How Far Can You Push it? How Much is Speed Related to Injury?


If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it 100 times before, motorcyclists are far more likely – 38 times more likely, to be exact – to be killed in a road traffic accident than car occupants and they account for 19% of all road user deaths despite making up only 1% of road traffic.

By merely getting on a motorbike you’re increasing your

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risk of serious injury or death in a road accident, considerably. One thing that is a hugely influential factor on your chances of death, is speed.

Higher speeds have a direct correlation to more accidents, there’s no doubt about it. Another speed related stat for you: studies have shown that a driver travelling much faster than the average driver has a higher risk of accident – this is something that hasn’t been proved for the slower driver.

Speed and injury severity

There is also a relationship between speed and the severity of injury. When involved in a collision, there is a lot of kinetic energy that’s released and has to be absorbed by the body. However, the body can only absorb a certain amount of this energy. When speeds increase, the speed at which a collision happens also increases, which means that the energy released at the point of collisions rises too. If the external force exceeds the physical threshold that the body can handle, serious or even fatal injuries occur.

This is particularly mobile casino the case for individuals in lighter vehicles, so motorcyclists are especially at risk. In 1981, a power model was created by Nilsson, who came up with three formulas to calculate the effect of speed on injury.

Using these formulas it suggests that a 1% change in speed will result in a 2% change in injury accidents, a 3% change in severe injury accidents and a 4% change in fatal accidents. However, this is only a general idea of the impact on one road, with certain traffic characteristics; the actual changes will depend entirely on the road, traffic levels and the drivers using the road – including their age, driving-style, and gender.

Light vehicles and injury

When a collision occurs between a heavy and light vehicle, those in the lighter vehicle are much more at risk of sustaining serious injuries because the kinetic energy that’s released during the collision is absorbed, mainly, by the lighter vehicle.

Motorcyclists, moped riders and cyclists have even less protection – in fact, it’s almost none – because the difference in mass is so large and there are no safety features (seatbelts, airbags etc.) to absorb any of the energy, meaning the rider has to absorb it all.

So, the facts are here for you all to see. Going fast does increase your risk of an accident and as a motorcyclist with little protection, your chances of death in a high speed collision is also heightened considerably.

Remember, it’s not just your driving style you need to be aware of; an accident can be the result of the behaviour of anyone on the road which means you need to be constantly on the lookout for danger. If you are involved in an accident on the roads this winter, we’re here to help and are able to provide the expert advice you’ll need when making a claim.

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