Driver Education - Must be Due for a Re-think

By: Stephen Morgan

What is it with cars and speed? Is it that the majority of drivers feel this very primeval urge described once by the actor Tom Cruise in the film Top Gun as "I feel the need, the need for speed?"

Why do drive the speed? Is this supreme arrogance albeit misplaced by the majority of drivers that puts us all at risk. Do these arrogant drivers think that they know better than the expert's? Do they have nothing more than just utter content for life and property (usually other people's lives and other people's property)?

All, is there something much more subtle and important going on?

Each year in the United Kingdom, the government department responsible for all our motoring activities, the Department of Transport publishes a report called stunningly "Vehicle speeds in Great Britain." Why was this report may never told the New York Times bestseller list it is always interesting to look at because of the amazing way they analyze the most minute details and throw them into the data.

In a recent report analyzing the data published for 2003 it makes interesting reading with regards to quiet how many of us flout the speeding laws.

Apparently 57% of cars exceed the 70 miles an hour motorway speed limit but only 9% of cars exceed the 60 mile an hour single carriageway national speed limit on rural roads. However things change when we hit built-up areas where upon 58% of us exceeds the 30 mile an hour speed limit but being responsible folks that drops to only 27% of cars exceeding the 40 mph speed limit within the same area.

Now is this data indicative of the fact that society is about to descend into anarchy chaos and lawlessness or is the answer much more simple?

What is to be argued that certain organizations believe that there is a very simple but important reason why so many drivers exceed the speed limit?

The simple fact is that really in terms of safety there is no safe speed limit. If you take some time to think about this the lowest commonly observable speed limit is 30 miles an hour. Now I know that there of a certain limits of less speed but the most common speed limit is 30. Now the problem with this is that to be brutally blunt 30 miles an hour is a deadly speed.

It is a widely accepted fact backed up by numerous statistics that in all accidents between pedestrians and cars at 30 miles an hour 50% of the pedestrians will die.

The solution to these problems probably lies with great education and awareness. By this I mean that we have to educate much greater awareness and responsibility in drivers at whatever speed they are driving.

On average British drive is all the best in the world and avoiding accidents but they could be much better. They're on whether the 200,000 injury accidents each year on the countries roads. The present government seems to want to try and solve this problem with just one control and that is to lessen speed.

Now it may be true that at 30 miles an hour the survival rate for pedestrians is much greater than the pedestrian hit by cars driving at 50 but if you follow this through to its logical conclusion ultimately you will have cars driving at ridiculously slow speeds. The knock on effect of this leads to much greater frustration for the driver behind the steering wheel and yes you guessed it more pressure and stress leading to more accidents.

Greater education and awareness has to be the route to follow here.

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