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Speed knowledge being tested to the limits

5th August 2015

car-speed-knowledgeDespite speed being one of the main causes of road accidents in the UK* new research by The Co-operative Insurance shows that over a third of drivers are motoring along Britain’s fastest roads, with no idea what the speed limit is.

The national speed limit on a single carriageway road is 60mph. However, over a third (38%) of drivers cannot correctly say what the national speed limit is these roads with 25% believing that it is 50mph, and a tenth believing that it is 70mph or more.

Drivers’ knowledge of the speed limit on a dual carriageway, where the national speed limit is 70mph, isn’t much better. Over a third of drivers (36%) are unable to identify that this is 70mph. More than a quarter of drivers (27%) believe that it is 60mph, one in twenty (5%) believe that it is 50mph, with 2% thinking that it is 80mph or more.

And when it comes to motorways, 1 in 10 (12%) drivers don’t know that the speed limit is 70mph.

Younger drivers are more clued up when it comes to speed limits on single and dual carriageways (67% know the limit on single, 66% on dual) with older drivers aged 55+ knowing the least about the national speed limits on these roads than any other age group (59% know the limit on single, 62% on dual).

Drivers in London seem the most baffled by speed, with motorists in the city having the least awareness of speed than in any other part of Britain. Over half (53.5%) couldn’t say what the national speed limit is on a single carriageway, 46% on a dual carriageway and (22%) on a motorway.

The research, by the UK’s first mainstream telematics insurer has revealed the percentages of drivers in UK regions who cannot say what national speed limits are:


Region % drivers who don’t know national speed limits**
1 London 40.5%
2 North West 35.1%
3 West Midlands 30.7%
4 Scotland 28.8%
5 Yorkshire 24.8%
6 East Midlands 23.9%
7 South East 23.7%
8 Wales 23.5%
9 South West 22.1%
10 East Anglia 17.7%
11 North East 17.2%

Steve Kerrigan, Head of Telematics at The Co-operative Insurance said: “These figures show that all too often drivers are getting into their cars and driving with no real awareness of the speed limits in place.

“It is interesting that younger drivers – who are so often thought as being more dangerous - are so much more aware of national speed limits than older, often more experienced drivers.

“The impact of not being aware of speed limits on the roads can’t be underestimated; speeds are set for a reason and driving without knowing speed can have harmful consequences to other road users and pedestrians, especially if you are travelling too fast.

“Telematics policies like The Co-operative’s Young Driver insurance are designed to help new drivers improve their style by providing feedback, for example when they are driving at excessive speeds.”

Ends

Note to editors

*http://think.direct.gov.uk/speed.html

** East Anglia
21.7% don’t know the national speed limit on a single carriageway, 17.5% don’t know the national speed limit on a dual carriageway, 14.1% don’t know the speed limit on a motorway. Average = 17.7%
East Midlands
30.6% don’t know the national speed limit on a single carriageway, 27% don’t know the national speed limit on a dual carriageway, 14.2% don’t know the speed limit on a motorway. Average = 23.9%
London
53.5% don’t know the national speed limit on a single carriageway, 46% don’t know the national speed limit on a dual carriageway, 22% don’t know the speed limit on a motorway. Average = 40.5%
North East
21.8% don’t know the national speed limit on a single carriageway, 21.8% don’t know the national speed limit on a dual carriageway, 8% don’t know the speed limit on a motorway. Average = 17.2%
North West
46.5% don’t know the national speed limit on a single carriageway, 49% don’t know the national speed limit on a dual carriageway, 9.8% don’t know the speed limit on a motorway. Average = 35.1%
Scotland
31.5% don’t know the national speed limit on a single carriageway, 37.4% don’t know the national speed limit on a dual carriageway, 17.7% don’t know the speed limit on a motorway. Average = 28.8%
South East
36.6% don’t know the national speed limit on a single carriageway, 27.4% don’t know the national speed limit on a dual carriageway, 7.3% don’t know the speed limit on a motorway. Average = 23.7%
South West
29.5% don’t know the national speed limit on a single carriageway, 30.3% don’t know the national speed limit on a dual carriageway, 6.5% don’t know the speed limit on a motorway. Average = 22.1%
Wales
39.3% don’t know the national speed limit on a single carriageway, 24.7% don’t know the national speed limit on a dual carriageway, 6.5% don’t know the speed limit on a motorway. Average = 23.5%
West Midlands
43.5% don’t know the national speed limit on a single carriageway, 43% don’t know the national speed limit on a dual carriageway, 5.8% don’t know the speed limit on a motorway. Average = 30.7%
Yorkshire
32.3% don’t know the national speed limit on a single carriageway, 34.1% don’t know the national speed limit on a dual carriageway, 8% don’t know the speed limit on a motorway. Average = 24.8%

Research carried out by OnePoll on behalf of The Co-operative Insurance with 2,000 UK drivers

About The Co-operative Young Driver Insurance

The Co-operative’s Smartbox works like a Sat Nav or GPS to record driving style, rewarding safe young drivers with a discount every 90 days. It uses data collected from four different driving parameters, including average speed, acceleration or braking, the time of day the car is driven and how fast corners are taken.  
An added bonus of having the SmartBox installed is the useful tracking device meaning stolen cars can be recovered.

An online dashboard, which can also be accessed via a smart app, keeps track of the driving score and performance, enables access to the policy documents 24/7, and provides helpful tips to improve driving.

For further information please contact

Jenna Moss
Press & Media Relations Manager – The Co-operative Group
Tel: 0161 767 4354 / 07540 641368
Email: jenna.moss@co-operative.coop

About The Co-operative Group

The Co-operative Group, one of the world’s largest consumer co-operatives, with interests across food, funerals, insurance, electrical and legal services, has a clear purpose of championing a better way of doing business for you and your communities. Owned by millions of UK consumers, The Co-operative Group operates a total of 3,750 outlets, with more than 70,000 employees and an annual turnover of approximately £10 billion.