road safety facts

Test your knowledge on safer driving.

To coincide with the national campaign, 'Road Safety Week', run by road safety charity, Brake, we’re trying to better inform our customers on the benefits of safer driving. 

It's sometimes easy to forget when busy trying to rush from A - B,  but we’ve compiled some important facts that you should know before you get behind the wheel.

As of June 2019, there were 38.7 million vehicles licenced for use on UK roads. That’s a lot of cars and means our roads are busy. Therefore being as diligent as possible will go a long way in helping avoid accidents or disruption.

stopping distances

Based on figures from the Department for Transport, 2007.

Stopping Distances

You’re travelling at speed, there’s lots of traffic on the road and people are pulling out into small gaps to try and get in between lanes. We’ve all been there and sometimes it feels like a bit of a free for all. But in your mind, it might be worth it if you can get out in to the fast lane? 

The thing is, what would you do if that traffic came to an abrupt stop? The reality is that most cars don’t leave enough space between cars in front or even behind them. And the consequences can be fatal.

Driving Penalties

Whether you’ve been driving for years, or are new to the roads, it’s good to refresh yourself on why you shouldn’t speed and the possible repercussions if you do.

Driving under the influence...

In 2017, more than 230 people in the UK were killed as a result of one or more driver being over the legal limit. The total casualties? 8,600. 

Whilst a danger to others, if you are caught being in charge of a vehicle while above the legal limit or unfit through drink you could also get:

  • 3 months’ imprisonment
  • Up to £2,500 fine
  • A possible driving ban

Speeding Fines...

The minimum penalty for speeding is a £100 fine and 3 penalty points added to your licence. Clock up more than 12 points within 3 years and you could be disqualified from driving. 

If you're stopped by the police they can either give you a verbal warning, give or send you a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) or order you to go to court. New Driver? If you’ve passed your test recently (within the past 2 years) and get 6 or more points you’ll have your licence revoked. For more detail on this visit

No, they're not trying to catch you for the money...

Contrary to what you might have heard before, all money raised from speed cameras in fines is given to the Treasury. So, the local authorities have no incentive to place cameras on roads other than to improve road safety and hopefully reduce the number of people speeding in the first place. Read more about common driving law myths here.

busy road at night


Biggest causes...

In 2018, the highest proportion of accident causes reported to the police due to the fact that the driver failed to look properly. In terms of fatalities, for all accidents where speeding was the cause, 12% ended in the loss of life. 

And, as stated by the RAC Foundation, 25% of crashes in 2016 also involved a young driver aged 17-24. 

Motorways vs Country Roads...

Did you know that pedestrians who are hit by a vehicle on a rural road are nearly three times as likely to be killed as pedestrians on hit on urban roads? And more than a quarter (26%) of drivers surveyed admitted to ‘regularly’ speeding in areas designed to keep children and other road users safe. 

It's so important that we drive in accordance to the roads we're on. Breaking the speed limit or travelling too fast for conditions was recorded (by police at crash scenes) as a contributory factor of 24% of fatal crashes in 2016.  So, just because a rural country road is national speed limit, it does not mean that you should drive at that. Limits are just that... limits, not targets.

Choose colour wisely...

Studies have also shown that black cars are more likely than any other colour car to be involved in a road accident. Not surprisingly, the cars considered safest are white, gold or yellow – so a bright yellow A 35 like ours should be fine!

A random fact for you, Cornwall contains the highest concentration of yellow cars registered in the UK. Must be all that sunshine! 

Another unfortunate fact, pedestrians are 40% more likely to be hit by an electric car rather than a petrol or diesel.

Time of the season...

Road casualties increase when there’s bad weather and darker evenings. In particular, there is a notable peak in rush hour casualties in the 4 weeks post clock change each winter. The rush hour commute is unavoidable for most of us, so just take your time and do your best to prepare your car for winter driving before you set off.

For further road safety advice or to donate, just visit the Brake website.

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