Anonymous asked in Cars & TransportationSafety · 4 years ago

Does a vehicles speedometer lock when in a car crash?

A few months ago, back when we had a snow fall the night before my accident, I was driving my car to work. What had happened was i started losing control of my vehicle, turned my vehicle sideways, and then i was struck on my passenger side.

Now i am aware some vehicles have an event data recorder or similar device, and also if airbags get deployed or your speed drastically droves within seconds your speedometer will lock at the speed itbwas travelling.

Now heres my question, i was on a road where the speed limit is 80km/h. Ive never done more than 10km over the speed limit because to be honest, you save a couples seconds, maybe minutes if you go any faster. HOWEVER, my speedometer was locked at just over 120km/h... Could me losing control and spinning sideways have affected this? How accurate could this be because theres no way I was doing 40km over the speed limit!

Thanks in advance for your responses!


It should also be noted that the roads had some snow on then, so I probably shouldn't have even been doing the speed limit (if i even was, i have no memory of the accident).

I had slid on the roads and the snow was the only factor that made me turn sideways and lose control of my vehicle. Now because it was snowy, my tires would be spinning faster because they have no grip, right?

7 Answers

  • 4 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    when you are driving on snow, and your tires spin on top of the snow, the car will show the speed based on the spinning tires.

    your tires could be spinning at a rate that would be much higher than what the car is actually moving at.

    had your accident been on dry pavement, it would be pretty hard for the wheels to spin like that but on snow its quite easy.

    if you were travelling at 80 kph and your tires spun, they could have easily reached 120 kph.

    when tires lose traction with the road, they are quite easy to keep spinning. so if the engine is putting enough force on them to move the car under traction at 80 kph, if the tires lose traction, that same amount of force that was moving the whole car is now just going into spinning the tires. 120 kph on the dial is very possible to reach on snow if you are already doing 80.

    now heres the big thing.

    i have never heard of such a logging device. i think the biggest culprit is just the impact that the car took.

    if however, there is such a device enabled on cars, its very possible for your car to have spun its wheels up to 120 kph.

  • 4 years ago

    Occasionally, depending on how much force from the collision is transferred to the instrument cluster. As it turns out, many automotive instruments are rather delicate internally, as they have to read accurately down to some small levels of precision; they will jam if their parts are knocked out of alignment. There are stories of clocks stopping in collisions mounted and dismounted, and of speedometers, tachometers, temperature and pressure gauges, clocks, thermometers, and even tachographs in industrial vehicles jamming when the vehicle hit is severe enough.

    In your case, I'd say that the speedo is locked on account of the collision at high speed, and ye therefore need a new instrument cluster before the car leaves rebuild. The frozen reading could very well be attributed to a drive tire having nothing to drive in the second prior to collision.

  • 4 years ago

    No, they do not. But all cars do have a "black box" data recorder that gives a lot of information should they need look.

    I ran a tow service for a number of years, and never saw a locked speedometer on any of the wrecks I towed in.

  • Dan B
    Lv 7
    4 years ago

    No, speedometers don't "lock up" in an accident. They are not a reliable indication of speed after an accident occurs. On a slippery surface, you can floor the gas and register 120km/h but not even travel at walking speed. Even an event data recorder would not be a reliable indication of your speed in your situation.

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  • 4 years ago

    All modern speedometers are electronic and are fairly delicate. Yours took a licking but couldn't keep on ticking... time for a replacement instrument cluster.

  • Mr.357
    Lv 7
    4 years ago

    No. The speedometer was banged around and broke.

  • br549
    Lv 7
    4 years ago


    Yours just had the poop knocked out of it.

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