Road Safety Week 2020 – No Need to Speed

Speeding is a factor in one in three fatal road crashes, the higher the speed a vehicle travels, the greater chance of serious injury or death if there is an accident.

At NV Legal we witness first-hand the devastating impact a road accident can have on victims and their loved ones. We welcome this year’s Road Safety Week initiative by road safety charity Brake, taking place this week, which aims to tackle the issue of speeding.

Every 24 seconds someone is killed on a road and road accidents are the leading cause of death for young people aged five to 29.

According to Brake, a vehicle travelling at 20mph would stop in time to avoid a child running out three car-lengths in front. The same vehicle travelling at 25mph would not be able to stop in time and would hit the child at 18mph. This is roughly the same impact as a child falling from an upstairs window.

The greater the impact speed, the greater the chance of death. A pedestrian hit at 30mph has a one in five chance of being killed. This rises significantly to a one in three chance if they are hit at 35mph. Even small increases in speed can significantly affect the severity of the injury sustained.

Brake analysed Government data and found that, on average, there are 11 deaths or serious injuries every day on UK roads where speed – either exceeding the limit or travelling too fast for conditions – is identified as a contributory factor to the accident by the police.

However, it believes that this figure is a huge underestimate of the impact of speed, as slower speeds mean more chance to stop in time, and speed is an inevitable factor in nearly all deaths and serious injuries. It is difficult in some accidents for the police to determine whether or not speed was a direct causal factor, and more in-depth collision investigation following fatal and serious injury cases would be likely to show higher rates of speed as a factor.

Additional research from Brake has also shown that more than a quarter (28%) of male drivers admit to driving above 100mph; more than three times the number of women admitting this (9%). The findings, from a survey of more than 2,000 UK drivers, have been released to mark the start of this year’s Road Safety Week.

Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, said: “There is no excuse for breaking the speed limit and these figures highlight the grossly excessive speeds of some drivers who show complete disregard for the law and people’s safety. None of us should be put in danger by the high-risk behaviour of others when we’re getting about on roads, and that’s why, this Road Safety Week, we are asking everyone to join us in our call that there is no need to speed.

“Many drivers drift over limits by mistake but our research shows that a shockingly large number of drivers, particularly men, break speed limits excessively. We want all drivers to remember the daily disasters that are due to speed, think about the victims, slow down, and reduce road danger. It’s important to remember that sometimes driving under the speed limit can still be too fast, particularly on winding roads, roads with poor visibility, and roads where there could be people about on bicycles and on foot. The voices of the bereaved and injured help us all to understand that getting somewhere a few minutes earlier is never worth the risk.”

The Child Brain Injury Trust also ran a recent campaign to raise awareness of children being seen, not hurt when the days become shorter in the winter months.

Children are easily distracted and walking home from school during winter months when daylight hours are shorter adds risk. The Child Brain Injury Trust has compiled a list of tips to keep children safe on UK roads.

Six things children can do to stay safe (Source: The Child Brain Injury Trust)

  1. Wear a helmet when cycling, skateboarding, scooting or horse riding
  2. Wear a seatbelt when in a car
  3. Use the correct car seat (you need a booster seat until you are 12 years old or 135cm tall)
  4. Use pedestrian crossings or a lollipop person when crossing the road
  5. Never distract a driver when in a car
  6. Be seen not hurt

If you or someone you know has been involved in a road accident while driving a car, van, motorbike or other motor vehicle, injured in a cycling accident or as a pedestrian, you may be able to claim for personal injury compensation and any other losses or damage that you have suffered as a result of the accident.

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