Speeding responsible for 20,000 casualties a year

Speeding responsible for 20,000 casualties a year
Speeding responsible for 20,000 casualties a year

Nearly 20,000 people a year are injured in speed-related incidents on British roads.

Government data from 2012-2016 (the most recent data available) shows that there were a total of 97,256 speed-related casualties – equivalent to 53 every day.

Almost 18,000 of those were fatal or classed as serious and speeding was the second-most deadly contributing factor over the last five years, responsible for 2,101 deaths. Only “loss of control” (2,561) was responsible for more deaths.

Rising cases

The number of speeding-related crashes resulting in death or serious injury has risen slightly over the past five years, by one per cent, as overall collision rates have fallen 14 per cent.

The Department for Transport figures cover not only vehicles breaking the speed limit but also those deemed by police to have been travelling too fast for the road conditions.

In total there were vehicles 62,901 such incidents over the five years – accounting for one in nine of all collisions.

Britain’s worst speeding casualty regions are the West Midlands and South West, where nearly a fifth (18 per cent) of all casualties resulted from speeding motorists. Unsurprisingly, these regions are also the two with the highest proportion of speed-related crashes, with one in six due to speeding. That compares to a national average of 12.9 per cent of casualties and 11.5 per cent of crashes.

London has the lowest proportion of speed-related casualties (nine per cent) and the lowest proportion of speed-related crashes (eight per cent).

In Scotland there were 6,532 speed-related casualties in 4,437 incidents over the reported period. They accounted for 13.4 per cent of all road casualties.

Reaction times

The analysis of the DfT by Direct Line Car Insurance showed that only four per cent of speed-related collisions occurred on motorways, with A roads accounting for more than two fifths (43 per cent) of all incidents.

Rob Miles, director of car insurance at Direct Line, commented: “It stands to reason that the greater the speed at which you are travelling, the less time you have to react in an emergency. This is why speeding is one of the leading causes of accidents on Britain’s roads, as well as the reason behind why these accidents are also more likely to cause serious harm to those involved.

“It is vital people modify their driving for the road type, visibility and conditions. It is also important that no matter how safely you are driving, others may not be as careful so leave sufficient space between you and the car in front so you can safely stop if needs be.”

Regional breakdown of crashes and casualties caused by speeding

Region Number of casualties  Proportion of all casualties Number of accidents  Proportion of all accidents
South West 10,733 17.8% 6,924 16.2%
West Midlands 10,782 17.8% 6,848 16.0%
East Midlands 8,006 14.4% 5,170 13.1%
East of England 9,921 14.3% 6,496 13.0%
Wales 4,930 14.0% 3,080 12.6%
Scotland 6,532 13.4% 4,437 12.0%
North West 10,114 12.3% 6,219 10.8%
North East 3,196 11.9% 1,970 10.8%
South East 14,225 11.8% 9,365 10.7%
Yorkshire and the Humber 8,032 11.6% 4,791 10.1%
London 10,785 8.8% 7,601 7.5%
Great Britain 97,256 12.9% 62,901 11.5%
Source: Direct Line Car Insurance 2018

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