Speeding and Vulnerable Road Users

Speeding has a real impact on the safety of vulnerable road users. It can also impact their feelings of safety and comfort, whether real or perceived.


Speeding has a significant impact on the severity of injuries sustained by vulnerable road users, including pedestrians, cyclists, scooter operators and motorcyclists. These road users have little to no protection in the event of collisions.

Conclusions and results with regard to the probability of serious injury or death vary from one study to another. However, all studies conclude that in a collision between a vehicle and a vulnerable road user, the higher the speed of the vehicle, the higher the risk of death or serious injury for the road user. The risk increase is not linear but rather exponential. 

In addition, in the same impact conditions, senior pedestrians are more susceptible than young pedestrians to sustain serious, even fatal injuries, due to their physical fragility.

Therefore, for the safety of all road users, it is essential to reduce your speed in areas where vulnerable road users and road vehicles coexist, such as in urban and living environments.

Generally, travelling at a lower initial speed can allow drivers to better react to an event, reduce their braking speed and therefore stop before impact and avoid collisions with vulnerable road users. In addition, in case of an unfortunate impact, road users have better chances of avoiding serious injury when drivers travel at lower speeds.

Even small decreases to speed can save lives!

Feelings of safety and comfort

In addition to representing a risk of injury and death for vulnerable road users, speeding also reduces their feelings of safety and comfort. Actual or perceived speeding in their neighbourhoods can lead people to prefer motorized modes of transportation rather than active methods such as walking or biking, whether for themselves or their children. However, everyone has their place on the road network and should feel safe, no matter which mode of transportation they choose.

Lastly, road noise, which is influenced by traffic and vehicle speed, adds to the negative effects of speeding on the health and quality of life of citizens.

Last update: June  2, 2022