33 Deaths a Week on Britain’s Roads

07 November 2016

With our busy lives and haste to get where we need to be as quickly as possible, many of us will probably confess to having exceeded the speed limit when driving at one time or another, whether intentionally or unintentionally.

Often we may exceed the speed limit without even realising it. According to UK Government statistics, as many as 7 out of 10 of us will in fact break the speed limit on a regular basis.

We are all familiar with the slogan “Speed Kills” but does it really make a difference if we drive a little over the limit? Can the consequences of driving at 40mph instead of 30mph really be that significant? The answer is yes! The facts in relation to speed are clear:

  • Speed is a major cause of road accidents - 1 in 3 deaths are speed related
  • 2/3 of road accidents in which people are killed or injured happen on roads where the speed limit is less than 30mph
  • Where a pedestrian is involved in an accident, the likelihood of death is around 4 times higher when a car is travelling at 40mph than when travelling at 30mph.

According to Department for Transport figures, there were 1730 reported road deaths in 2015. Whilst this figure is 3% lower compared to the figure for 2014 and is 45% lower compared with the figures a decade ago in 2006, it still amounts to a staggering 33 deaths on the road each week in the UK.

Car drivers or passengers have always made up the largest proportion of road deaths as there are more car users on the road than any other road user. However, other road users i.e., pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists still account for far more casualties and fatalities than would be expected based on the distance travelled in comparison to car users.

In 2015, 44% of all deaths on the road involved car occupants, 24% were pedestrians, 21% were motorcyclists and 6% were cyclists.

Whilst the majority of injuries resulting from road accidents occur on built-up roads, the majority of fatalities happen on non-built up roads where the speed limit is likely to be higher. Fatal accidents are four times more likely to occur on a rural or “A” road.

Whether you are a young driver, a new driver, or an experienced driver, it is always worth reminding yourself of the prevailing speed limits on our roads and of the safe stopping distances that we all had to learn when we took our driving tests, however recently or long ago that may have been. This information can easily be found in the Highway Code.

Why not test yourself beforehand to see how well you can remember?

RoSPA also produce a useful guide entitled Top Ten Tips to Stay Within the Limit.

At Co-op Legal Services our Personal Injury Solicitors can help you if you have been injured as the result of a road accident whether you were a driver, passenger, pedestrian, motorcyclist or cyclist at the time of the accident.

Most road accident claims can be dealt with on a No Win No Fee basis.

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