The number of people who have admitted to speeding on rural roads has sharply increased in the last year, with more than 50% of people admitting to going above the 60mph limit. Furthermore, the increased speeding has seen a rise in the number of deaths which occur, as the number is higher than on any other road type.
The RAC Report for Motoring questioned 3,102 drivers on their driving habits. Of those drivers, 48% admitted to driving faster than the legal limit on rural roads, which are frequently marked at 60mph. These figures are up from 44% in 2021 and the highest resulting figure ever seen by the RAC since 2016.
Of these drivers, 8% confess that they speed frequently, and 40% say that they’ve done so on up to half of their journeys while they’ve been out on the road. This matches up with an increased number of deaths on these roads, which is the highest fatality rate for any road in the UK. In 2021, 514 people were killed in collisions on roads where the speed limit was 60mph - there were 11,827 collisions recorded.
There are also figures for motorways and high-speed dual carriageways. These are the fastest roads in the UK, but 60% of drivers admit to breaking the 70mph limit on most journeys, whether this is on the bulk of journeys or on trips up the country in the last year.
This increase is 5% more than figures in 2021, which is when 55% of drivers admitted to breaking the speed limit. The numbers are the highest they’ve been since 2017, which is where 66% of motorists admitted to speeding on the roads. Despite this, the number is still down from 2015 and 2016, when 70% of motorists reported speeding.
Unfortunately, the number of drivers who have admitted to speeding on urban roads hasn’t changed in the last year. 40% of drivers still admit to breaking the 30mph speed limit occasionally, in comparison to 41% in 2021. A further 46% of drivers admitted to having broken the speed limits while on 20mph roads.
Interestingly, the common justification for breaking the speed limit on the motorway that motorists give is that they’re just going at the same speeds other motorists are going.
This is a similar justification for people who break the 60mph speed limit - it’s the most common excuse given and accounts for 32% of drivers on these types of roads.
More than half of drivers who exceed the speed limit in 20mph zones do so because they think the speed limit for that particular road isn’t appropriate. Nearly 70% of all motorists will only comply with the 20mph limit when there is either law enforcement or physical traffic measures in place. 65% of drivers say that the threat of a speed camera helps them to stay within the limit. However, in nearly all of the questions asked, at least half of all motorists did admit to speeding in some form.