A vehicle's speed is almost always a factor in road traffic accidents, often even if it is travelling within the speed limit. But whether overtaking, or of the belief a road is deserted and you’re getting away with it, speeding is illegal for a reason.
The signs are everywhere.
Though you may well be an experienced driver, driving by nature is unpredictable. Laws are in place to maintain road safety at all times but, as we sadly see on a daily basis, unexpected accidents do happen.
By breaking the Law in a vehicle, a road traffic accident should come as no surprise. Speeding, driving under the influence, neglecting safety and vehicle maintenance, and distractions such as mobile phones and smoking are all critical factors that may well result in an accident, stealing your undivided attention from the road and other vehicles around you.
Recently there were a reported 1,600 motorists caught speeding past road works on the M6 in Sandbach, Cheshire. Drivers are required to know the laws on speeding before passing their driving test, and speed limits are clearly marked on roads, but the results of speeding are often a reality to those flouting the Law when it is too late.
The Scary Facts of Speeding
A more vivid warning when it comes to road safety are the results of studies showing the effects of speeding. Drivers who break the speed limit are nearly twice as likely to have been involved in a Road Traffic Accident. It has been estimated that fir every 1mph reduction in average speeds, crash rates fall by an average of 5%.
Speed limits are calculated by taking into account factors such as weather, visibility and how populated the area may potentially be with pedestrians, cyclists and children.
To put it in another perspective, graphic studies from the road safety charity, Brake, show that being hit by a car at 38mph when the driver begins to stop at three car lengths is the equivalent to falling from a height of 12 metres. The height of the fall reduces as a driver’s speed is lowered.
This reflects not only on the speed of a vehicle but on the stopping distances. At 20mph a car will stop in 12 metres; this takes into account six metres of ‘thinking distance’ and six metres of braking. At 70 mph, it will take a driver 21 metres to react and a further 75 metres before the car comes to a full stop. Combining the logic of the above shows the feeling of greater height an innocent pedestrian would suffer, depending on the speed and stopping distance of a vehicle speeding through a populated area.
Jane Cooper is a Senior Personal Injury Solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers UK, specialising in road accident injury claims.
Slater and Gordon’s No Win, No Fee Solicitors offer a free consultation and can help you to claim compensation if you were injured in a road traffic accident through no fault of your own.
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