Speed, Distance & Time Calculator

Use this speed calculator to easily calculate the average speed, distance travelled and the trip duration of a vehicle: car, bus, train, bike, motorcycle, plane etc. Works with miles, feet, kilometers, meters, etc..

Related calculators

  • Speed, Distance & Time Calculation
  • Average Speed formula
  • Distance formula
  • Duration (Time) formula
  • How to calculate the average speed of a car?

    Speed, Distance & Time Calculation

In order to use the above speed, distance & time calculator, or do such math on your own, you will need to know two out of three metrics: speed, distance, time. You will need to convert the metrics to the same time and distance units, e.g. miles, kilometers, meters, yards, feet, and hours, minutes or seconds. For example, if you have speed in mph (miles per hour), time should also be in hours. If you have distance in kilometers, then speed should also be in km/h (kilometers per hour).

The unit of the result will depend on the units you input, but our speed calculator will conveniently display additional units where appropriate.

    Average Speed formula

The formula for average speed, also called average velocity in physics and engineering, is:

where v is the velocity, d is the distance, and t is the time, so you can read it as Speed = Distance / Time . As noted above, make sure you convert the units appropriately first, or use our speed calculator which does that automatically. The resulting unit will depend on the units for both time and distance, so if your input was in miles and hours, the speed will be in mph. If it was in meters and seconds, it will be in m/s (meters per second).

Example: If you took a plane from New York to Los Angeles and the flight was 5 hours of air time, what was the speed of the plane, given that the flight path was 2450 miles? The answer is 2450 / 5 = 490 mph (miles per hour) average speed. If you want the result in km/h, you can convert from miles to km to get 788.58 km/h.

    Distance formula

The formula for distance, if you know time (duration) and the average speed, is:

Example: If a truck travelled at an average speed of 80 km per hour for 4 hours, how many miles did it cover in that time? To find the miles covered, first, calculate 80 * 4 = 320 km, then convert km to miles by dividing by 1.6093 or by using our km to miles converter to get the answer: 198.84 miles.

    Duration (Time) formula

The time, or more precisely, the duration of the trip, can be calculated knowing the distance and the average speed using the formula:

where d is the distance travelled, v is the speed (velocity) and t is the time, so you can read it as Time = Distance / Speed . Make sure you convert the units so both their distance and time components match, or use our trip duration calculator above which will handle conversions automatically. For example, if you have distance in miles and speed in km/h, you will need to convert speed to mph or distance to kilometers. The time unit of the result will match the time unit of the speed measure, so if it is measured in something per hour, the result will be in hours. If it is measured in some unit per second, the result will be in seconds.

Example: If a train can travel 500 miles with an average speed of 50 miles per hour, how long it would take it to complete a 500-mile route? To find the answer, use the formula and substitute the values, resulting in 500 / 50 = 10 hours.

    How to calculate the average speed of a car?

Say you travelled a certain distance with a car or another vehicle and you want to calculate what its average speed was. The easiest way to do that would be by using the calculator above, but if you prefer, you can also do the math yourself. Either way, you need to know the distance to a satisfactory approximation, for which you can use a map (e.g. Google Maps) to measure the distance from point to point. Make sure you measure closely to the path you took, and not via a straight line, unless you travelled by air in which case that would be a good approximation. Of course, having a GPS reading of the distance would be more precise. Then you need to know the travel time. Make sure you subtract any rests or stops you made from the total trip duration.

If the total distance travelled was 500 miles and the time it took you was 5 hours, then your average speed was 500 / 5 = 100 miles per hour (mph). If the distance was 300 kilometers and it took you 5 hours to cover it, your speed was 300 / 5 = 60 km/h (kilometers per hour).

Cite this calculator & page

If you'd like to cite this online calculator resource and information as provided on the page, you can use the following citation: Georgiev G.Z., "Speed Distance Time Calculator" , [online] Available at: https://www.gigacalculator.com/calculators/speed-calculator.php URL [Accessed Date: 14 Nov, 2023].

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Distance and Average Speed to Travel Time Calculator

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Related Tools

  • Average speed calculator
  • Travel distance calculator
  • Convert speed into different units
  • Convert distance into different units
  • Convert time duration into different units

This calculator will estimate the travel time for a journey using the travel distance to destination and the expected average speed of the method of travel.

Once a distance and speed have been entered the calculated time will be displayed in the answer box. Also a conversion scale will be generated for different values of distance versus time at the same speed.

This tool estimates the journey time with the following formula:

  • d = Distance

Distance Travelled

Enter the expected distance to be travelled in any units.

Average Speed

Enter the estimated average speed of the intended method of transport.

Time Estimate

This is an estimate of the total time it will take to complete the journey without any delays.

Speed Distance Time Calculator

Please enter the speed and distance values to calculate the travel time in hours, minutes and seconds.

About Speed Distance Time Calculator

This online calculator tool can be a great help for calculating time basing on such physical concepts as speed and distance. Therefore, in order to calculate the time, both distance and speed parameters must be entered. For the speed , you need to enter its value and select speed unit by using the scroll down menu in the calculator. For distance , you should enter its value and also select the proper length measurement unit from the scroll down menu. You'll receive the result in standard time format (HH:MM:SS).

Time Speed Distance Formula

Distance is equal to speed × time. Time is equal Distance/Speed.

Calculate Time from Distance and Speed Examples

Recent comments.

Going 65mph for 30 seconds how far would you get? None of these formulas work without distance. How would I find the distance from time and speed?

if i travel 0.01 inches per second and I need to travel 999999999 kilometers, it takes 556722071 Days and 20:24:34 WHAT

4. How long does it take to do 100m at 3kph ? No I thought you would just divide 100 ÷ 3 = which 33.33333 so 33 seconds or so I thought. But apparently it 2 mins.

This was the best tool ive ever used that was on point from speed to distance and time Calculator

This was somewhat unhelpful as I know the time and distance, but not the speed. Would be helpful if this calculator also could solve the other two as well.

If a total distance of 2 miles is driven, with the first mile being driven at a speed of 15mph, and the second mile driven at a speed of 45 mph: What is the average speed of the full 2 mile trip?

hi sorry im newly introduced to this and i dont understand how to use it but in need to find the distance if i was travelling in the average speed of 15km/hr in 4 hours how far would i travel

D= 697 km T= 8 hours and 12 minutes S= ?

if a train is going 130 miles in 50 minutes, how fast is it going in miles per hour ??

whats the speed if you travel 2000 miles in 20hours?

How long would it take me to drive to Mars at 100 miles per hour and how much gas would I use in a 2000 Ford Mustang000000/ Also, how much CO2 would I release into the air?

great tool helped me alot

A car can go from rest to 45 km/hr in 5 seconds. What is its acceleration?

Guys how much time will a cyclist take to cover 132 METRES With a speed of 8 km/ph

@Mike Depends on how fast that actually is. For every 10 mph above 60, but below 120, you save 5 seconds a mile. But between the 30-60 area, every ten saves 10 seconds a mile (if I am remembering correctly), and every 10 between 15-30 is 20 seconds. Realistically, it isn't likely isn't worth it, unless it is a relatively straight drive with no stops, in which case you will likely go up a gear for the drive and thus improve gas efficiency for the trip. Only really saves time if it is over long trips 300+ miles (in which case, assuming you were on the interstate) that 5 seconds a mile would save you 25 minutes from the drive, making it go from 4h35m to 4h10m. For me, I have family across the U.S., so family visits are usually 900-1400 miles. Even only driving 5 above usually saves me 90-150 minutes or so (since I often have stretches where I drive on US highways which have 55 mph speed limits)

I would like to know if driving fast is worth it for short trips. If I drive 10 MPH over the speed limit for 10 miles, how much time do i save ? Is there an equation for that ?

it helps me in lot of stuff

awesome, helped me notice how long my taiga (electric seedoo) is going to last.

Very good! This helped me a lot.

Speed Calculator Online

Copy this link into your clipboard then paste it onto any internet page.

  • First, choose what to compute: speed, distance or time
  • Type known values and set units of measurement
  • Calculator will compute the answer automatically as you type.
  • See 'calculation examples' for more info
  • 11:32:30.45 - 11 hours, 32 minutes, 30 seconds, 450 milliseconds
  • 72.5:11 - 72 and half hours + 11 minutes = 72 hours and 41 minutes
  • :11:7 - 11 minutes and 7 seconds
  • :90 - 90 minutes (one hour and 30 minutes)
  • ::90 - 90 seconds (one minute and 30 seconds)
  • ::28 - 28 seconds

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How to Calculate Speed, Distance & Time

Working out speed, distance and time is an important part of many roles, including those in the armed forces or transport industries.

If you are applying for a role in these industries, you may be tested on this as part of your recruitment process. The questions will allow your employer to test your applied mathematical abilities.

How to calculate speed, distance & time: the formula triangle you’ll need?

To work out speed, divide the distance of the journey by the time it took to travel, so speed = distance divided by time. To calculate time, divide the distance by speed. To get the distance, multiply the speed by time.

You may see these equations simplified as s=d/t, where s is speed, d is distance, and t is time.

speed distance time triangle

This formula can be arranged into the triangle above. In the triangle, speed and time form the base, as they are what is multiplied together to work out the distance.

The triangle is an easy way to remember the formula and can save you time when working out your exam questions. The triangle will help you remember the three formulas:

  • The formula of speed is Speed = Distance ÷ Time
  • The formula of time is Time = Distance ÷ Speed
  • The formula of distance is Distance = Speed x Time

The triangle shows you what calculation you should use. As distance is at the top of the triangle, to work it out, you need to multiply speed with time.

As speed and time are at the bottom of the triangle, you need to divide this number from the figure for distance, to work out the correct answer.

When beginning to study for your practice test, make sure you write out the triangle on your paper. This will help you to memorize it.

How to calculate speed

speed distance time triangle

To calculate speed, you need to divide the distance by the time. You can work this out by using the triangle. If you cover up speed, you are left with distance over time.

Here is an example:

If a driver has travelled 180 miles and it took them 3 hours to make that distance, then to work out their speed you would take:

180 miles / 3 hours -\> 180 / 3 = 60

So the driver’s speed would be 60mph.

How to calculate distance

speed distance time triangle

To work out the distance travelled, you will need to multiply speed and time.

If a driver travelled at 100mph for 4 hours, then to work out the distance you will need to multiply the speed with the time.

100mph x 4 hours -\> 100 x 4 = 400

The distance is 400 miles.

How to calculate the time

speed distance time triangle

To work out the time that the journey took, you will need to know the speed of the journey and the distance that was travelled.

If the driver travelled 50 miles at 5mph, then to work out the time taken you would divide:

50miles / 5 miles per hour -\> 50 / 5 = 10

The time taken to travel this distance is 10 miles per hour.

Three example speed/distance/time questions

  • Andy drives his lorry for 400 miles, which takes him 8 hours. Harry drives 200 miles, which takes him 4.5 hours. Who is travelling faster?

Answer: Andy is driving at 50mph, and Harry is driving at 44.44mph. So, Andy is driving faster.

  • Tessa runs a 5km race with her running club every Saturday. She runs this in 40 minutes. If she maintains the same speed, how long would it take her to run the 8km race?

Answer: Her speed is 7.5kph. If she runs 10km at 7.5kph, to work out the time, you need to divide 8 by 7.5, which equals 1.066. If we convert this into hours and minutes, it will take her 1 hour and 4 minutes to run 8km.

  • Hannah goes on a cycling trip. In the first half of the journey, she travels at 10mph for 2 hours. In the second half, she travels at 20mph for 90 minutes. How far does she travel in total?

Answer: In the first half of her journey she travels 20 miles (10 x 2 = 20). In the second half, she travels 30 miles, (20 x 1.5 = 30). 20+30 =50, so she travels 50 miles in total.

Methods to get better at these questions

To improve your skill in answering speed distance time questions, there are two main things you can do.

First, make sure that you are familiar with the formula triangle. The key to answering these questions is knowing the formula inside out, so that you always know what equation to use, whether the exam question is asking you to work out speed or distance.

By making sure you have memorized the formula in all its variations, you will save yourself time when answering questions.

Secondly, you should focus on improving your general mathematical skills. You may get a compound question, which asks you to use the formula in conjunction with other maths skills to work out the answer to the problem.

You can try a few maths practice tests, such as these , which will help you to practise your basic numeracy skills.

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Speed Calculator

Speed, distance, time, how fast am i going — types of speed, average speed formula, speed calculator — how to find your average speed, average speed vs average velocity, speed of sound — curious speed related facts.

This speed calculator is a tool that helps you determine the average speed of a moving object based on the distance traveled over a certain time traveled. Whether you are test-driving your brand-new car or just going for a quick jog or cycle, if you want to know how to find average speed, this calculator will come in handy.

In the article below, you can find a lot of valuable information, like what the average speed formula is. We will also give you a few curious speed facts (e.g., the speed of sound formula ). Check this speed distance calculator and finally find an answer to the question how fast am I going?

We have all heard of speed , but how confident are you in your understanding of this concept? Speed is, by definition, purely related and connected to physics. However, when you take the time to think about it, you don't see the vectors and formulas from your textbook, but instead, a cyclist, flying jet, or speedometer needle. We mostly associate speed with moving objects than with scientific equations. What is more, we have a sense that tells us how quickly we are traveling; that is, we can sense whether we are moving fast or not. For example, when you drive a car at a speed of 50 km/h, this is not too fast relative to the max speed of the car, but when you ride a bike with the same speed, it feels like a lot. So, we can say that the human perception of speed is relative.

Automobiles and trains measure speed in kilometers per hour (kph) or in miles per hour (mph), and on airplanes and ships, we usually use knots (kn). On the other hand, physicists most often use the SI base units which are meters per second (m/s). The speed definition hides behind these units, and we can get familiar with it by examining them. Everything about speed is related to distance and time. The units of speed are specified by traveled distance units divided by units of time, and that is the general idea of speed. In a more simple way - speed is the distance traveled per unit of time .

Speed is not a precise term — there are a few more accurate meanings, and they should not be confused with each other. Let's consider the differences between instantaneous speed , average speed and rotational speed . For the purpose of two first, we will try to visualize it with an example of driving a car.

You are driving along the long, open highway. You glance down at the speedometer of your car; it reads 100 kilometers per hour. From this, you know how far you will drive if you keep the speed constant. We know that, in practice, keeping the speed exactly constant is almost impossible (although, on a highway with cruise control, it is nearly possible), and our speed fluctuates all the time, more or less. The actual distance you travel in an hour is the average of all these speeds. Conclusion - the average speed is the total distance traveled in a unit of time (e.g., in an hour).

So, what does the number your speedometer indicates really mean? That is your instantaneous speed; your speed at this exact moment. According to the textbook definition, the instantaneous speed is the change in object position, x, between two times, t 1 and t 2 (where this time interval approaches zero, i.e., t 2 - t 1 → 0).

The rotational speed is a slightly different term, related rather to rotating objects than to objects that change their position in space. Accordingly, the rotational speed is the number of complete revolutions that an object makes in a unit of time . It is expressed in radians per second (rad/s) or in revolutions per minute (rpm) units. We will not focus more on this topic because it is not the aim of this speed distance calculator. If you would like to find out more about the topic of angular speed, go to our angular acceleration calculator or the rotational kinetic energy calculator .

Since the main purpose of this calculator is to calculate average speed, let's take a more in-depth look at this topic. Average speed is measured in units of distance per time, and the average speed formula looks like this:

average speed = total distance / total time

Typical units are kilometers per hour (kph), miles per hour (mph), meters per second (m/s), and feet per second (ft/s). In our mph calculator, the default unit is mph (kph for metric-units countries), but you can change between any of the common units.

🙋 To know more about determining the average speed, check out our average rate of change calculator .

Using this speed distance calculator is really easy, and you will get your result immediately. Check the points below to learn how to use this calculator properly:

  • First, you need to determine the distance . This might be, for example, the distance you have driven from home to another city. Input this into the appropriate field.
  • Now, there is a need to determine the time it took to cover a certain distance. Input this into the calculator.
  • And here it is, you'll get the average speed .

You can also click the advanced mode button to access the extra functionality of this average speed calculator. Here, you can compare what the difference in time would be if the object was traveling at another average speed (a positive value if the object is traveling for a longer time and a negative value if the object is traveling for a shorter time).

Speed and velocity might seem to be the same thing, but they're not. Speed is a scalar quantity - it is defined by magnitude only. In simple terms, it tells you how fast an object is moving. On the other hand, velocity is a vector - it is defined not only by magnitude but also by direction. It tells you the rate at which an object changes its position.

Imagine you drove a car 100 meters forward and then 100 meters back. You would drive at a certain average speed in each direction, but you would have zero average velocity, as velocity is measured as the rate at which the position of the car changes, and, overall, the car didn't change its position. Therefore, it is enough to say that the average speed of a car was 50 mph, but when calculating velocity, we would have to add direction, let's say 50 mph east.

🙋 Take a look at the velocity calculator for a full discussion on the difference between velocity and speed!

Do you have a need... a need for speed? Take a look at some interesting facts and striking numbers of the speed of different objects and animals!

Nothing can go faster than the speed of light, even if we take into account that speed is a relative measurement. Light moves at the speed of 299 792 458 meters per second, which approximately gives 300 000 kilometers per second or 186 000 miles per second. The time it takes for the light from the Sun to reach the Earth is around 8 minutes.

Sound moves through the air at a speed of around 343 meters per second, which is 1234.8 km/h or 767 mph (at 20 °C / 68 °F). It means that a sound wave in air needs about 2.9 seconds to travel one kilometer, or 4.7 seconds to travel a mile - this data might be useful for storm-hunters to determine the lighting distance . In 2012, Austrian Felix Baumgartner broke the sound barrier (with his body!) during a free-fall from 128 000 feet. He reached a speed of 843.6 mph. To put it into context, the typical passenger of jet aircraft cruises at an altitude of 33 000 - 35 000 feet, at a speed of around 500 mph (depending on the aircraft type as well as on the wind speed).

You've probably heard that the fastest animal on the land is the cheetah, and it is true. Its maximum speed is really incredible, and, according to the latest research, it can reach speeds of up to 58 mph! Another amazing example is the peregrine falcons. They can reach speeds exceeding... 200 mph in air! In water, the fastest animal is the Atlantic sailfish - 68 mph in water.

What about people? Sprinter Usain Bolt is the fastest man ever in recorded history, with a recorded speed of 27.44 mph. What is interesting, scientists found that a man who lived 20 000 years ago in Australia (called T8) ran with the speed of 23 mph. Note he did it barefoot in the mud, while Bolt uses state-of-the-art running shoes and a dedicated track.

Is velocity the same as speed?

Velocity and speed are very nearly the same — in fact, the only difference between the two is that velocity is speed with direction . Speed is what is known as a scalar quantity, meaning that it can be described by a single number (how fast you’re going). It is also the magnitude of velocity. Velocity, a vector quality, must have both the magnitude and direction specified, e.g., traveling 90 mph southeast.

What is the most economical driving speed?

While the most economical driving speed changes with every vehicle , the general consensus is that it is around 50 mph (80 km/h) . There are a few other things you can do to maximize efficiency, however. First, try to maintain a constant speed ; this will make your engine run as efficiently as possible — use cruise control on flats if you have it. Second, drive at the highest possible gear within the speed limit ; this again helps your engine run as economically as possible. Other tips include turning off AC and having as little weight in your car as you can .

Can Google Maps tell me my speed?

Google Maps can tell you your speed; it has an inbuild speedometer , which is only currently available for Android users. It is on by default, but to make sure it is on, go to settings → navigation settings , and under the driving options menu, there will be a slider for it. It is useful as it will change color if you are exceeding the limit — so you don’t have to take your eyes off the road. You can also report speed cameras and traps — but only if you’re in navigation mode.

How do you calculate mph to seconds?

  • Take your current speed in either kph or mph.
  • Divide it by 60 to get kilometers per minute or miles per minute.
  • Divide by 60 again, getting kilometers per second or miles per second.
  • Alternatively, divide it by 3600 for the straight conversion.

What are the types of speed?

Speed has many different types and terms to describe it:

  • Speed — how fast an object is traveling.
  • Velocity — how fast an object is traveling in a certain direction.
  • Acceleration — how quickly it takes an object to reach a certain speed.
  • Constant speed — an object moving at the same rate.
  • Variable speed — an object moving at a changing rate.
  • Average speed — distance covered divided by time taken to traverse.
  • Instantaneous speed — the speed at a particular instance.

What is the unit for speed?

The unit for speed is distance over time , as it is defined as the amount of time it takes an object to cover a particular distance. The base, or SI, unit is meters per second , but this is not very practical in everyday life. You are likely more familiar with units such as kilometers per hour, miles per hour, and knots . Any distance over time is a speed unit, so other units of speed include nanometres per fortnight, Boeing 787s per solar year, or bananas per Friedman.

How do you convert between mph and kph?

To convert from miles per hour to kilometers per hour :

  • Take your speed.
  • Multiply the value by 1.6.

To convert kilometers per hour to miles per hour :

  • Multiply the value by 0.62.

A handy trick if you don’t have a calculator to hand (e.g., you're driving) is to use the Fibonacci sequence (1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8…). Take a number; the next one in the sequence is the kilometers if the previous one was miles (e.g., 50 mph is roughly 80 kph).

How do you find the final speed?

If you have the average and initial speed :

  • Multiply the average speed by 2.
  • Subtract the initial speed.
  • You’re left with the final speed .

If you have initial speed, acceleration, and time :

  • Multiply the time and acceleration.
  • Add the initial speed to this number.
  • Revel in your calculation .

What is the formula to calculate average speed?

The most common formula for average speed is distance traveled divided by time taken . The other formula, if you have the initial and final speed , add the two together and divide by 2.

What are the types of acceleration?

There are two types of acceleration, average and instantaneous . Average acceleration is the change in speed divided by the change of time and is how an object's movement changes with time, on average. Instantaneous acceleration is the derivative of speed with respect to time , or the limit of the average acceleration over an infinitesimal period of time. It is used to find the exact acceleration of an object at a particular time.

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Speed Distance Time

Speed Distance Time Triangle

Here we will learn about the speed distance time triangle including how they relate to each other, how to calculate each one and how to solve problems involving them.

There are also speed distance time triangle worksheets based on Edexcel, AQA and OCR exam questions, along with further guidance on where to go next if you’re still stuck.

What is speed distance time?

Speed distance time is the formula used to explain the relationship between speed, distance and time. That is speed = distance ÷ time . Or to put it another way distance divided by speed will give you the time. Provided you know two of the inputs you can work out the third.

For example if a car travels for 2 hours and covers 120 miles we can work out speed as 120 ÷ 2 = 60 miles per hour.

The units of the the distance and time tell you the units for the speed.

What is the speed distance time triangle?

The speed distance time triangle is a way to describe the relationship between speed, distance and time as shown by the formula below.

\textbf{Speed } \bf{=} \textbf{ distance } \bf{\div} \textbf{ time}

“Speed equals distance divided by time”

Let’s look at an example to calculate speed.

If a car travels 66km in 1.5 hours then we can use this formula to calculate the speed.

This formula can also be rearranged to calculate distance or calculate time given the other two measures. An easy way to remember the formula and the different rearrangements is to use this speed distance time triangle. 

speed distance time image 1

From this triangle we can work out how to calculate each measure: We can ‘cover up’ what we are trying to find and the formula triangle tells us what calculation to do.

speed distance time image 2

Let’s look at an example to calculate time.

How long does it take for a car to travel 34 miles at a speed of 68 miles per hour?

Let’s look at an example to calculate distance.

What distance does a bike cover if it travels at a speed of 7 metres per second for 50 seconds?

What is the speed distance time triangle?

What is the speed distance time formula?

The speed distance time formula is just another way of referring to the speed distance time triangle or calculation you can use to determine speed, time or distance.

  • speed = distance ÷ time
  • time = distance ÷ speed
  • distance = speed x time

Time problem

We can solve problems involving time by remembering the formula for speed , distance and time . 

travel time by speed

Calculate the time if a car travels at 15 miles at a speed of 36 mph.

Time = distance ÷ speed

Time = 15 ÷ 36 = 0.42 hours

0.42 ✕ 60 = 25.2 minutes

A train travels 42km between two stops at an average speed of 36 km/h. 

If the train departs at 4 pm, when does the train arrive?

Time = 42 ÷ 36 = 1.17 hours

1.17 ✕ 60= 70 minutes = 1 hour 10 minutes.

The average speed of a scooter is 18 km/h and the average speed of a cycle is 10 km/h. 

When both have travelled 99 km what is the difference in the time taken?

Time A = 99 ÷ 18 = 5.5 hours

Time B= 99 ÷ 10 = 9.9 hours

Difference in time = 9.9 – 5.5 = 4.4 hours

4.4 hours = 4 hours and 24 minutes

Units of speed, distance and time

  • The speed of an object is the magnitude of its velocity. We measure speed most commonly in metres per second (m/s), miles per hour (mph) and kilometres per hour (km/hr).

The average speed of a small plane is 124mph.

The average walking speed of a person is 1.4m/s.

  • We measure the distance an object has travelled most commonly in millimetres (mm), centimetres (cm), metres (m) and kilometres (km).

The distance from London to Birmingham is 162.54km.

travel time by speed

  • We measure time taken in milliseconds, seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years. 

The time taken for the Earth to orbit the sun is 1 year or 365 days. We don’t measure this in smaller units like minutes of hours.

A short bus journey however, would be measured in minutes.

Speed, distance and time are proportional.

travel time by speed

If we know two of the measurements we can find the other.

A car drives 150 miles in 3 hours.

Calculate the average speed, in mph, of the car.

Distance = 150 miles

Time = 3 hours

Speed = 150÷ 3= 50mph

Speed, distance, time and units of measure

It is very important to be aware of the units being used when calculating speed, distance and time.

  • Examples of units of distance: mm, \ cm, \ m, \ km, \ miles
  • Examples of units of time: seconds (sec), minutes, (mins) hours (hrs), days
  • Examples of units of speed: metres per second (m/s), miles per hour (mph)

Note that speed is a compound measure and therefore involves two units; a combination of a distance in relation to a time.

When you use the speed distance time formula you must check that each measure  is in the appropriate unit before you carry out the calculation. Sometimes you will need to convert a measure into different units. Here are some useful conversions to remember.

Units of length

Units of time

1 minute = 60 seconds

1 hour = 60 minutes

1 day = 24 hours

Let’s look at an example.

What distance does a bike cover if it travels at a speed of 5 metres per second for 3 minutes?

Note here that the speed involves seconds, but the time given is in minutes. So before using the formula you must change 3 minutes into seconds.

3 minutes = 3\times 60 =180 seconds

Note also that sometimes you may need to convert an answer into different units at the end of a calculation.

Constant speed / average speed

For the GCSE course you will be asked to calculate either a constant speed or an average speed . Both of these can be calculated using the same formula as shown above.

However, this terminology is used because in real life speed varies throughout a journey. You should also be familiar with the terms acceleration (getting faster) and deceleration (getting slower).

Constant speed

A part of a journey where the speed stays the same.

Average speed

A journey might involve a variety of different constant speeds and some acceleration and deceleration. We can use the formula for speed to calculate the average speed over the course of the whole journey.

Average Speed Formula

Average speed is the total distance travelled by an object divided by the total time taken. To do this we can use the formula

Average speed =\frac{Total\, distance}{Total\, time}

If we are calculating an average speed in mph or km/h, we will need to ensure we have decimalised the time before we divide.

How to calculate speed distance time

In order to calculate speed, distance or time:

Write down the values of the measures you know with the units.

speed distance time flip card 1 image 1

Check that the units are compatible with each other, converting them if necessary.

Substitute the values into the selected formula and carry out the resulting calculation.

Write your final answer with the required units.

Explain how to calculate speed distance time

Explain how to calculate speed distance time

Speed distance time triangle worksheet

Get your free speed distance time triangle worksheet of 20+ questions and answers. Includes reasoning and applied questions.

Related lessons on   compound measures

Speed distance time  is part of our series of lessons to support revision on  compound measures . You may find it helpful to start with the main compound measures lesson for a summary of what to expect, or use the step by step guides below for further detail on individual topics. Other lessons in this series include:

  • Compound measures
  • Mass density volume
  • Pressure force area
  • Formula for speed
  • Average speed formula

Speed distance time triangle examples

Example 1: calculating average speed.

Calculate the average speed of a car which travels 68 miles in 2 hours.

Speed: unknown

Distance: 68 miles

Time: 2 hours

2 Write down the formula you need to use from the speed, distance, time triangle.

speed distance time example 1 image 1

3 Check that the units are compatible with each other, converting them if necessary.

The distance is in miles and the time is in hours. These units are compatible to give the speed in miles per hour.

4 Substitute the values into the formula and carry out the resulting calculation.

5 Write your final answer with the required units.

Example 2: calculating time

A golden eagle can fly at a speed of 55 kilometres per hour. Calculate the time taken for a golden eagle to fly 66 \ km, giving your answer in hours.

Speed: 55 \ km/hour

Distance: 66 \ km

Time: unknown

Write down the formula  you need to use from the speed, distance, time  triangle.

speed distance time flip card2 image 1


Time = distance \div speed

Speed is in km per hour and the distance is in km , so these are compatible to give an answer for time in hours.

Example 3: calculating distance

Calculate the distance covered by a train travelling at a constant speed of 112 miles per hour for 4 hours.

Speed: 112 \ mph

Distance: unknown

Time: 4 hours

speed distance time example 3

D= S \times T

Distance = speed \times time

Speed is in miles per hour. The time is in hours. These units are compatible to find the distance in miles.

Example 4: calculating speed with unit conversion

A car travels for 1 hour and 45 minutes, covering a distance of 63 miles. Calculate the average speed of the car giving your answer in miles per hour (mph) .

Distance: 63 miles

Time: 1 hour and 45 minutes

speed distance time example 4

S = \frac{D}{T}

Speed = distance \div time

The distance is in miles . The time is in hours and minutes. To calculate the speed in miles per hour , the time needs to be converted into hours only.

1 hour 45 minutes = 1\frac{3}{4} hours = 1.75 hours

Example 5: calculating time with unit conversion

A small plane can travel at an average speed of 120 miles per hour. Calculate the time taken for this plane to fly 80 miles giving your answer in minutes.

Speed: 120 \ mph

Distance: 80 \ miles

speed distance time example 5

T = \frac{D}{S}

Speed is in miles per hour and the distance is in miles . These units are compatible to find the time in hours.

\frac{2}{3} hours in minutes

\frac{2}{3} \times 60 = 40

Example 6: calculating distance with unit conversion

A train travels at a constant speed of 96 miles per hour for 135 minutes. Calculate the distance covered giving your answer in miles.

Speed: 96 \ mph

Time: 135 minutes

speed distance time example 6

D = S \times T

The speed is in miles per hour , but the time is in minutes. To make these compatible the time needs changing into hours and then the calculation will give the distance in miles .

135 minutes

135 \div 60 = \frac{9}{4} = 2\frac{1}{4} = 2.25

Common misconceptions

  • Incorrectly rearranging the formula Speed = distance \div time

Make sure you rearrange the formula correctly. One of the simplest ways of doing this is to use the formula triangle. In the triangle you cover up the measure you want to find out and then the triangle shows you what calculation to do with the other two measures.

speed distance time common misconceptions

  • Using incompatible units in a calculation

When using the speed distance time formula you must ensure that the units of the measures are compatible. For example, if a car travels at 80 \ km per hour for 30 minutes and you are asked to calculate the distance, a common error is to substitute the values straight into the formula and do the following calculation. Distance = speed \times time = 80 \times 30 = 2400 \ km The correct way is to notice that the speed uses hours but the time given is in minutes. Therefore you must change 30 minutes into 0.5 hours and substitute these compatible values into the formula and do the following calculation. Distance = speed \times time = 80 \times 0.5 = 40 \ km

Practice speed distance time triangle questions

1. A car drives 120 miles in 3 hours. Calculate its average speed.

GCSE Quiz True

2. A cyclist travels 100 miles at an average speed of 20 \ mph. Calculate how long the journey takes.

3. An eagle flies for 30 minutes at a speed of 66 \ km per hour. Calculate the total distance the bird has flown.

30 minutes = 0.5 hours

4. Calculate the average speed of a lorry travelling 54 miles in 90 minutes. Give your answer in miles per hour (mph).

Firstly convert 90 minutes to hours. 90 minutes = 1.5 hours

5. Calculate the time taken for a plane to fly 90 miles at an average speed of 120 \ mph. Give your answer in minutes.

180 minutes

Convert 0.75 hours to minutes

6. A helicopter flies 18 \ km in 20 minutes. Calculate its average speed in km/h .

Firstly convert 20 minutes to hours. 20 minutes is a third of an hour or \frac{1}{3} hours. \begin{aligned} &Speed = distance \div time \\\\ &Speed =18 \div \frac{1}{3} \\\\ &Speed = 54 \\\\ &54 \ km/h \end{aligned}

Speed distance time triangle GCSE questions

1. A commercial aircraft travels from its origin to its destination in a time of 2 hours and 15 minutes. The journey is 1462.5 \ km.

What is the average speed of the plane in km/hour?

2 hours 15 minutes = 2\frac{15}{60} = 2\frac{1}{4} = 2.25

2. John travelled 30 \ km in 90 minutes.

Nadine travelled 52.5 \ km in 2.5 hours.

Who had the greater average speed?

You must show your working.

90 minutes = 1.5 hours

John = 30 \div 1.5 = 20 \ km/h

Nadine = 52.5 \div 2.5 = 21 \ km/h

Nadine has the greater average speed.

3. The distance from Birmingham to Rugby is 40 miles.

Omar drives from Rugby to Birmingham at 60 \ mph.

Ayushi drives from Rugby to Birmingham at 50 \ mph.

How much longer was Ayushi’s journey compared to Omar’s journey? Give your answer in minutes.

For calculating time in hours for Omar or Ayushi.

For converting hours into minutes for Omar or Ayushi.

For correct final answer of 8 minutes.

Learning checklist

You have now learned how to:

  • Use compound units such as speed
  • Solve simple kinematic problem involving distance and speed
  • Change freely between related standard units (e.g. time, length) and compound units (e.g. speed) in numerical contexts
  • Work with compound units in a numerical context

The next lessons are

  • Best buy maths
  • Scale maths

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Privacy Overview

Generic browser based speed, distance and time calculators written in javascript by Nigel Jones for performance oriented cyclists and other racers.

If you can run Windows applications you might prefer a nicer and more compact version of these calculators that ships with my bike gear calculator or the additional functionality of my power calculator . Better still if your sport does involve bicycles my fixed wheel gear calculator does some very similar calculations in a manner that is more comprehensive because it does take your bicycle gearing and cadence into account but is obviously more complex as a result.

If you can't run windows applications, and/or your sport doesn't involve bicycles so the additional functionality of GearCalc and PowerCalc isn't of interest to you use these for free.

To use the calculators on this page you must have javascript enabled. If you can't run javascript then why not try one of the VB applications on my Bicycle Software Home Page or Miscellaneous Downloads Page

Average Speed Calculator

Calculates average speed to ride a fixed distance in a given time. Formula: Speed = Distance ÷ Time

Time Calculator

Calculates time required to ride a fixed distance in a given average speed. Formula: Time = Distance ÷ Speed

Distance Calculator

Calculates distance covered from average speed and time elapsed. Formula: Distance = Speed × Time

Just about any javascript enabled web browser


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