Road Safety Week is the biggest road safety event in the UK, which is organised by the road safety charity Brake every year. The aim of Road Safety Week is to inspire thousands of schools, organisations and communities to take action on road safety and promote life-saving messages. It also allows professionals working in road safety to boost awareness of the risks involved whilst working on the road.
Every year a different theme for the Week is chosen, and this year’s theme is Speed Down, Save Lives.
One of the worst problems threatening road safety is speeding. All of us are very busy and need to get to where we need to be as soon as possible. However, speeding can be extremely dangerous not only to yourself but to others on the road as well.
A higher speed increases the likelihood of an accident. High speed reduces the possibility to respond in time when necessary. People need time to process information, to decide whether to react and, finally to execute a reaction. At high speed, the distance covered in this period is longer. At high speeds the distance between starting to brake and a complete stand still is longer as well.
The relationship between speed and injury severity is particularly critical for vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists.
Why do Drivers speed?
Drivers’ speed choice is influenced by a number of factors that can be considered;
- Driver- related factors such as age, gender, alcohol level and number of people in the vehicle
- Those relating to the road and the vehicle for example; road layout, surface quality, vehicle power, maximum speed
- Traffic and environment-related for example; traffic density and composition, prevailing speed, weather conditions.
People may often say that ticketing speeding drivers more often or posting larger maximum speed signs in more place should solve the problem, but it has not. As our lives get busier and busier, people are more likely to speed unintendedly.
5 Reasons to Slow Down
If you speed, here are five reasons why you should put a little less weight on the gas pedal:
- You’re more likely to lose control of your vehicle
- Faster speeds increase the risk of more serious injuries
- You will need a longer stoppage distance if you perceive that something is wrong
- Speeding impedes the effectiveness of vehicle safety equipment
- You’ll pay more for gas as speeding increases fuel consumption
In addition to that, there is a psychological concern with speeding as well. If you are constantly speeding, you might be engaging in other dangerous driving behaviours as well such as driving under the influence, texting while driving, distracted driving, aggressive driving and road rage, failing to maintain vehicles and not wearing a seatbelt. These actions could lead to a crash that may result in injuries, fatalities, and heavy vehicle damage.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were nearly 10,000 fatalities from speed-related crashes in 2018. In 2017, speeding was a contributing factor in 26% of all traffic fatalities.
If you find that you are speeding often, consider why you are doing it. Look at your schedule and see if there are ways to reduce it or at the very least reorganise it so you can give yourself more time. Although all of us are busy and hate being stuck in traffic, speeding is simply not worth it.