Until you master the art of finding the biting point and changing up and down the gears as you learn to drive you might think speeding doesn’t apply to you. Particularly if you are a bit of a nervous driver and are anxious about going above a certain speed.
However as you build confidence you will also probably build you speed. Which is good, provided you stay within the speed limit! There will be situations where you may feel under pressure to speed up a little too much, you’re late, keep being overtaken or a car is following very close behind you for instance. You might just think you know the route well enough to go a little faster.
Whatever reason you might think you have to speed, it is important that you stay within the limit. Allow other road users to over take you if they wish to go faster than the imposed speed limit for that road. In around 30% of fatal road accidents it is the speed at which a vehicle was going that caused the fatalities. Yet Safespeedforlife.co.uk estimates that that around two thirds of drivers often exceed the 30mph speed limit.
The higher the speed the faster you need to react in time to prevent an accident happening. Essentially, by driving too fast you dramatically reduce the amount of time you can take to notice and then react to an unexpected situation. A collision at high speed causes a far greater impact than colliding at a lower speed would. If you remember your physics lessons you will know that the faster an object is going the more energy will be released on impact.
The vehicle and human body driving and/or hit will absorb this energy. SafeDriving.co.uk shared these statistics regarding car speeds and survival rates in the event of a collision with a pedestrian:
• Hit by a car at 20 mph, 3% of pedestrians will be killed – 97% will survive
• Hit by a car at 35 mph, 50% of pedestrians will be killed – 50% will survive
• Hit by a car at 40 mph, 90% of pedestrians will be killed – 10% will survive
• Hit by a car at 50 mph, greater than 99% of pedestrians will be killed – fewer than 1% will survive
The Transport Research Laboratory has demonstrated that even a 1mph reduction in average speed results, on average, in a 5% reduction in collisions. So remember – those speed limits are there for a reason and sticking to them can make the difference between life and death.