Drivers urged to ‘THINK!’ twice about speeding - The Malvern Observer

Drivers urged to ‘THINK!’ twice about speeding

Rob George 12th Mar, 2023   0

DRIVERS are being urged by road safety experts to think about the dangers of driving too fast for road conditions in a new THINK! campaign which launched this week.

‘Is pushing it worth it?’ is targeted at young male drivers as statistics show male drivers aged 17 to 24 years old are four times more likely to be killed or seriously injured than drivers aged 25 or over.

Research findings also show that 60 per cent of all young male car driver serious and fatal collisions were on rural roads.

Safety experts further raise concerns as less than half (43 per cent) of young men consider exceeding the speed limit to be unacceptable, while over two thirds (68 per cent) see drink driving and over half (52 per cent) think using a mobile without handsfree is unacceptable.

Speeding accounts for around one in four fatal collisions, but despite this is considered one of the least risky and most acceptable behaviours among drivers, especially young men.

The campaign highlights that speed kills and injuries 54 young people every week in the UK.

Dr Gemma Briggs, Professor of Applied Cognitive Psychology at the Open University, said: “Most drivers consider themselves to be ‘better than average’ at driving.

This can make drivers feel that while others shouldn’t speed, their own increased skill means they can handle a bit of extra speed, and every journey completed seemingly without incident for a speeding driver confirms to them that their behaviour is acceptable, even if they endanger others.

“Young drivers also have these biases, but have the added problem of a lack of driving experience. They can’t rely on their previous experience to understand driving situations, so adding other elements to this such as additional speed increases the likelihood of young drivers failing to notice hazards and being involved in a collision.”

The campaign comes as part of a wide range of safety schemes, including the recent research project ‘Driver2020’ which considers the different ways to make young drivers safer, more confident and more skilful in their first year of driving.

RAC road safety spokesperson Simon Williams said: “We know speeding presents a clear and present road safety danger, particularly on country roads where the number of collisions is much greater.

“We also know that far too many young people are injured or killed every year in car accidents, so hopefully this campaign can bring about some much-needed behavioural change among the nation’s least experienced drivers which helps to keep everyone safe on our rural roads.”

In the decade that followed the conception of THINK!, road deaths in the UK reduced by 46 per cent.

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