THINK! Slow down


  • The legal speed limit is carefully set as the maximum safe speed for the road.
  • The faster you drive the less time you have to react if the unexpected happens and if a collision does occur the more serious any injuries will be.
  • If a pedestrian is hit at 30 mph there is about a 20% chance of them being killed.
  • If a pedestrian is hit at 40 mph there is a 90% chance of being killed. (Speed: Know your limits DFT July 2005)
  • For every 1mph reduction in average speed there is a 5% reduction in injury accidents. (Finch et al., 1993;Taylor et al., 2000).
  • All reliable research into accident causation shows that the factors determining both excessive speed and inappropriate speed amount to about 30% of contributory factors in road accidents. (Speed: Know your limits DFT July 2005)
  • It is clear that where there are serious or fatal injuries resulting from collisions, excessive speed is more likely to be a contributory factor. (Speed: Know your limits DFT July 2005)
  • Speeding traffic is rated as a significantly greater problem than all other antisocial behaviour, with 43% of the population regarding speeding traffic as a “very” or “fairly big” problem in their area.  (Professor McKenna, University of Reading, 2006)
  • Overwhelming evidence from TRL studies shows that higher speeds mean more accidents.  The message is clear and consistent. “Managing Vehicle Speed for Safety” (TRL 2001)


  • 58% of cars exceed the 30 mph limit.  (Speed: Know your limits DFT July 2005)

What you can do

  • Show a good example by keeping within the limit and encourage others to do the same.
  • Treat speed limits as a maximum not a target. In some conditions driving well below the speed limit is sensible.
  • Slow down to keep at least a two second gap between you and the vehicle in front.
  • Use your brakes and the gears to keep within the limit on hills.
  • Allow plenty of time for your journey so you are not under pressure to speed.
  • Be Patient