Most unprotected road users are killed if hit by a car travelling 50 km/h. Speed has been identified as a key risk factor in road traffic injuries, influencing both the risk of a road crash as well as the severity of the resulting injuries. In high-income countries, speed contributes to about 30% of deaths on the road, while in some low and middle income countries, speed is estimated to be the main contributory factor in about half of all road crashes.
Controlling or managing vehicle speed can prevent crashes happening and can reduce the impact when they do occur. A number of interventions have been identified to be effective. A speed management manual has been developed and published as part of the work of the UN Road Safety Collaboration by WHO, the World Bank, FIA Foundation and Global Road Safety Partnership, backing up the World report on road traffic injury prevention. It proposes simple, effective and low-cost solutions to excessive and inappropriate speed that can be implemented on a national or local level.
The key principles and practical steps that this manual presents can easily be adapted and made relevant to different contexts around the world. The modular structure of the manual means it can be read and easily adapted to suit the problems and needs of individual countries.