More than three quarters of UK motorists drive over the speed limit, while a quarter believe that driving over the speed limit is acceptable. These worrying findings have been uncovered by car insurance expert Admiral and illustrate that many motorists see speed limits as simply a guide rather than law.
Car insurance experts Admiral commissioned YouGov to survey more than 3,000 drivers as part of its annual Admiral Survey of Motorists. The statistics showed that, although the numbers who say they speed were concerning for both men and women, there was a definite gender difference in attitudes towards speeding. Four out of five men (82%) admitted to driving over the speed limit compared to just under three quarters (73%) of women. More than twice as many men (36%) as women (17%) agreed that it’s acceptable to drive over the speed limit.
Although younger motorists are not the most likely to admit they drive over the speed limit compared to older motorists (81% of 35-39 year olds and 81% of 30-34 year olds compared to 72% of 18-24 year olds) according to the Survey of Motorists, they are the most likely to agree it is acceptable to do so. 36% of 18-24 year olds and 35% of 25-29 year olds agree that it’s acceptable to drive over the speed limit compared to18% of 60-69 year olds and 18% of drivers aged 70 and over.
Dave Halliday, Admiral managing director, said, "Our statistics show a worrying trend where people view a speed limit as simply a guide rather than a speed that’s appropriate for that road. It’s also a concerning to see the different attitude between the genders, particularly the huge number of men who admit to driving over the speed limit and those who believe it’s acceptable.
"It also appears that young motorists could do with some re-education, as so many thinking that speeding is acceptable is not a good sign."
This need for speed was replicated when Admiral asked motorists what the speed limit should be on motorways. Over half of respondents (55%) said it should be 80mph, and one in seven (14%) think it should be higher than 80mph, meaning over two thirds think the limit should be 80mph or more.
Converse to this though, is motorists’ response to what the speed limit should be on residential streets; with over half (56%) saying they thought it should be 30mph and two fifths (40%) saying 20mph.
Dave continued, "The Transport Secretary’s announcement last year about the planned consultation on increasing the speed limit on Britain's motorways from 70mph to 80mph certainly looks like it would be met with approval according to the outcome of the Survey of Motorists. However, when it comes to residential streets feelings are very different. This could be due to motorists thinking about the potential impact on pedestrians, particularly children in these areas, however, they need to remember the impact that driving a car at speed can have on any road, particularly in relation to other road users."
Admiral, (a trading name of EUI Ltd) launched in 1993, and is part of Admiral Group plc. It was set up to target those motorists who traditionally pay higher than average car insurance premiums, including those under-35, living in cities or driving hot hatches. It now offers its unique Admiral MultiCar policy for households with two or more cars.
Admiral writes its motor insurance business to a consortium of insurers, these being Admiral Insurance Company Ltd, Admiral Insurance (Gibraltar) Limited and Great Lakes Reinsurance (UK) plc.
The Admiral Group employs over 4,500 people in the UK and has more than 2.9 million customers in the UK.
Notes to Editors
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 3,164 adults with valid driving licences. Fieldwork was undertaken between 8th and 18th June 2012. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+). In some table percentages equal 99 or 101 due to rounding to the nearest whole percentage number.
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