Speeding remains the biggest killer on our roads. In Oman, speeding is a factor in more than 70% of road deaths. This means on average, 650 people die each year in speed-related crashes. Speed-related crashes cost society tens of millions of rials each year in emergency services, hospital and health care and loss of productivity in the workplace. Speeding was a factor in the deaths of over 3,500 people over years from 2007- 2011.

In addition to these tragic deaths, thousands more people every year are injured in speed crashes – some permanently.

Speeding is defined as driving at a speed over the posted speed limit or at a speed that is inappropriate for the driving conditions (for example traffic volume or flow, rain, or fog).

Speeding is dangerous. It is not safe to speed in any circumstance, regardless of how experienced a driver you are, how good your car is, or whether you are driving on busy city streets or open country roads. It increases your risk of having a crash and increases the risk of serious injury or death to you or your loved ones or other innocent road users if you do crash.

Even small differences in speed can make a big difference to the probability of death or injury. For every extra kilometre per hour of speed, you increase:

  • the stopping distance
  • your risk of a crash (you have less time to react to avoid a crash by braking or swerving)
  • the likelihood of serious injury or death due to impact of the crash on the vehicle, driver, passengers and pedestrians.

For example, in a 60km/h speed zone, driving at 65km/h, you face twice the risk of death or injury. At 70km/h, the risk is more than quadruple the risk at 60km/h

Speed – km/hRisk relative to 60 km/h
704 times
7511 times
8032 times

Speeding at 30 km/h over the limit increases by 60 times the risk of a casualty crash occurring. The significant numbers of people in Oman who habitually drive well over the speed limit impose unacceptable risks on all other road users.

For pedestrians the risks are even greater. A person hit by a car travelling at 40km/h has a 75% chance of surviving. Hit at 60km/h the pedestrian’s odds of survival drop dramatically to 15%.

The faster you go, the further you travel before you stop. The average driver takes about 1.5 seconds to react once he or she has spotted a hazard. An increase of 10–15 kilometres per hour can mean the difference between life and death.

The graph below shows how stopping distances increase exponentially the faster you go.

Driving within the speed limit allows you more time to react to unpredictable hazards such as the actions of other road users (vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists), and changes to the road environment (road narrowing suddenly, construction works and obstacles). Driving within the speed limit will allow you and other road users the best chance of avoiding a collision or surviving any collision that takes place.

Speed limits are set and enforced for a reason – to save lives and reduce crashes.