Is speeding worth the risk?

Car driving in the rain on country road

It was highlighted that 1,250 Scottish drivers were caught speeding in a mere week in 2018. It is clear that drivers are not recognising the risks involved.

A report by Police Scotland stated that 949 drivers were identified as driving above the limit by speed cameras and another 306 were stopped by police officers.

One driver was caught driving at 118mph in a 70mph limit on the A9 south of Inverness.

Another report found that more than 50 drivers were speeding near a number of Highland primary schools.

This is particularly worrying considering that children are less able to accurately judge the speed vehicles are travelling at, meaning it is more likely that they could walk out onto the road in front of your car.

We represented a young school pupil struck by a speeding driver after she was left with a life changing brain injury. The motorist was driving at 54mph – even though the speed limit was 30mph - and as she crossed the road with a friend, she was hit.

The faster you drive, the less likely it is that you will have enough time to identify a hazard such as a pedestrian crossing the road and will have enough time to react and stop the car.

At 20mph, it will take you about three car lengths to stop. At 30mph this increases to six car lengths, at 40mph, this rises to NINE car lengths. This will be even longer if you are tired or distracted by something.

Consider the difference that could make if a pedestrian steps out onto the road between parked cars, or someone gets out of a parked car.

It is also far more likely that the faster you drive, you will cause serious and life changing injuries in the event of an accident.

Stats clearly show that if a pedestrian is hit at 30mph they have a one in five chance of being killed. At 35mph, this increases to one in three.

You may think that because a child steps out in front of the vehicle, that by law they would be completely at fault. However, this is not always the case.

If a pedestrian walks out onto the road without looking properly and steps in front of an oncoming vehicle, it could still be possible for them to make an injury claim against the driver. However, there would be much debate over contributory negligence – how much was the pedestrian to blame, and this percentage would then be deducted from their compensation settlement.

For example, if the court determines that the pedestrian was 20% to blame for the accident and their own subsequent injuries, then their final compensation would be reduced by 20%.

Read more about what happens if pedestrians are partly to blame for the road accident.

For those caught speeding by the police, the minimum penalty is a £100 fine and three penalty points. For experienced drivers, you could lose your license if you have 12 or more penalty points within three years.

For new drivers, this could mean losing their license entirely if they have accrued six or more penalty points within two years of passing their test.

Quite simply, speeding is not worth the risk to yourself and those around you. Remember speed limits are in place for a reason, and you should reduce your speed to suit road conditions.