Inappropriate Speed Kills

28 Apr 2018

Speed is one of the main causation factors in roads traffic collisions and accounts for a quarter of all road deaths. This figure includes both incidents where the speed limit was exceeded and incidents where the driver or rider was within the speed limit but travelling too fast for the weather or road conditions.

While high speed collisions are likely to be fatal, the majority of deaths attributed to inappropriate speed occur on roads with a speed limit of 30mph or less. In good conditions, the difference in stopping distance between 30mph and 35mph is an extra 21 feet, or 2 car lengths, and this distance will double in the wet, and be ten times greater in icy conditions. Research shows that 85% of pedestrians are killed when struck by a car with an impact speed below 40mph, 45% at less than 30 mph and 5% at speeds below 20mph. So a small change in the speed at which you drive or ride really could be the difference between life and death.

Remember that a speed limit is the maximum permitted speed along a stretch a road. It’s not a target and in many cases it would be unsafe to travel at the speed limit: even though it is permitted for you to do so.  Road conditions vary so you should always adjust your speed to suit.

If you’re a passenger, and you feel uncomfortable with the speed you are travelling, don’t be afraid to voice your concerns and ask your driver to slow down. It may feel awkward, but it could be the difference between arriving safely and not arriving at all. We all need to work together to reduce road casualties and sometimes all that it takes is a small reduction in speed.

For more advice on speed visit our webpage:


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