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Brake data: Speed-related road deaths and injuries up ‘significantly’

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Road deaths and serious injuries caused by driver speed rose significantly last year, according to analysis of government road casualty data by Brake, the road safety charity, for Road Safety Week 2023.

The latest road casualty statistics show that, in 2022, 1,766 people died on UK roads (1,711 in Britain, 55 in Northern Ireland), a 10% increase on figures from the previous year (see Table 1). Brake’s analysis also found that in the same period, road deaths caused by drivers exceeding the speed limit rose by 20% (see Table 2) [3].

Brake also carried out a public opinion survey, asking more than 2,000 drivers about their driving habits and attitudes to speed and speed limits [4]. The survey found that 92% of drivers think that speed limits are essential for the safety of our roads. Despite this, more than a third (34%) of those surveyed said they sometimes or often drive faster than the speed limit, and 40% think that driving just a little bit over the speed limit doesn’t matter. Two-fifths (39%) of drivers surveyed also agreed that the default speed limit on roads in built-up areas should be lowered from 30mph to 20mph, supporting changes that are taking place across the UK to make communities safer through the introduction of lower speed limits [5,6,7].

Brake is releasing the survey results at the start of its biggest annual road safety campaign, Road Safety Week, which runs from 19 to 25 November. The charity is calling on everyone to join a national conversation about speed, to raise awareness of the dangers of excessive and inappropriate speed, and challenge why so many people still think it is acceptable to drive faster than the speed limit.

Road Safety Week began on Sunday 19 November to coincide with the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, for which people across the world lit candles in memory of those killed or seriously injured on roads. Brake worked with local councils across the UK to get public buildings and other landmarks lit up in yellow, to show support for road victims.

This year, more than 3,400 schools, communities, organisations and emergency services, together representing more than 17 million people, have signed up to take part in Road Safety Week by organising local activities, sharing important road safety messages and posing the question: If five people die on UK roads every day, why do we still think it is ok to speed? Brake has provided free resources to everyone taking part in Road Safety Week, including campaigns toolkits, lesson plans and assemblies for school, as well as factsheets, films, posters and more for businesses, local communities and campaign groups.

Here are some examples of events that are taking place around the UK.

  • In South Yorkshire, Mayor Oliver Coppard and Active Travel Commissioner Ed Clancy will attend the Lifewise Centre in Rotherham to run road safety lessons with local schoolchildren. They will also be riding bicycles that will light up with road safety messages.
  • In London, the BT Tower will display a message supporting the central theme of Road Safety Week, Let’s talk about speed!
  • Blackburn and Darwen Borough Council will hold a road safety parade bringing together local high schools and primary schools to share important road safety messages. The parade will follow a pedestrianised route through the town centre, ending at Blackburn Town Hall where the Mayor of Blackburn will deliver a short speech.

The speed we choose to drive at can mean the difference between life and death. Our speed dictates whether we can stop in time to avoid a crash, and the force of impact if we can’t stop. This Road Safety Week, I urge you to join the conversation and talk about speed.

Ross Moorlock, interim CEO at Brake, said: “Road death is sudden. It’s traumatic. It sends shockwaves across families, schools, workplaces and communities. This year, we have already supported more than 1500 people affected by road crashes through our National Road Victim Service.

“Today, five people will be killed on our roads. And tomorrow, another five won’t make it home to their families. And so on, and so on, until we all say ‘Enough!’ and start taking responsibility for each other’s safety on the road.

“The speed we choose to drive at can mean the difference between life and death. Our speed dictates whether we can stop in time to avoid a crash, and the force of impact if we can’t stop. This Road Safety Week, whoever you are, and however you travel, I urge you to join the conversation and talk about speed. Please talk to as many people as you can to find out why, when five people die on our roads every day, so many of us still choose to drive too fast.”

Road Safety Week 2023 is organised by Brake, sponsored by Arval UK, Autoglass® and DHL Supply Chain, and supports the Department for Transport’s Think! campaign.


The Fleet Summit is supporting Road Safety Week 2023: Here’s how you can get involved!

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Road Safety Week is Brake’s biggest annual road safety campaign: every year, thousands of schools, organisations, communities and individuals take part, coming together to shout out for road safety. This year it takes place from 19-25 November 2023 – Here’s everything you need to know…

Why is Road Safety Week important?

  • Every year, more than 1600 people are killed on UK roads and more than 25,000 people suffer serious injuries.
  • Every day, six children are killed or seriously injured on UK roads.
  • Road crashes are devastating events for families, friends and communities.
  • Road Safety Week gives us all the opportunity to remember people killed or injured on UK roads, and raise funds to help Brake care for road victims and campaign for safe roads for all.

Let’s talk about SPEED!

The theme for Road Safety Week 2023 is Let’s talk about SPEED.

Five people die on UK roads every day. One in four fatal crashes involve someone driving too fast.

By taking part in Road Safety Week 2023, you are joining a national conversation about speed.

Brake want to challenge why so many of us still think it’s ok to speed, and talk about solutions that we know can make roads safer for everyone.

Whoever you are, however you travel, we need to talk about speed.

What happens next?

Get your Road Safety Week resources

However you want to take part in Road Safety Week, there are resources to help you.

There’s guidance for taking part, speed facts and figures, posters, images to share on social media, films and our stopping distances calculator to test your knowledge.

  1. Read the Toolkit for participants attached to this email – this simple guidance on how to take part gives you the facts about speed, tips to start a converation and images and words to share on social media.
  2. Share the I’m taking part image attached to this email on your social media channels. Don’t forget to tag us @brakecharity and use #RoadSafetyWeek.
  3. Take part in the #Brake5 Challenge – our Road Safety Week fundraiser to raise awareness of 5 road deaths every day.
  4. Teaching road safety to children and young people? Go to Resources for educators to get lesson plans, assemblies, and other activities to help you teach children and young people about road safety. Use our kids manifesto for safe and healthy journeys to call for 20mph speed limits near your school.

More resources for educators, employers and emergency services are coming soon.

Brake will continue to send updates by email to everyone who has registered.

Any questions? Please get in touch by email at

What else can I do?

Make a difference in your community

MyBrake gives you the tools and guidance to help you make a difference to safe and healthy mobility, whether with your family and friends, your community, your workplace, or nationally.

Sign-up to get access to free resources and support in choosing, and achieving, a road safety related goal.

Make safe and healthy journey choices

The Brake and Direct Line Roadmap to safe and healthy journeys can help you learn about, and commit to making, safe and healthy journey choices.

Get advice about choosing the safest vehicle, checking you’re safe to travel and being a responsible road user.

Lightfoot backs Brake’s National Road Victim Month

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Lightfoot, the award-winning in-cab driver technology and rewards platform, has announced that it is one of the chief sponsors of a major new virtual fleet safety exhibition being run and organised by Brake, as part of National Road Victim Month.

The Global Fleet Champion Virtual Fleet Exhibition, which takes place this August, sees several of the industry’s leaders in driver safety come together to help reduce accidents and fatalities experienced on the roads, not just in the UK but also around the world.

Showcasing projects, partnerships and products involving fleet operators and suppliers, the event is designed to highlight how initiatives can be used to improve road safety. Brake sees this as vital in the drive to reduce collisions caused by and involving ‘at work’ drivers, who account for one in three crashes on our roads each year.

Lightfoot, which is one of seven partners to participate in the event, has been chosen as its technology plays a key role in reducing accidents and instances of dangerous driving amongst users.  Its innovative in-cab driver feedback helps cut at-fault accidents by up to 40% and helps fleets achieve greater efficiency from their vehicles with fuel savings of up to 15%. Lightfoot additionally reduces harmful emissions by up to 15%, and wear and tear costs by as much as 45%.

Lightfoot’s impact on driver safety has led to endorsements from many of the UK’s leading Insurers and Brokers, due to the effectiveness of its pocket-sized dashboard display device, which uses live engine data to provide drivers with real-time visual and audible feedback, helping fleets to improve efficiency and safety one mile at a time.  

Lightfoot’s disruptive approach, based on nudge psychology with input from the Institute of Advanced Motorists and leading driver-behaviour experts at Bath University, uses advanced, real-time engine analytics to help drivers improve both efficiency and safety, rewarding them for being better through a unique driver gamification and rewards platform. 

Tests undertaken by Bath University’s Institute of Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems have proven a direct correlation between Lightfoot’s in-cab visual alerts and reductions in NOx. Its studies show that if drivers half the number of lights lit up on Lightfoot’s pocket-sized in-cab dashboard device, a fivefold reduction in NOx is achieved.

Encouraging smoother, safer driving, Lightfoot gives users full insight into their performance and score via its end of journey score and rewards app. The app provides access to exclusive competitions, which drivers can opt into as soon as they achieve Lightfoot’s ‘Elite Driver’ standard; the point at which fleets see the biggest falls in accidents, the best efficiencies and savings across the board. 

In addition to the highly popular cash-prize Drivers’ Lottery, drivers can enter competitions for a range of other prizes that serve as an incentive to maintain a smoother driving style.

Considered revolutionary in the fleet management and telematics worlds, Lightfoot’s disruptive approach to reducing accidents has been adopted by some of the largest companies in the market, including Virgin Media, Dixons Carphone, and South West Water. 

Martin Kadhim, Partnerships Director at Lightfoot, commented: “Safety on the roads should be an organisation’s number one priority, both to its workforce and members of the public. That sits at the heart of what we do at Lightfoot, and its why we’re big supporters of National Road Victim Month, the Global Fleet Champions campaign and its virtual exhibition.

“Our obsession at Lightfoot lies in reducing accidents on the road. It’s precisely why we reward better driving. Only if a driver wants to be better and has a vested interest in doing so can you have any certainty of actual change. Achieve that, and you instantly increase safety on the road. It’s why motivation and reward sit at the core of all we do.

“But we also go further,” adds Martin Kadhim. “On top of that, we provide fleet managers with a suite of other services and technology to better protect the health and wellbeing of their staff. This includes our First Notice of Loss (FNOL) service, enabling businesses to protect drivers by alerting fleet managers to incidents and accidents, enhancing their Duty of Care. Now, those responsible for fleets can instantly assess the level of response required following an incident and can contact drivers so that they can establish if attendance by the emergency services is required.”

Many companies who turn to Lightfoot have had telematics systems for years, which have always provided a wealth of data to managers who are then relied on to communicate this information back to drivers. Companies have realised that this approach is fundamentally broken and the wrong way around. Instead, they look to Lightfoot’s bottom-up approach to engage and reward drivers, empowering those in the driving seat to effect change. 

Using smart technology, which takes account of different factors such as load and road gradient, Lightfoot provides live, visual and audio in-cab coaching which instantly changes driving style ‘in the moment’. Combined with encouraging end-of-journey scores, rewards packages, driver leagues and the Lightfoot app, which provides weekly competitions for Elite Drivers to enter, Lightfoot is helping to create a new breed of safe and efficient drivers on our roads.

To find out more about how Lightfoot can engage with your drivers to drive fleet performance improvements, visit

To find out more about events taking place as part of The Global Fleet Champions Virtual Fleet Exhibition, visit