Speeding: One third of UK drivers don’t know the correct speed limits…Do you?

18th August 2015

Although speeding is one of the main causes of road accidents in the UK, a recent survey by Co-operative insurance suggests that over a third of drivers are motoring around Britain with no idea what the speed limit is.

Of the 2,000 drivers surveyed by the Co-op, 38% were unaware that the national speed limit on a single-carriageway road is 60 miles per hour, with 25% believing it is 50mph and a tenth believing it is 70mph or higher.

With dual carriageways - where the limit is 70mph, nearly as many drivers (37%) were unable to identify this fact, with more than a quarter (25%) of drivers believing that it was 60mph, 5% believing it was 50mph. 2% thought it was 80mph or more.

A staggering 12% of drivers didn’t know the correct motorway speed limit was 70mph.

Younger drivers performed better than older drivers in the survey, with 67% being able to correctly identify the limit on a single carriageway and 66% on a dual carriageway. In contrast however, only 59% of drivers aged 55+ were able to correctly identify the limit on a single carriageway and only 62% on a dual.

Geographically, it would seem that drivers in London are the most confused over speed limits, with over half (53.5%) unable to correctly state the national speed limit on a single carriageway, 46% on a dual carriageway and 22% on a motorway.

Below is a geographical breakdown:

Region % drivers who don’t know national speed limits

1 London 40.5%
2 North West 35.1%
3 West Midlands 30.7%
4 Scotland 28.8%
5 Yorkshire 24.8%
6 East Midlands 23.9%
7 South East 23.7%
8 Wales 23.5%
9 South West 22.1%
10 East Anglia 17.7%
11 North East 17.2%

Head of Telematics at The Co-operative, Steve Kerrigan said: “These figures show that all too often drivers are getting into their cars and driving with no real awareness of the speed limits in place.”

“It is interesting that younger drivers – who are so often thought as being more dangerous - are so much more aware of national speed limits than older, often more experienced drivers.”

“The impact of not being aware of speed limits on the roads can’t be underestimated; speeds are set for a reason and driving without knowing speed can have harmful consequences to other road users and pedestrians, especially if you are travelling too fast.”

Who could forget this chilling advert by road safety charity Think:



Did the correct national speed limits on single carriageways, dual carriageways and motorways?

Does it alarm you that so many drivers on our roads don’t appear to know?

Leave your opinion in the comments section below:

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