The Speed of Our Body Compared to IndyCars

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There’s no doubt in any IndyCar fan’s mind that these are impressive, powerful and fast machines. Average IndyCar speeds reach approximately 227 mph, though some racers have posted even faster laps. It’s expected that the average speed will soon be 230 mph.

But what you might not realize is that the human body is as powerful, if not more powerful than an IndyCar, and can boast some impressive speeds of its own. Take a look.


Human coughs come in all sorts of varieties, but they all happen the same way. A cough starts with a deep breath, followed by a compression of air in the lungs. The diaphragm then pushes a burst of air out of the body. Coughs also force out thousands of tiny saliva droplets at speeds of up to 50 mph.


Sneezes, similar to coughs, produce thousands of saliva droplets that are expelled from the body. Sneezes, however, produce far more droplets – approximately 40,000.

The larger, heavier droplets quickly fall to the floor, but the lighter droplets can remain airborne indefinitely as they are caught up in a room’s airflow. This is why it’s important to cover your mouth when sneezing to prevent the spread of germs. Regardless of weight or size of the droplets, a sneeze can travel at speeds of 200 mph or greater.

Blood flow

The human heart beats 2.5 billion times in a lifetime and is responsible for blood flow within the body to all of our vital organs. For adult males, five quarts of blood continually pump through the body, and for adult women, quarts of blood are flowing. On average, at walking speed, blood flows at an average speed of three to four mph.

There are a variety of other body processes and velocities that can be measured, but the fact remains that none are quite as fast as an IndyCar. Sneezes come in a close second, though.

To learn more about body processes and to make sure your body is in top form, contact your primary care doctor. Learn more health information about your child's development & well-being.

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