Speeding: UK Statistics

‘The nearest approach to a new drug is the drug of speed. Speed, it seems... provides the one genuinely modern pleasure’—A. Huxley

A new poll by Direct Line Car Insurance has revealed that the UK is crazy about speed. No, not amphetamine (though, this may well be true) but rather… driving fast (perhaps the two are related?).

The data shows that the average driver thinks it is acceptable to break the speed limit. 50% of drivers believe it’s OK to drive 25mph in a 20mph zone, 56mph in a 50mph zone, and 79mph on a motorway. Such rebels we are!

Two in five drivers (approx 16 million Brits) have been caught speeding, the majority of whom (55%) are caught in 30mph zones. The speed of those caught in 30mph zones averages at 37mph51mph in 40mph zones and 61mph in 50mph zones.

75% of drivers (more than 30 million of us) admit to speeding, ironically… because admitting it isn’t illegal. Over 2 million admit to speeding on every journey and 4.7 million admit to doing it on ‘most’ journeys.

Source: Direct Line Car Insurance 2018

The area with the highest concentration of self-proclaimed rebels is the South West, where 84% of drivers admit to speeding. In comparison, only 71% of Yorkshire folk admit to it. Though we should be careful about how we interpret the data… it could be that those up north are a tad more suspect of polls.

Aren’t statistics fun? According to a different poll, 80% of drivers consider themselves an above-average driver. This is due to something social psychologists call ‘the illusion of superiority’.

Another survey has shown that 36% of drivers believe they are an above-average driver while texting. Sad isn’t it, how so many of us think we’re positively special. Only I am positively special, I’m certain of it, because I’m less susceptible to bias than the rest… ah, wait, this is an example of the “bias blind spot”.

More reason not to get our egos involved. Instead, let the data do the talking. There’s a reason for speed-limits; speeding is one of the biggest contributing factors to road fatalities. Please, be smart, drive safe.