Four in five young driver deaths occur on rural roads

New figures show

Experienced motorists are setting their own speed limit, well under the official limit, on some of the UK’s deadliest roads, according to new research from Britain’s leading vehicle telematics firm Quartix.

The study applies to rural, single lane carriageways with a 60mph speed limit. The roads are widely known to be the UK’s most dangerous, with more deaths and serious injuries occurring on them than any other3.

It shows that more experienced drivers are aware that it is not always safe to drive at or near the speed limit - something learned over a period of years.

Below is a table detailing 10 of Britain’s deadliest roads4 with exclusive data from Quartix revealing the average speed of the road or the ‘free flow’ rate (no congestion.)

LocationRoadSpeed limitAverage speed
SussexA28560mph 46mph
Central ScotlandA90960mph 47mph
OxfordshireA36160mph 45mph
PlymouthA312160mph 42mph
HampshireA3260mph 42mph
SurreyA21760mph 44mph
BuckinghamshireA4060mph 49mph
LancashireA58860mph 42mph
West WalesA4460mph 40mph
ShropshireA52960mph 45mph

 But younger drivers do not always have the knowledge to drive at the speeds set by other more experienced drivers. Without a parent in the car, they are left to their own devices on roads with a toxic mix of sharp bends, poor lighting and a 60mph speed limit.

Insurers are increasingly requiring younger drivers to fit a telematics device to their vehicle so they can monitor their driving style and intervene when they break the legal speed limit.

However Quartix telematics devices measure how fast a vehicle is travelling based on the true safe driving speed of a particular road which, as the table above indicates, can be up to 20mph slower than the speed limit.

This is known as ‘contextual speed scoring’ and allows insurers to intervene and contact a young driver (and their parents) if they are consistently driving at an unsafe speed - regardless of the speed limit.

 Andy Walters, Quartix CEO comments: “This research shows that experienced drivers are ditching the statutory speed limit and driving at what they consider to be a safe speed on rural roads.

“The problem is young drivers are often taught to drive ‘to the limit’ and this, put simply, is dangerous and often life threatening.

“In many ways, parents telling their children to ‘stick to the speed limit’ is the worst possible advice they can give.

“In an ideal world parents would be in the car alongside their children at all times to advise them on when to slow down and when it’s safe to go faster. We know that’s impossible and that’s why Quartix is deploying virtual parents to fill that gap.’’

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