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Motor Accident?

Speeding and speed limits

Driving at an inappropriate speed for the type of road or weather conditions, increases your chances of having an accident.

In a recent government report it was estimated that excessive speed was a significant factor in 15% of collisions involving serious injury and 26% of collisions resulting in a fatality.

The simple fact is - the faster you drive the less time you will have to react. If you are confronted by a potentially dangerous situation on the road, the time you have to brake or take evasive action will be critical to the final outcome. The more time you have to consider the situation the more likely you are to make the right decision, and the more time you will have to take avoiding action.

Obviously other factors can play a part, such as weather conditions and how close you are to other vehicles, but even if these factors have been considered, travelling at an inappropriate speed will reduce your chances of avoiding the approaching hazard.

High speeds increase the chance of serious injury

When vehicles are involved in high speed frontal impacts, the chances of receiving a serious injury increase significantly. In tests it has been shown that drivers wearing seatbelts have a 17% chance of receiving a fatal injury when the impact speed is 40mph. This risk increases dramatically to 60% when the impact speed is 50mph.

The chances of fatal injuries to pedestrians has also been shown to rise sharply - even at low speeds. At 20mph or below a pedestrian has a 5% chance of receiving a fatal injury, at 30mph or less this increases to 45% and at 40mph or below this reaches a staggering 85%.

As a result of this many local councils have started to introduce 20mph restrictions in urban and inner city areas.

National speed limits

The national speed limit will depend on the type of vehicle you drive and the type of road your are driving on.

The national speed limits in miles per hour for different vehicles are shown below:-

Vehicle Built-up area Single carriage-way Dual carriage-way Motorway
Cars, vans & motorbikes (2 tonnes max.) 30 60 70 70
Cars towing caravans or trailers 30 50 60 60
Buses, coaches, minibuses (12 metres max. length) 30 50 60 70
Goods vehicles (7.5 tonnes max.) 30 50 60 70
Articulated or vehicles with trailers (7.5 tonnes max.) 30 50 60 60
Goods vehicles (above 7.5 tonnes) 30 40 50 60

Speeding fines and penalty points

A speeding fine will depend on the circumstances of the incident and in particular how far over the speed restriction you were for the road in question. For a relatively minor offence a fixed penalty will be imposed of £60. If the case is serious enough to be referred to Court the fine could be up to £1000 and up to £2500 for a motorway offence.

Penalty points of between 3 and 6 points will be imposed on your licence depending on the circumstances.

A driving ban can be imposed if you have repeatedly committed speeding offences and you have reached 12 penalty points on your licence within 3 years. You may receive an instant ban depending on the severity of the speed infringement and the circumstances of the offence.

The option of attending a speed awareness course in lieu of penalty points and a fine will be offered only if the police consider the offence to be sufficiently minor and this is entirely at their discretion. You will be expected to both attend and pay for the course and if you do not attend without a very good reason - the fixed penalty will still be applied.

If you have had a car accident and would like some free help and advice please call us on 02392 484 244 and one of our UK based advisors will be happy to help.
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