Report 3 - Speed

Report 3 - SpeedPublished 2010

The relationship between speed and road safety is thoroughly evidenced. If we slow traffic, we reduce crashes. If you drive faster, you have less time to react to hazards, and you hit harder if you do crash. Speed is a factor in all road deaths and injuries, so controlling speeds is vital for safety, especially for vulnerable road users.

This report shows that we have a culture of speeding in the UK. Almost all drivers speed at one time or another. The question is how do we turn this around and make speeding the exception rather than the norm?

There is a contradiction in the findings: while most drivers speed, most also understand that it's dangerous, and support lower limits on many roads. The findings also send a clear message on what needs to be done. The majority of drivers say that enforcement of limits and tougher penalties are key in changing behaviour.

Main findings:

  • Nine in 10 drivers admit speeding at one time or another, the most common circumstances being to overtake (53%), and when there's not much traffic around (37%)
  • One in eight drivers (12%) admit overtaking when they can't be sure there's nothing coming the other way
  • Nine in 10 drivers (92%) want 20mph to be the limit around schools and six in 10 (60%) want 20mph to be the limit around homes

Press releases from this report:

Half of drivers risk head-on crashes by overtaking at speed, 1 February 2011
Motorway speeders contribute to congestion, 28 October 2010
Huge demand for lower limits, although most speed themselves, 16 September 2010

Tags: research speed