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There are a wide range of possible causes for an accident – whether you are at fault or not. It’s fair to say that the speed at which you enter a possible accident situation can be crucial and have a serious effect on the outcome. As a benchmark, one survey found that nine out of ten drivers admitted to having exceeded speed limits; three-quarters of respondents said this was a regular occurrence.

How fast is too fast?

Suggesting speed as the cause of an accident, or having added to its seriousness, can imply vehicles racing along with the driver really not in control of the vehicle. Of course, that does happen, but here’s a sobering thought: simply exceeding a speed limit by 5-8kph in a built-up area can lead to hugely different outcomes. Imagine a pedestrian in town stepping out in front of a car at a distance where, driving on the limit, the car could just be brought to a halt without colliding with them. Add that extra 8kph and the vehicle, in the same scenario, could easily still be travelling at around 25kph when an impact occurs!

Just three seconds of sense

Here’s a useful and simple test for safer driving. Of course, you undertake this with proper care and your eyes firmly where they should be. As you drive in traffic, select a sign at the side of the road ahead of you. When the vehicle in front passes it, at least three seconds should pass before you reach the same mark. This is a guide; closer than three seconds can act as a warning to slow down. It’s helpful because many drivers are far too close to the vehicle in front, often without appreciating this, and this is true whether driving in a slow-moving city line or in a less-busy open-road scenario.

You can still be an innocent victim

No matter how carefully you drive, you can’t always legislate for the behaviour of others. If you are innocently involved in a not at fault accident then Australian Law entitles you to a replacement courtesy car while yours is in the repair shop. Should this happen to you call our Not My Fault team as soon as possible on 1800699034.