How many accidents have been caused by random speed limit drops on the freeway?

I've personally 3 accidents in my lifetime caused by sudden changes to the speed on a highway, 2 of them came in the last few years since they released the new law that requires you to slow down to 40km/h if police are on the side of the road.

Admittedly, the rule itself isn't that bad, but as usual it was released with no consideration of the average Aussie driver. Unfortunately there are still people who drive in the right hand lane and then slam on their breaks when the flashing signs show a need speed limit. Had it go down from 110 to 70 the other day - the car in front didn't bother slowing down gradually, as soon as he saw the flashing sign he slammed his brakes to make sure he was under the speed limit right at the time he passed the sign. Needless to say there were about 6 cars that luckily escaped.

They really need to change this rule to allow leniency for drivers to slow down gradually. Cant expect someone to go from 110 to 70 in just a few metres on a highway.


  • +4

    Did you get a speeding ticket?

    • +7

      I've personally [x] 3 accidents in my lifetime caused by…

      [x] = seen, had, caused, …?

      • +11

        [x] = arranged ?

      • +1

        This deserves a poll.

        • Since he is a Slav, and after watching many Russian Driving videos on YouTube.
          My vote is all of the above: He caused, he had, he saw, and he fled… x3 car accidents

  • +3

    In NSW highway, there is at least 2 sign apart to let driver know there is up coming speed reduction, when there is traffic light , a flashing light will also flash when driver approaching a red light.

  • -3

    Get a car that has radar cruise control and high speed AEB and this will help immensely, if the car also has speed sign detection which can adjust to speed then that also helps alot.

    • +28

      My car's driver does all that and more.

  • +8

    More accidents have been caused by randomly braking drivers or ones who always drive 10 to 20km/h below the limit.

    • +5

      Caused? I find that hard to believe. Surely it is the actions of others around those drivers that caused the “accident”. Also I think that is a gross generalisation.

      • +1

        Yea because these idiot drivers should not be on the roads.

        They either are vision impaired or are not confident in their abilities driving, therefore they deliberately drive slow and/or brake suddenly for no apparent reason.

        It is too easy to keep a driver's licence in Australia. There should be regular testing, which the government would love as a revenue raiser and what's more important, it will keep our roads safer by getting these nusaince drivers off our roads.

        • it will keep our roads safer by getting these nusaince drivers off our roads.

          That won't be the result. People can easily 'follow the rules' for a short driving test.

          The slow drivers, while being a nuisance, are only following what the Government is telling them. If speed is such a killer, so much so that going 5Km/h over the limit is worthy of a fine, then it makes absolute sense to drive at 10Km/h under the limit.

          • +1

            @photonbuddy: That's not the case at all.

            The learner's test is too easy to pass here. Many drivers here would not be allowed to drive on German roads. If speed is such a killer, why does Germany have no limits on their Autobahn?

            • +4

              @The-Kremlin: While I agree it is too easy to get a license here in Australia, it's not the learners test that is the problem. You could make learners know every road rule on the books, and you would still get these bad drivers.

              I'm sure if we had the autobahn level of roads here, there'd be unlimited speeds. It's no good pointing to the autobahn for unlimited speed. If speed doesn't kill - which is what you suggest by allowing unlimited speed - then why aren't all German roads unlimited?

              The truth is, the vast majority of roads in the world have a speed limit.

              Maybe you could link to the process of getting a license in Germany, seeing as you hold it up as a Gold standard …

              As I said, these bad drivers can pass the driving test.

        • +1

          they deliberately drive slow and/or brake suddenly for no apparent reason

          And as a responsible, capable driver with a regular sized penis, you're maintaining a safe following distance, staying calm and this isn't a problem. Right?

  • +6

    South Australian law is 25km/h if an emergency vehicle (including police) are stopped with lights going.

    Had it happen today.
    I went in on direction and came back on the same stretch of road an hour later after an accident had police and ambulance there with red/blue lights flashing.
    Everyone had slowed down to 25km/h and no one seemed stupid enough to not do so.

    What other leniency does a normal person need?

    • +1

      To be fair, it only takes one car per lane to go 25km/h to cause everyone behind to do so as well, regardless of how stupid they may be.

    • The problem isn't accidents. The problem is police pulling over drivers roadside on highways and freeways.

      I have seen them twice behind blind corners in 100kmph zones.

      You can't rely on people absent minded enough to get caught to pick a sensible spot to pull over. Then there are road users who don't consider others in general.

      • The problem isn't accidents. The problem is police pulling over drivers roadside on highways and freeways.

        Highways and freeways are very long.
        Should the police follow the car until it gets to where it is going?

        Or should the person being pulled over find a good place to stop that is safe for everyone?

        • Anywhere a road crosses the great dividing range or it's spurs, outside of a town, without a wide shoulder with excellent visibility, is a stupid area to expect car traveling 70kmph or greater to slow to 40kmph when passing a lone cop car puling over a motorist (Great Western Highway is an exception because there is a town ever few km).

          Most highways though wilderness or catchment areas.

          ~half of Sydney's Motorways (four lanes of traffic with next to no shoulder either side, all required to do 40kmph because it was an 80kmph zone).

          You could be looking at 5km to find a safe place to pull over if you notice it in time to use it.

  • +21

    Your supposed to leave enough gap for you stop safety if you needed to, taking into account things like your skills, car capability and reaction time.

    • +5

      Is there a safe enough distance for Mustangs?

      • +5

        Depends who's driving it. In this case, the whole street should evacuate.

      • Nothing to do with the car. There are people of a certain ethnic background that I stay the hell away from when I see their faces. They frequent Parramatta rd and the hume highway in Sydney. Doesn't matter if it's a corolla, mustang or Hilux.
        I feel like I'm in a dodgem cars game when I see them drive.

        • +1

          Haha. Not S63 or the fully sick RS5?

        • The joke

      • +2

        Under 4k rpm, slipstreaming to reduce drag.

      • +1

        Depends on how fast your horse is galloping at the time.

  • +6

    Slow down when you see the sign?
    It's not hard.

    • Added to that, there would have been warning signs that say “70 Ahead” well before the actual 70 sign was posted.

      • -4

        Nope. There was a breakdown ahead so the speed limit dropped down to 40 where the actual breakdown was. Obviously they don't drop down to 40 at once, they do it gradually. My issue is that it wasn't gradual enough. The normal speed limit was 110 and it dropped to 70 in just a few metres, no warnings or anything.

        This is why my initial gripe is with the other driver. They could've exercised some personal discretion by braking gradually instead of slamming on their breaks to make sure they're within the speed limit right after the flashing sign.

        It is literally never a good idea to slam your brakes, let alone on a highway. This was a pileup avoided by a hairs inch.

        • +5

          The normal speed limit was 110 and it dropped to 70 in just a few metres, no warnings or anything.

          Does the 70 sign only pop out when you're a few metres away from it?

          They could've exercised some personal discretion by braking gradually instead of slamming on their breaks to make sure they're within the speed limit right after the flashing sign.

          You could do the same too, so that you dont need to slam on your brakes. If you weren't tail gating or you gradually slowed down before change of speed, the car ahead slamming his brakes shouldn't be an issue. You don't have to do what the car Infront does.

          • -6


            Does the 70 sign only pop out when you're a few metres away from it?

            It was just after a bend. Like I said, there are countless stretches on the M7 where there is very poor visibility. The entire road is literally a roller-coaster of up, down, left, right.

            You could do the same too, so that you dont need to slam on your brakes

            Travelling 100-110km/h and then having someone suddenly reduce speed to 70…that would require a massive gap to safely detect. There's no way a reasonable driver would be leaving that much of a gap.

            • @SlavOz: Can you point out where exactly it drops from 100km/r to 70km/hr?

              A reasonable driver would not be putting themselves in a shitty position.

            • +6

              @SlavOz: Hang on… you think no reasonable driver would leave enough of a gap to handle someone slowing from 100 to 70? Are you for real? Just hand in your license man… What a joke

              Drivers that tailgate have poor driving skills. That is reason why they 😘 the rear of the vehicle in front

              Yeah… I think we have found prime example #1 right here… /facepalm

            • @SlavOz: Not sure what you mean by 'poor visibility', but state governments don't generally post motorway speeds higher than that the road geometry and sight distance has been designed to. In fact they are typically designed 10 km/h higher than the posted speed limit as a slight buffer.

              If you can't see around a bend, crest, or over grown vegetation, then perhaps you should slow down?

  • +7

    In NSW the speed reduction to 40kph for emergency vehicles only applies if the speed limit is 80kph or below. If the limit is 90kph or above the requirement is to "slow down safely to a speed that is reasonable for the circumstances".

    • +2

      "slow down safely to a speed that is reasonable for the circumstances"

      I guess that depends on how much of a spectacle the crash is…

  • There is also some sort of rule or guideline that says speed limits cannot reduce by more than 40km/h within a specific distance. This is why there is often roadworks dropping speed from 110 to 80 then to 40.

  • +1

    You sound bored, SlavOz… here, have a read of the NSW speed zoning guidelines

    • +9

      Freeways should be the safest for new drivers. Fully supervised whilst driving on straight roads with constant speeds, without any need to change lanes or be wary of intersecting traffic. If you are finding L-platers a hazard, I'd wager it says more about you and your ability to adapt your driving around them.

      • The hazard for L platers is actually merging onto a freeway - trying to merge with traffic going 110 while you are speed limited to 80 is a recipe for disaster. Always had to cross fingers that you were lucky enough for there to be an unnaturally large gap on the freeway at the right time

        • L players are speed limited to 80? What state is this? That's a stupid and dangerous rule…

          • @PurpleHippo: NSW - it's now 90 which is better but still a 20-30 kph speed differential

      • Well I guess, i don't know what the freeways are like in your area. But the Newcastle to Sydney freeway especially the central coast area is full of bends and hills with a mix of trucks and caravans, clearly not designed for L-platers.

        There's been so many instances where cars and trucks pull into my middle lane with very little indication. There a section where the left lane ends and mergers with mid. One time the guy got scared and slowed all the way down instead of a smooth merge.

      • -1

        You need to learn to walk before you can run.

        You can't start driving with no experience on roads with the highest speed limit you will ever drive on.
        There is a lot to learn before safely driving on a freeway.

  • +3

    Anyone that tailgate on a freeway deserves a nice prize. Anyone that can't see the flashing red and blue from 100m away also deserves a nice price.

    Observe, anticipate and react.

    • +1

      So you don't live in a world where bends, corners, or trucks exist, all of which could inhibit your vision?

      • Freeways don't have any bends or corners. A few tricks, sure but nothing that will impede the LoS for 100m to 200m.

        • -1

          Freeways don't have any bends or corners

          Huh? Have you ever driven on one?

          I take the m7 to work and there are at least 4 instances where your vision is completely blocked by either a bend or hill. And that's just within the 20km strip before my exit.

          • +2

            @SlavOz: If your vision is blocked to the point where you aren't able to stop in time for an obstruction, then it's YOUR fault for driving too fast for the road conditions. You are suggesting that a reduction in speed is causing accidents due to cars moving at 40kph, but if there is a literal accident on the road and traffic is stopped you are going to hit it even harder. And no, there is no point on the m7 where your vision is reduced to less than 100m… A hill or bend that sharp at that speed would not be possible at 100kph safely.

            • @norrisrules: Suggest you take a look at the m7 just after the Richmond Rd exit, there's a massive bend there that gives you 0 visibility of what's on the other side. I know because it gives me motion sickness every morning.

              Then there's the climb at the light horse interchange, just past the M4 exit. The road goes uphill so you can't see anything for at least 100m or so.

              Worst offender would probably the m7 entrance from the m5, heading towards Blacktown. It's downhill, high speed AND on a pretty sharp bend. In peak hour traffic with an incident it's a collision waiting to happen.

              • +7

                @SlavOz: I drive the entire length of the m7 from camden valley way to the m2 on a weekly basis, at no point have i ever had "0 visibility", gotten motion sickness or not been able to see "anything for at least 100m". And even if that does exist, SLOW DOWN. This is driving 101, I have no idea where your confusion here is coming from.

                This thread is pointless… you clearly have issues adequately driving to the road conditions. IF you have issues with visibility and getting motion sickness, you are driving too fast. Therefore you should be driving slower in order to be safer. But according to your logic, people not going as fast as legally possible is what is causing accidents. What exactly is your proposal here?

              • +1

                @SlavOz: I love that bend, battled it out once with someone on a Hayabusa.

      • Roads are normally designed to provide sight lines at certain speeds. This factors in superelevation, turn radius, speed and many other factors.

        If you can't see because of a truck you should give more room. It's defensive driving.

        The bigger problem is people tailgating and not giving enough room to the car in front. That said, there's also (profanity) that decide that's enough room to merge in.

  • Yes.

  • +6

    There are no accidents, only drivers who make poor decisions and don’t drive according to the required safety standards and regulations. If you drive defensively you can avoid all of this nonsense and then only be a victim of somebody else’s negligence. That’s what is expected when you are issued a licence. It’s not rocket science.

    • -2

      Defensive drivers are the ones who slam their brakes in the middle of a highway?

      I would wager that most accidents are caused by poor driver skills due to inexperience, which is more likely to be the case if a driver spends their entire life driving within a safety bubble and then has no idea what to do when circumstances suddenly change.

      • +2

        Drivers that tailgate have poor driving skills. That is reason why they 😘 the rear of the vehicle in front.

        • -2

          I agree. Tailgating is dumb.

          That being said, keep left unless overtaking…

          • +2

            @SlavOz: ahh yes, the "you aren't keeping left, therefore it's my right to create a dangerous situation by following you too closely" reasoning, I see that a lot

            • -3

              @norrisrules: Slowing down traffic in the right lane is also dangerous. What makes that any more acceptable than tailgating?

              • @SlavOz: Because slowing down is a completely normal part of driving a car that can be caused by things completely outside your control. Also, it's NOT dangerous, the danger comes from people like you who aren't prepared for people showing down.
                Tailgating on the other hand is only performed by impatient pr*cks as a conscious decision to try and make someone move out of their way? I don't know what's so hard to understand about this. I frequently have 2 infants in my car, you tailgating me when I'm doing the speed limit and overtaking someone is putting ALL of our lives in danger. You don't have the right to endanger my children with your terrible driving.

                Just look at the down votes on every comment you make. Your driving is terrible and you should change your ways before you injure/kill someone

      • @SlavOz Defensive drivers are ones who anticipate the unexpected. Therefore they do not usually slam on their breaks unexpectedly. Being a defensive driver requires the driver to consider the consequences of their actions and the actions of others so if some idiot behind them is likely to crash into the back of them because they are tailgating, they would factor this in.

  • Am I the only person here that slows down to the correct speed for temporary changes of speed? I seem to be on the highway as others whizz past sometimes giving me rude gestures and flashing lights or sounding their horns. It amazes me there are not more accidents in situations like this.

    • -2

      On the freeway? The rule is keep left unless overtaking. You shouldn't be getting rude gestures if you're following that. Always keep the right lane clear.

      • +1

        With reference to MontyMacaw's comment about temporary changes in speed, I believe the rule is only when the speed limit is over 80kph, or if there is a "keep left unless overtaking" sign.

        If the speed limit is 80kph or below (there does not appear to be a difference between permanent and temporary speed limit) and there are no other signs telling you to keep left, then the rule doesn't require you to keep the right lane clear until the temporary speed limit zone is over and you return to a speed limit above 80kph.

      • Oh I do keep left if I am slower than the rest of the traffic but sometimes the speedsters switch lanes too fast to allow me to change lanes instantly. As for getting gestures well that can be entirely to do with what’s going on on the gesturer’s mind and life.

    • Not to defend those (profanity) who abuse you for slowing down, but sometimes there's a temporary slow zone (usually 80) for construction that lasts for months, and there are clearly no construction workers or even changes in the lanes. Just an empty construction site next to the road. People who drive through there every day know it makes no difference, so don't slow down.

      Again, not defending anyone, that's just the reason.

  • +2

    In the old days, you overtook vy planting the accelerator to the floor and getting pass the car as quickly as possibly so. Now with cruise control, the idiots will simply stay in you blind spot doing 1kph more than you.You say to yourself I swore someone was overtaking, only to notice them sitting there in you blind spot… how utterly ridiculous is that.
    I tis these people ho drive slow then speed up when you yourself attempt to overtake.

  • -1

    Unfortunately the law states that you are at fault if you run into the back of someone
    UNLESS you can prove negligent driving.
    And that one is indeed difficult to prove even with a dashcam.

  • The slow speed limit is to protect the work place of emergency service personnel.
    Walk/work around wet freeway with street lights out and idiots skating by at 110 kph - less than a metre from you

  • +1

    The question should be….

    How many accidents on freeways are caused by driving to close to the vehicle ahead at 110kph?

  • +1

    Sounds like someone isn’t being observant of their surroundings while driving. Hint: it’s not other drivers.

  • There's always someone tailgating these days, regardless of the speed/conditions. Didn't use to be that way. Whilst states have different rules that govern the use of the right lane (usually in higher speed zones), many comments on OB demonstrate that a majority of people don't understand or just don't know them. I wasn't surprised to learn the stats on low-level speeding and driver over-confidence as the major contributors to accidents. And that traffic congestion is often caused by erratic driving (not slow driving nor improper use of the right lane).

    But try getting those notions past popular opinion when everybody is in such a rush these days.

  • Hmmm. Trolled again

  • what i would say to people is

    try to keep at least a 3 seconds distance to the car in the front, especially on the highway, but you need to make sure it's 3 seconds distance not 3 meters…

    then in most cases, even the driver doing things like 100km/h to 0km/h in a few seconds, you probably will be fine.

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