Why speed kills

Speed is a major contributory factor in about a third of all road collisions. This means that each year excessive and inappropriate speed contributes to the death of around 850 people and to injure over 33,000 more. This is far more than any other single contributor to casualties on our roads.

In urban areas, pedestrians and cyclists are the majority of speed casualties, especially children. This should come as no surprise as this is where most of the population live. The largest group overall are car passengers and drivers themselves, especially on rural roads.

So how fast is too fast?

If we all drove expecting that we might have to stop suddenly, our speed would be more suited to the conditions.

Driving that bit slower will:

  • Give more time to spot the problems
  • Give more time to react
  • Give more space to stop in, by reducing our stopping distance
  • Cost us less in fuel
  • Help reduce pollution
  • Help reduce stress levels
  • Give a better chance of survival to anyone we hit!

Stopping distances


Hit a child at 40mph,

only 20 per cent could survive

Hit a child at 30mph,

80 per cent could survive

Hit a child at 20mph,

95 per cent could survive