sen­ta­tion, for the Mt Mor­gan Ro­tary club, to the Mt Mor­gan high school stu­dents.

The con­di­tions were wet in the first two pre­sen­ta­tions, how­ever, the third pre­sen­ta­tion was dry and the re­sults were sig­nif­i­cantly dif­fer­ent. This demon­stra­tion not only high­lighted the dif­fer­ences of speed to­wards stop­ping dis­tances, it also il­lus­trated the ef­fects of wet weather on road sur­faces.

The demon­stra­tion showed that at 40km/h, the ve­hi­cle will stop in ap­prox­i­mately 8m.

When the ve­hi­cle in­creased to 60km/h, the stop­ping dis­tance was ap­prox­i­mately 18m and the dis­tance for stop­ping at 80km/h was marked out at 34m. This high­lights the fact that dou­ble your speed, ends up qua­dru­pling your stop­ping dis­tance. Ev­ery­one knows the cam­paign that the gov­ern­ment of the day in­tro­duced, that every K over the speed limit is a killer.

The demon­stra­tion was very ef­fec­tive in il­lus­trat­ing that at 50km/h the ve­hi­cle stopped at a cer­tain point and a soft plas­tic main roads hat was put at the point of stop­ping. The demon­stra­tion then re­vealed what would hap­pen if a driver was dis­tracted in a sub­ur­ban street and drifted 10km/h over the speed limit of 50km/h. The re­sults stunned ev­ery­one that was watch­ing. The hat was hit at 60km/h with such force and the noises of the car run­ning over it were a re­sound­ing in­sight, il­lus­trat­ing what would hap­pen to a small young child be­ing hit at a 30km/h im­pact. That is right, just 10km/h over the speed limit re­sulted in a 30km/h hit from the same brak­ing point, il­lus­trat­ing that every K over is def­i­nitely a killer.

It was also noted that when the road sur­face dried out, that the stop­ping dis­tance im­proved con­sid­er­ably, that is why Qld Trans­port rec­om­mends that you dou­ble your stop­ping dis­tance in wet con­di­tions com­pared to dry as it takes more stop­ping dis­tance for wet slip­pery con­di­tions.

A ve­hi­cle does not stop in­stantly when you ap­ply the brake, es­pe­cially when you take into ac­count that the hu­man brain needs 1.5 sec­onds to re­spond to an in­ci­dent and sig­nal your foot to ap­ply the brake, and then the forces of physics start to ap­ply in re­gards to the weight of the ve­hi­cle and the grip of the tyres on the rel­e­vant road sur­face.

Driv­ing to the con­di­tions has al­ways been brought up by road safety ad­vi­sors, so please ac­cept their ad­vice and slow down if road con­di­tions are poor. It is al­ways bet­ter to ar­rive a lit­tle late then to be dead-on time, ex­cuse the pun, and drive safely. Ley­land Barnett North Rock­hamp­ton

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