Road Safety Week reminds us all about the dangers of speeding
Speeding in the UK continues to be a problem for drivers and is the cause of almost a third of collisions on our roads. The Personal Injury team at Warner Goodman see first hand the consequences of such incidents, and Danielle Chandler-Hesmondhalgh, Trainee Solicitor in the team, explains here why they support Road Safety Week each year.
Speed Down Save Lives
Road Safety Week is an annual event organised by road safety charity, Brake, and aims to encourage people across the UK to consider the changes we could all be making to make our roads a safer place for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists. “Every year the theme is different with this year’s theme being Speed Down Save Lives,” begins Danielle. “We all know the danger of exceeding the speed limit, but it still remains a problem in society. People can become complacent, particularly if they know their journey well, unpredictable hazards become even more dangerous when we are speeding, and we have less time to identify and react to what is happening around us on the roads.”
Speed can also become an issue when driving conditions are poor. “A driver may be travelling within the speed limit, but driving conditions should always be a factor when reviewing our speed,” continues Danielle. “This is especially pertinent now as we enter the winter months, when the mornings and evenings are dark, and there is more chance of rain, snow and ice on the roads.”
Importance of Road Safety Week
The messages promoted during the awareness week will not only be to consider how fast a driver is going but to consider other variables around them. “Drivers should understand how they need to adapt their driving to the situation they are in,” explains Danielle. “For example, on a rural road the speed limit may be 40 or 50mph, but is this an appropriate speed? If you are driving in a built up area or near schools, should you be slowing down to 20mph? Do drivers understand the impact their speed has on their stopping distance, and would they be able to stop if a child ran into the road for example? These are things all drivers must consider every time they get behind the wheel, as it could mean the difference between life and death.”
The messages from Brake are supported by a report released earlier this year from The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) which identified the following headline facts:
- Inappropriate speed contributes towards 15% of crashes resulting in serious injury and 26% of fatal collisions
- In 2015, 222 people were killed in collisions involving someone exceeding the speed limit, and a further 167 people died when a driver was travelling too fast for the conditions
- Male drivers under 30 years old, and especially under 21 years old, were more likely to be involved in speed related collisions
“One surprising fact from the report from RoSPA is that around two thirds of collisions where people are killed or seriously injured occur on roads where the speed limit is 30mph or less,” concludes Danielle. “This could be for a variety of reasons; there are more pedestrians and cyclists on these roads as they tend to residential areas, people become more distracted or complacent in these areas as they think they are driving slow enough to react to any hazards. There is no doubt however that speed also contributes to these collisions, and that’s why we are pleased to support Road Safety Week again this year and help promote the message from Brake to make our roads a safer place.”
To find out more about Road Safety Week, which this year is from 20th to 26th November, visit the website here. If you have been in a road traffic collision and have questions about claiming compensation, you can contact Danielle or the Personal Injury team on 0800 91 92 30 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is for information purposes only and is no substitute for, and should not be interpreted as, legal advice.