The latest road casualty statistics show that, in 2022, 1,766 people died on UK roads (1,711 in Britain, 55 in Northern Ireland), a 10% increase on figures from the previous year (see Table 1) [1,2]. Brake’s analysis also found that in the same period, road deaths caused by drivers exceeding the speed limit rose by 20% (see Table 2) .
Brake also carried out a public opinion survey, asking more than 2,000 drivers about their driving habits and attitudes to speed and speed limits . The survey found that 92% of drivers think that speed limits are essential for the safety of our roads. Despite this, more than a third (34%) of those surveyed said they sometimes or often drive faster than the speed limit, and 40% think that driving just a little bit over the speed limit doesn’t matter. Two-fifths (39%) of drivers surveyed also agreed that the default speed limit on roads in built-up areas should be lowered from 30mph to 20mph, supporting changes that are taking place across the UK to make communities safer through the introduction of lower speed limits [5,6,7].
Brake is releasing the survey results at the start of its biggest annual road safety campaign, Road Safety Week, which runs from 19 to 25 November. The charity is calling on everyone to join a national conversation about speed, to raise awareness of the dangers of excessive and inappropriate speed, and challenge why so many people still think it is acceptable to drive faster than the speed limit.
Road Safety Week began on Sunday 19 November to coincide with the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, for which people across the world lit candles in memory of those killed or seriously injured on roads. Brake worked with local councils across the UK to get public buildings and other landmarks lit up in yellow, to show support for road victims.
This year, more than 3,400 schools, communities, organisations and emergency services, together representing more than 17 million people, have signed up to take part in Road Safety Week by organising local activities, sharing important road safety messages and posing the question: If five people die on UK roads every day, why do we still think it is ok to speed? Brake has provided free resources to everyone taking part in Road Safety Week, including campaigns toolkits, lesson plans and assemblies for school, as well as factsheets, films, posters and more for businesses, local communities and campaign groups.
Here are some examples of events that are taking place around the UK.
- In South Yorkshire, Mayor Oliver Coppard and Active Travel Commissioner Ed Clancy will attend the Lifewise Centre in Rotherham to run road safety lessons with local schoolchildren. They will also be riding bicycles that will light up with road safety messages.
- In London, the BT Tower will display a message supporting the central theme of Road Safety Week, Let’s talk about speed!
- Blackburn and Darwen Borough Council will hold a road safety parade bringing together local high schools and primary schools to share important road safety messages. The parade will follow a pedestrianised route through the town centre, ending at Blackburn Town Hall where the Mayor of Blackburn will deliver a short speech.
The speed we choose to drive at can mean the difference between life and death. Our speed dictates whether we can stop in time to avoid a crash, and the force of impact if we can't stop. This Road Safety Week, I urge you to join the conversation and talk about speed.Ross Moorlock, Interim CEO, Brake
Ross Moorlock, interim CEO at Brake, said:
“Road death is sudden. It's traumatic. It sends shockwaves across families, schools, workplaces and communities. This year, we have already supported more than 1500 people affected by road crashes through our National Road Victim Service.
“Today, five people will be killed on our roads. And tomorrow, another five won’t make it home to their families. And so on, and so on, until we all say 'Enough!’ and start taking responsibility for each other’s safety on the road.
“The speed we choose to drive at can mean the difference between life and death. Our speed dictates whether we can stop in time to avoid a crash, and the force of impact if we can't stop. This Road Safety Week, whoever you are, and however you travel, I urge you to join the conversation and talk about speed. Please talk to as many people as you can to find out why, when five people die on our roads every day, so many of us still choose to drive too fast.”
Ian Pearson, head of insurance at Arval UK, said:
“With Arval’s commitment to influencing and acting for driver safety, Road Safety Week 2023 conveys an important key message: ‘Speeding puts your life and the lives of other road users at risk.’
“We’ll be encouraging our employees, our customers and their drivers to get involved and raise awareness of the damage that speeding can cause. This week we’ll be sharing Brake’s social media posts and holding events throughout our offices – it all helps to remind drivers that speeding is simply never smart.”
Ed Colley, head of digital and marketing at Autoglass®, said:
“At Autoglass®, we fit safety as standard. That’s why we are proud to be sponsoring Road Safety Week and doing what we can to help get people talking about the dangers of speeding. Although we want to fix vehicle glass as quickly and effectively as possible, we also understand the importance of responsible driving and avoiding excessive speeds once back on the road.”
Gavin Murdoch, managing director, transport, at DHL Supply Chain UK&I, said:
“DHL is proud to sponsor Road Safety Week again this year. By supporting Brake's campaign in 2023, DHL aims to amplify the impact of their efforts and further promote the message of road safety to all.”
|Table 1: Number of people killed or seriously injured on UK roads, 2021 and 2022, by region. Data taken from references 1 and 2.|
|Table 2: Number of people killed on roads in Britain, in crashes where speed was a contributory factor, 2021 and 2022. Data taken from reference 3.|
- Department for Transport (2023) Reported road casualties Great Britain, annual report: 2022 and supporting data sets.
- Police Service of Northern Ireland (2023) Fatal Casualty Figures 2022.
- Department for Transport (2023) Reported road casualties Great Britain RAS0704: Reported road collisions, casualties and vehicles where speed was a contributory factor by severity, Great Britain, 10 years up to 2022
- Brake (2023) Let's talk about SPEED: a Road Safety Week survey report
Arval UK, part of the Arval Group, is a leading provider of sustainable mobility solutions including vehicle funding and fleet management. As a BNP Paribas Group company, with substantial buying power, Arval responsibly funds around 190,000 cars and vans in the UK at the end of August 2023. Focused on customer experience, Arval UK has specialist teams dedicated to supporting a broad range of customers including individuals and small businesses with a single vehicle, through to FTSE 100 companies with thousands. It provides a comprehensive range of sustainable products and services including vehicle funding, vehicle maintenance, energy management, accident management, breakdown service, short and medium term rental, insured lease vehicles, full outsourcing salary exchange and consultancy services. It is committed to increasing adoption of low and zero emission mobility for all.
Autoglass® is the UK's leading specialist for vehicle glass repair, replacement, and recalibration (VGRRR) services, with unrivalled expertise in Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). With an extensive nationwide network of over 1,000 skilled technicians, we take pride in providing world-class service to motorists across the country. Autoglass® exists to make a difference with real care - by providing exceptional customer service at every touch point, being an ambassador for road safety, and a thought leader in the sector, we’ve become one of the UK’s most trusted service brands. Autoglass® partners with leading insurance, fleet, and lease companies, spanning a broad spectrum of industries, and our tailored glass repair, replacement, and recalibration services cater to the unique needs of each client, providing their customers with reliable and efficient experiences.
DHL is the leading global brand in the logistics industry. Our DHL divisions offer an unrivalled portfolio of logistics services ranging from national and international parcel delivery, e-commerce shipping and fulfilment solutions, international express, road, air and ocean transport to industrial supply chain management. With about 395,000 employees in more than 220 countries and territories worldwide, DHL connects people and businesses securely and reliably, enabling global sustainable trade flows. With specialized solutions for growth markets and industries including technology, life sciences and healthcare, engineering, manufacturing & energy, auto-mobility and retail, DHL is decisively positioned as “The logistics company for the world”.
DHL is part of DHL Group. The Group generated revenues of more than 94 billion euros in 2022. With sustainable business practices and a commitment to society and the environment, the Group makes a positive contribution to the world. DHL Group aims to achieve net-zero emissions logistics by 2050.