Following the recent release of a new Google Maps update that now alerts users when they’re approaching a speed camera, fixter surveyed 1,000 people across the country to find out what they think about speed limits.
39% of respondents agreed that the new Google Maps update would make them more cautious about sticking to speed limits, but only 31% said they would never knowingly drive over the speed limit – meaning 69% of British drivers would.
According to the research, the top reason people speed is because they’re running late, with 1 in 5 admitting to breaking the limit when they’re in a rush. 18% also said they speed when it appears safe to do so and 1 in 10 admit they needed to shorten a journey.
Other popular reasons for speeding included knowing there are no speed cameras en route or knowing the cameras aren’t working, driving in an emergency and also just for enjoyment.
However, speeding can carry a hefty punishment. Depending on how fast you’re going, you’re risking points on your licence, large fines, driving bans and even prison sentences. Over half (61%) agree that the current punishments for speeding are enough to deter drivers from doing it, and a further 20% think punishments should be stricter.
The biggest excuse Brits have for speeding is running late. It goes without saying that, to avoid this, you need to make sure you’re giving yourself enough time to complete your journey.
Always give yourself longer than you think it will take to arrive at your destination. Many local radio stations and travel apps provide insight into the traffic in your area. Check ahead what the traffic is like and plan your journey accordingly to avoid getting delayed.
Many Brits have been caught speeding without knowing they’ve actually broken the limit. It’s important to be aware of your surroundings and watch out for road signs.
Many sat-navs and travel apps, including Google Maps, actually show the speed limit of the road you’re currently travelling on, which is a useful feature when driving somewhere new, which is when we’re most likely to miss a road sign.
If in doubt, the general rule is that a road with streetlights has a 30mph speed limit, and roads without streetlights observe the national speed limit – 60mph unless there is a central reservation, which would increase the limit to 70mph.
Adapt your vehicle
Try and eliminate as many factors as possible that might make you break the speed limit by using features in your vehicle.
For example, if you do lots of motorway driving and your vehicle has cruise control, use this to ensure you don’t accidentally exceed the limit. Similarly, if you can enable an audio notification on your navigation system to alert you when you’ve exceeded the speed limit, turn this on.
Take to the track
If you find yourself speeding just because it’s fun, you need to remember that speed limits are enforced on public roads for not only your own safety, but for those around you.
If you’re interested in driving at high speeds and making illegal manoeuvres, why not go to a driving track, and do all of this in a safe environment? You may not feel the need to drive dangerously on public roads if you’re able to separate driving for fun and commuting.
Think with your wallet
It actually costs more to speed. While of course, getting caught speeding is an expensive experience considering the fines and potential costs if your points incur a driving ban, but that’s not the only expensive involved.
You use more fuel when driving at higher speeds. You’ll save money by sticking to speed limits as it’s a more fuel-efficient journey, and you’ll get more miles to the gallon too.
While many of us admit that we have consciously broken the speed limit before, it’s important to remember to stay safe on the road for our own safety, and for the safety of those around us. Follow these tips and pay more attention to your speedometer to ensure you’re not putting anyone in danger – and you don’t land a heavy fine any time soon!