Roads police officer Glenn describes a car crash that he attended where a young girl lost her life in the sacrificial seat. The vehicle was being driven by a young man who attempted to overtake another vehicle - this was to be a disastrous manoeuvre.
Glenn - Police Officer
"He went for an overtake that quite simply was not there..."
Driving too fast for the conditions is a major cause of crashes. Excessive speed contributes to 12% of all injury-causing crashes, 18% of crashes resulting in a serious injury and 28% of all fatal crashes.
Around 1,000 people are killed each year on Britain’s roads because drivers and riders travel too fast.
The vast majority (80%) of car user deaths occur on rural roads, as do two-thirds of serious injuries. The nature of rural roads: narrow, bendy but with high speeds, is a likely cause for the severity of crashes. Speed is acknowledged as one of the biggest contributing factors to these crashes. The faster you go the bigger the mess.
At 30mph vehicles are travelling at 13.4m (about three car lengths) each second. One short glance away and the driver may fail to see the telltale movement of a child behind a parked car. Even in good conditions, the difference in stopping distance between 30mph and 35 mph is an extra 6.4m, more than two car lengths.
At 35mph a driver is twice as likely to kill someone as they are at 30mph.
- Hit by a car at 30 mph, two out of 10 pedestrians will be killed.
- Hit by a car at 35 mph, five out of 10 pedestrians will be killed.
- Hit by a car at 40 mph, nine out of 10 pedestrians will be killed.
Drivers who exceed speed limits are not only more likely to be involved in crashes, but are also more likely to commit other road traffic offences such as close following, running red lights, and drink-driving.
Learner drivers have few accidents because they are always under supervision. But once they have passed their test - and can drive unsupervised - their chances of crashing increase dramatically. Young drivers are much more likely to crash than experienced drivers.
1 in 5 drivers crash within their first year of driving.
Fancy a £150 fine and a long walk home? The Police have the power to seize your vehicle if, after receiving a warning, you drive your car or motorcycle carelessly or without reasonable consideration for other road users and in a manner which causes alarm, distress or annoyance. An example of this might be performing screeching handbrake turns or ‘doughnuts’.
Your vehicle can also be seized if you drive without permission on common land, moorland or land not forming part of a road and in a manner which causes alarm, distress or annoyance. This includes any part of a road which is a footpath or bridleway.
The warning given is valid for 12 months and applies to the person and the vehicle. If you are seen driving in this way again your vehicle can be seized without any further warning being given. This could mean that in addition to the recovery charge of at least £150, your insurance may increase and you would have to arrange for alternative transport for yourself and anyone else in your car from the place where the Police stopped you.
Remember it is your licence and your vehicle. It might be good fun for your friends to turn your music up and encourage you to drive faster or irresponsibly, but ultimately you are responsible. Apart from being anti social and potentially dangerous it is your licence at risk, not theirs!
Anti social driving can include:
- excessive noise and loud music
- road rage
You need to tell your insurance company about any modifications that you make to your car. A modification is anything that is added or changed from what was fitted as factory standard.
Common modifications include: exhausts and end cans, wide wheels, body kits, spoilers, racing seats and harnesses, and engine modifications, among others.
Not telling your insurers could invalidate your insurance and, while your car may look good, if you drive in an anti social way it makes it easier for the Police to identify your car.