Anonymous asked in Cars & TransportationSafety · 7 months ago

How exactly does speeding kill people? Physically speaking, how do you lose control over a car?

Do you not turn the wheel fast enough? Does the tire lose grip on the road?

12 Answers

  • 7 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    If you go around a curve too fast, then the tire does lose grip.

    However, more commonly, it's because you don't have enough time to react before it's too late. For example, when another car gets in front of you, you don't have time to stop or change lanes before you hit it.

  • don r
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    Those are common ways.

  • Piero
    Lv 7
    7 months ago

    It isn't the speed, it's the sudden stop when you hit something.

  • 7 months ago

    It kills by causing serious collisions before you can do anything about it. You can't control a car if you don't have time.

    Few people are aware of the extent to which speed increases risk of serious accident. Most people know stopping distance increases with the square of the speed (stopping distance increases 21% when speed increases 10%; stopping distance at 35 mph is 96% greater than at 25 mph). They do not quite understand that means the risk of any accident also increases with the square of the speed. Control is lost by running out of time.

    It gets much worse. Impact forces, and the severity of the impact, increases with the fourth power of the speed. If you strike an object (like a human) at 35 mph the severity is nearly 4 times that at 25 mph.

    When you combine the two, the risk of an accident of any given severity (like crippling or fatal) increases by the sixth power of the speed: at 35 mph you have 7.5 times the risk of a crippling or fatal accident as you do at 25 mph.

    How can it get worse? There is a point at which all is lost. For similar vehicles, when the collision speed, head on, reaches 71 mph survival is a fluke. At 65 mph the risk of death is only 70% and at 61 mph, just 10 mph slower than the 71 mph extinction point, you only have a 54% risk of death in the same collision. Combine the square of the speed for risk of collision (the loss of control you talk about - no time to prevent it) and the cost of speed is outrageous.

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  • Scott
    Lv 6
    7 months ago

    Speeding kills people because your car goes from 75-0 Mph in a split second, but your body is still moving at 75 Mph. It's less fatal these days with mandatory seat belt laws and air bags.

    • FlagMichael
      Lv 7
      7 months agoReport

      Around 100 mph those solid barrier collisions kill another way: the heart rips away from the aorta.

  • 7 months ago

    flipping your car

  • 7 months ago

    I'll put it this way. I was driving on the New Jersey Turnpike last week and saw a Honda in the other lane going sideways at 80 mph. There was smoke coming off the tires.

  • Ron
    Lv 7
    7 months ago


  • 7 months ago

    It's a matter of physics.

    The damage when you crash at 50 kph is a LOT less than crashing at 100kph.

    Just look at the difference in kinetic energy involved: KE = mv^2 / 2

    Double the velocity (speed) and you have 4 times as much knietic energy to dissipate.

    You might break a leg or arm at 50 kph, but you'll have far more broken bones at 100 kpm, and very likely death.

    Speed might not cause accidents, but, when the accident happens, the damage is far greater.

    • FlagMichael
      Lv 7
      7 months agoReport

      The forces increase with the square of the energy, too, and for about the same reason: less time to dissipate the energy.

  • 7 months ago

    Speeding kills for a variety of reasons:

    1. The act itself leaves less time to react to hazards in the road

    2. Trying to react to hazards while speeding vastly increases the chance of losing control of your vehicle.

    3. You are going faster than the normal traffic flow, therefore you are dodging slower moving vehicles.

    4. While dodging slower moving vehicles, those vehicles may switch into your lane without realizing your high rate of speed.

    5. Consequently, people who are entering the road you are travelling on (e.g. from an intersection) may not notice your faster-than-normal rate of speed and make the mistake of pulling out in front of you.

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