US Standard Speed (Velocity)

These are the most common measurements::

  • Feet per Second (fps)
  • Miles per Hour (mph)



Speed in feet per second (fps)

If something is traveling at 1 fps it moves 1 foot every second.

It is a very slow walking pace.

An hour and a half at 1 fps moves you about 1 mile.

Speed in miles per hour (mph)

If something is traveling at 1 mph it moves 1 mile every hour.

It is a slow walking pace.

One hour walking at 1 mph moves you 1 mile.

Miles per hour is often used for car speeds.

Example: Highway speed is around 60 mph

One minute at 60 mph will move you 1 mile.


You can convert from fps to mph:

  • 1 mph = 1.4666... fps
  • 1 fps = 0.68181818... mph

Example: What is 60 mph in fps?

A mile has 5,280 feet, and an hour has 3,600 seconds, so 60 miles per hour is:

  • 60 x 5,280 / 3,600 = 88 fps

60 mph = 88 fps


Velocity is speed with a direction.

So if something is moving at 5 mph that is a speed.

But if you say it is moving at 5 mph westwards that is a velocity.

If something moves backwards and forwards very fast it has a high speed, but a low (or zero) velocity

More Examples

60 mph is about:

  • how fast you can legally go on a highway
  • the maximum running speed of a cheetah
  • the speed needed to drive one mile in a minute
  • half the freefall speed of a skydiver

35 mph is about:

  • the speed limit in the city
  • going very fast on a bicycle
  • the speed of a racehorse on a short track
  • full running speed of a Bengal Tiger

1 foot per second is:

  • exactly 0.3048 meters per second
  • approximately 0.6818 miles per hour
  • exactly 1.09728 km per hour