157 miles per hour: more than double the national speed limit. That’s the staggeringly high speed a car driver from Watford was caught doing along a dual carriageway in Lincolnshire just a couple of weeks ago.
Police spotted the BMW driver speeding along the A46 at Swinderby and used a hand-held device to check the speed at which he was driving. Commenting on the shocking speed that they witnessed, Lincolnshire Police Chief Inspector Phil Vickers said, "It's certainly the fastest that we've seen in Lincolnshire, not one that we would want to repeat, and just highly, highly irresponsible.”
The 43-year-old man, who admitted dangerous driving, was banned from driving for 15 months.
A car doesn’t have to travel at such a high speed to cause serious road traffic accident injuries. At 157 mph, this driver showed an appalling lack of concern for the safety of his fellow road users.
Britain’s Worst Speeder?
Although the 157 mph driver is the worst speeder ever caught in Lincolnshire, other police forces around the UK have witnessed higher speeds from reckless drivers.
In 2012, a getaway driver was caught by West Midlands Police doing 180 mph on the M6. He is believed to be the fastest speeding offender ever to be prosecuted in the UK and, having been given a lengthy prison sentence which the court said reflected "an atrocious piece of dangerous driving", is no longer a danger to other road users.
The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) conducted research earlier this year into the worst speeders in England and Wales, and said that a major shift in driver attitude is required with regard to the dangers of speeding.
The Dangers of Speeding
In our previous blog, Speeding: The Signs are Everywhere, we mentioned that speeding drivers are twice as likely to crash as drivers who do not break the speed limit.
A car speeding at 157 mph is doing well over 2.5 miles a minute – at such excessive speed, it’s impossible for the driver to react to anything in time.
Speed is always a factor in road collisions. The faster a vehicle drives, the greater risk of serious injury, with police figures reporting that more than one in four fatal road accidents are caused by speeding drivers.
The IAM are certainly right in their call for better driver education around speeding. Road safety charity, Brake, offer great advice to drivers about speeding and a very handy stopping distances calculator, as many drivers are unaware of how long it takes to stop at certain speeds.
At Slater and Gordon, we have years of experience in managing road traffic accident claims for people injured in collisions caused by speeding drivers. We have seen how lives can be destroyed because of drivers who break the speed limit and urge all drivers to pay attention to Brake’s advice: speed limits are limits – not targets.
Deborah Johnson is a Senior Personal Injury Solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers UK and is the firm’s National Practice Development Leader for Road Collisions.
Slater and Gordon Lawyers offer a free consultation for anyone injured in a car accident through no fault of their own. Call us 24/7 on 0800 916 9046 or contact us online.