Speeding facts

An image of a 30 speed sign An image of speeding traffic An image of a 30 speed sign An image of traffic lights

Speeding is not something carried out by a small deviant minority, which makes it an emotive subject for a large percentage of the population.

About two thirds of drivers regularly exceed 30mph urban speed limits and most vehicle related deaths occur on these roads.  In the UK, many drivers believe excessive speed is not a problem, even though it can pose a serious risk to all road users.

Drivers who want to break the speed limit often intimidate other drivers in front of them by driving too close or constantly trying to overtake. This can put a lot of stress on other drivers so that they also feel a need to exceed the speed limit to alleviate pressure from vehicles behind.

Many drivers also treat posted speed limits as minimums rather than maximums, failing to realise the risks they pose to themselves, their passengers and other road users.

There is overwhelming evidence that lower speeds result in both fewer collisions and in reduced severity of collisions. Research by the Transport Research Laboratory showed that just a 1mph reduction in average speed results in an average 5% reduction in collisions.

At the other end of the spectrum, even a slight increase in speed can cause fatality rates to soar.
Drivers are twice as likely to kill someone when travelling at 35mph than they are at 30mph. At 40mph, nine out of 10 pedestrians will die, but at 20mph, nine out of ten will survive.

Over four times as many people die each year on our roads than as a result of violent crime. Our driving attitude and behaviour has to change to prevent many more unnecessary deaths and suffering.

Remember... Don’t speed - Avoid a speeding ticket...

  1. Do not exceed legal speed limits - they are there for a reason

  2. Remember that speed limits are a maximum not a target - often it is more appropriate to drive below this speed

  3. Set realistic journey times

  4. Don't be pressured to speed by other drivers

  5. Be aware of pedestrians, cyclists, children, animals and motorcyclists

  6. Adjust your driving to suit the conditions e.g. near a school, on wet roads etc. so that you could stop in time if necessary

  7. Check your speedometer as frequently as you would your mirrors - it could save your licence

  8. Don't be distracted by passengers or use a mobile phone while driving

  9. Be aware of the speed limits for your vehicle and the type of road

  10. Be an ambassador for driving within the legal speed limits - if you comply the chances are that the driver behind you will too.


  • You're twice as likely to kill a pedestrian at 35 mph as at 30 mph. 

  • When you are using a mobile phone it takes you longer to stop than if you are over the alcohol limit - and you are 30 times more likely to crash if over the limit.

  • Always be aware of the speed limit. If you are in a built-up area and there are street lights, the limit is always 30mph unless there is a sign which says otherwise. 

  • If you wonder what would happen if you were to hit a windscreen at 30mph, imagine dropping a watermelon from a three-storey building. The effect is about the same - always wear a seat belt.

  • Young people aged between 17 and 24 represent only about 10 per cent of the UK's licence holders, but are involved in over 20 per cent of all road collisions.

  • The biggest killer of young people across Europe and North America
    is road traffic deaths.

  • Road deaths are ranked above malaria globally as a cause of
    premature death.

  • For every 1mph average speeds are reduced, collisions reduce by five per cent.