Experienced drivers set their own speed limit – well under the official limit – on dangerous rural roads in the UK, according to a new study.
The study found that experienced drivers are aware that it is not always safe to drive at or near the speed limit on rural, single lane carriageways with a 60mph speed limit – which are some of the most deadly in the country.
The ‘true safe driving speed’ of a road can be up to 20mph slower than the speed limit, according to the study.
However, younger drivers do not always have the knowledge to drive at the speeds set by other more experienced drivers, the research carried out by telematics firm Quartix concluded.
Four in five young driver deaths occur on rural roads – but very few drivers break the 60mph speed limit on these roads, a spokesman said.
The company is calling for extra education for young drivers on the dangers of rural roads.
The study found that the average road speed of the A285 in Sussex, which was included in their list of Britain’s most dangerous roads, was 46mph, while the official speed limit was 60mph.
Andy Walters, chief executive of Quartix, said: “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.”
Quartix has developed a telematic device to measure how fast a vehicle is travelling based on ‘the true safe driving speed’ of a particular road – which can be up to 20mph slower than the speed limit.
Jae Pearce, Director, Sky Insurance Brokers, which specialises in insuring young drivers, said: “The first two thousand miles of a young driver’s career are the most dangerous, accounting for 80 per cent of all claims.
“But we believe this new technology based on the average flow rate of rural roads rather than the technical speed limit is genuinely saving lives.”
Find out more at www.quartix.net