Effects of speed
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