This is a phenomenon associated with certain stories told by DC Comics
. Certain characters in the DC Universe
have to pay careful attention and watch their speed
because of a cosmic force
which can directly affect their destiny due to their unnatural mucking about the universe
with fleet feet
. It's known as the Speed Force. Forced Exposure
to the Speed Force could spell certain doom for any speedster
. Characters like Barry Allen
, Johnny Quick
and others have achieved terminal velocity
and merged with the Speed Force, thereby becoming one with it and being lost forever to their respective reality.
Even a motorized wheelchair capable of supersonic speeds would theoretically be susceptible to the Speed Force, which seems to be the true power of any speedster who aquires their abilities through unnatural means. Superman is immune to this situation, since his own superspeed is allegedly a natural genetic trait of his kryptonian heritage. However, normal earthlings who happen to get doused with chemicals by accident, are somehow "touched" by the Speed Force; which is both a blessing and a curse.
To be precise, the Speed Force is a way for speculative fiction to explain certain aspects of Einstein's theory of relativity and other principles into the storytelling. See, theoretically, the faster something goes the more energy it needs to keep on going, until the object going faster needs so much energy to maintain the velocity that it begins to actually convert from matter into energy. It's sort of like what the people in the early 20th century used to say about the sound barrier until it was broken with a sonic boom. Nowadays, sonic booms are commonplace among speedster storytelling, but trying to run faster than the speed of light either causes someone to go back in time, or causes them to become one with the multiverse.. or what's left of it.
The Speed Force has nothing to do with speed metal, Unheard of Reindeer Speeds or Atari Force just in case you were wondering.