Title: A Question of Speed

Organisation: Co-operative Insurance
Date uploaded: 17th July 2010
Date published/launched: May 2009

This report discusses the influences that have created a 'culture of speeding' in the UK and examines the attitudes of drivers to safety cameras and the law, their levels of knowledge about speed limits, and how this affects their behaviour on the road.

The report also considers whether there are age and gender gaps.

The common perception that young men are the worst offenders for speeding was reinforced by the report, which examined the attitudes of 3,000 people across the UK.

More than a third of those aged 17-18 and a quarter of those aged 19-21 said they break the speed limit at least once a day. Just 17% of teen drivers said they never speed, compared with more than half of older drivers.

Key findings include;
Hollywood films, TV programmes and computer games have created a cachet and excitement about speed and cemented the notion that speed equals glamour.
• All age groups - including teenage males -believe young, male drivers are the worst offenders for speeding, even though they worry the most about the effect of their speeding.

• The perception that some youngsters seek excitement from driving was reinforced by the findings, which show that more than a third of those aged 17-18 and 26% of those aged 19-21 break the speed limit at least once a day.

• There is a gender gap when it comes to attitudes to speeding. Almost twice as many men (26%) as women (15%) drive faster than the speed limit at least once a day. While more men are persistent speeders, women tend to be occasional speeders, with 22% of saying they speed monthly.

• Surprisingly, there was little difference between the sexes when it comes to attitudes to people driving slowly. Both men (81%) and women (83%) believe it is just as dangerous to drive too slowly as it is to drive too quickly.

• Most drivers stick to the legal speed limit of 30mph in built-up areas, where there is more traffic congestion and potential hazards. However, 19% said that they typically drive at 35 mph and 5% said that they drive 10 mph above the limit.

• Speed limits on dual carriageways create the biggest confusion for drivers. Just 31% of teenage drivers know the limit is 70 mph. Drivers in their 40s and 50s have no more knowledge about the limit than teenagers.

• 61% of those questioned said they don’t believe speed cameras help to prevent speeding. More than two-fifths even said they believe speed cameras can encourage reckless driving.

For more information contact:
Duncan Bowker
T: 0161 903 3819

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