Accident claims for injury compensation against motorists breaking the speed limit set for specific roads can be filled with numerous instances where an individual’s awareness of travelling speed can often be shrouded in confusion. In far too many instances, accident solicitors see a very wide gap indeed between the imagined and actual speed recorded.
There can be few motorists who have not experienced having driven the same route on their daily commute for a length of time on autopilot or simply not paying enough attention to their dashboard to notice that their speed has been creeping up.
While most motorists would certainly not condone excessive speeding, it can be surprising to find that many do not consider being slightly over the speed limit by say up to 5mph or even 10 mph as even a breaking the law. Some of the usual justifications heard are that there’s “little difference” when you’re driving at faster speeds or it was late at night /early hours of the morning with “no other traffic on the road.”
For quite some time there have been calls for motorway speed limits to be increased from 70 mph to 80 mph or raising limits on certain stretches of road from 30mph to 40 mph. Yet crash test results consistently show just how critical reaction / braking times and the distance travelled are by simply increasing speed by just 2- 3 mph.
Between 1986 and 2006, the maintenance of a 20mph speed limit by speed cameras and speed bumps, was shown to have reduced road casualties by more than 40 per cent. However, in 2011 road accident casualties in 20mph zones increased by nearly 25 per cent compared to 30mph zones, according to a Department of Transport survey. Nearly 50 per cent of car drivers exceeded the 30mph speed limit and the 70mph limit on the motorway.
In 2008, a 20mph safety limit was imposed on almost all of Portsmouth’s residential roads with 20mph signs installed with the aim of reducing speeds by a critical 3 - 4mph. Two years later, a Department of Transport report on the Portsmouth scheme found that the number of slight injury accidents fell by nearly 20 per cent .
Several other cities, including Manchester and Liverpool, are looking into adopting city-wide 20mph limits. Liverpool's 20 Effect scheme proposes that the limit to be reduced from 30mph to 20mph in 7 key areas based on the road network by 2015.
In the year ending June 2012 nearly 1,800 people were killed in reported road accidents. While this was a 6 per cent reduction from the year ending June 2011 (1,901), the number of people killed or seriously injured in the year ending June 2012 rose to nearly 25,000, a 1 per cent increase compared with the year ending June 2011 (more than 24,600).