Two thirds of car passengers have felt uncomfortable with speed when driven by a friend or family member

Car passengers often feel uncomfortable with the speeds driven by friends or family members and many are quietly hiding their concerns, Transport for London (TfL) has revealed.

The new research, carried out by YouGov, showed that of 524 people who have travelled as a passenger in a friend or family member’s car at least once a month, 61 per cent felt uncomfortable about the speed they were driven.

Also 29 per cent felt uncomfortable telling a friend or family member to slow down. This worrying statistic suggests that many drivers may be driving in London unaware that they are driving at an unsafe speed and that their passengers feel uncomfortable about this.

103 people have tragically died on London’s roads already this year and analysis by TfL of historical casualty figures recorded by the Police suggests that speed accounts for 37 per cent of all deaths and serious injuries. Collision data from around the world is very clear. It shows that the faster a vehicle is travelling; the more likely a collision will occur because the driver has less time to react, stop or avoid the collision; and the more severe an injury resulting from the collision will be.

While many people driving may feel they are driving safely by adhering to speed limits, their speed may be considered unsafe due to other factors, such as being near to a school, a busy location with many other road users, weather conditions, turning at a junction or driving over or through speed restrictions too quickly.

To help tackle unsafe speed across London, TfL has launched a powerful new marketing campaign which is designed to generate understanding amongst drivers that the speed at which they travel has a wider impact. Also that speeds that they may feel comfortable with behind the wheel can be unsafe for passengers and other road users.

The campaign, ‘Watch Your Speed’, which includes a new TV advert, illustrates how driving at speed is perceived through the perspective of friends and family and encourages drivers to ensure they drive appropriately for the road and their passengers. The campaign supports TfL’s wider work on reducing speed-related collisions across London, which includes new 20mph speed limits to be introduced in central London early next year, increased speed enforcement by the Metropolitan Police and fitting more than 700 buses with Intelligent Speed Assistance to limit the speed at which they can travel.

Chief Superintendent Colin Wingrove, in charge of the Met’s Road and Transport Policing Command, said: “Excess speed is a usual factor in more than 30 per cent of collisions.

Exceeding the speed limit has dangerous and serious consequences; and is an offence under the Road Traffic Act. People who do so are not properly in control of their vehicle and are more likely to be involved in a collision that can seriously harm the driver, passengers and other road users.

It takes seconds to remind a driver that they are exceeding the speed limit, and in return could save multiple lives.”