Skip to main content

The need for speed awareness

By James Billings
Interim Practice Leader

With more drivers than ever being caught speeding, the need to have workplace conversations around speed awareness has never been greater.

Most people who are caught speeding will receive a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) of a £100 fine and three points on their driving licence. It may be possible to avoid points and opt for a speed awareness course if one is offered, depending on which police force is handling the offence.

The number of drivers taking a speed awareness course after being caught exceeding the speed limit has trebled in the last 10 years. Figures from the National Driver Offender Retraining Scheme (NDORS) show that 1.28 million people took a speeding course in 2019 (up from 1.19 million in 2018.)

At the same time, the RAC Foundation has identified that almost 1 in 5 jobs in the UK now require workers to be able to drive.

Losing your driving licence due to speeding can have severe personal and business consequences.

Why do we speed?

Just as we all know that smoking is bad for us, most people would agree that the faster we drive, the less time we have to react to an incident. And the harder we hit something, the more likely the outcome will be death or serious injury.

There are several reasons that can affect how we drive, such as:

  • Time pressure - You’re running late for a meeting or to make a delivery and may take a few chances.
  • Anger - Another driver cuts you up at the traffic lights, so you decide to teach them a lesson.
  • Familiarity - You drive the same route every day and feel that you could drive it blindfolded.
  • Over-confidence - You’ve been driving for years and feel confident (or over-confident) that you can handle any road conditions.

It’s important for drivers, fleet and risk managers and business owners to recognise and understand the pressures that can affect driver behaviour behind the wheel.

What’s the answer?

As a leading business insurer, we know that inappropriate or excessive speed is one of the key contributory factors to road accidents, especially ‘hit third party in rear’ – where a vehicle collides with the one in front of it (also known as a rear end shunt).

But far more concerning than vehicle damage is the effect on peoples’ lives. Figures from The Department for Transport show 1,752 reported road deaths in 2019 – that’s around 150 people killed per month. As well as over 150,000 injuries.

Driver education and raising awareness are essential to reduce speed related incidents.

Studies show that drivers are encouraged to drive at safer speeds when they understand that excessive and inappropriate speed greatly increases the risk of being involved in a serious or fatal accident. For example, pedestrians who are struck by the front of cars travelling at 30 miles per hour or above, are much more likely to sustain serious injuries or be killed.

There are a number of resources available to drivers and business managers to help improve safety, including:

  • Training - Invest in ongoing driver education and training courses, as well as in-vehicle devices and apps to keep safety a number one priority.
  • Technology - Embrace the technology that’s available, such as advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) that can identify safety-critical situations and take action, telematics, cameras and vehicle inspection software that can help monitor speed and driving styles, as well as ensuring vehicles are in a roadworthy condition.
  • Policies - Have clear company policies around the use of alcohol and drugs at work and ensure that everyone is aware.
  • Regular feedback - Technology and reporting can show which drivers have the safest driving record and where there are any potential problems. You could perhaps use this as an opportunity to reward the safest drivers.

Risk management services for QBE customers

QBE customers can access a team of in-house risk management experts, who can help formulate a tailored risk management approach for effective solutions and improved outcomes - including protecting employees, making claims less likely, and potentially reducing insurance premiums.

There’s also access to a panel of trusted risk management partner companies who offer services at specially reduced rates to QBE customers.

You can find out more about how QBE helps businesses to manage risk at

Need to claim? Report it early

Finally, a reminder that if you’re involved in an incident and need to make an insurance claim, it’s important that you report it as soon as possible, ideally the same day. Reporting a claim early can save time and help you to receive any claim payments faster.

Your contact

Your contact

James Billings

James Billings

Practice Leader