What could an 80mph speed limit mean for you?

What could an 80mph speed limit mean for you?

According to the RAC's Report on Motoring 2016, 51% of company car drivers said they typically drive at 80mph on motorways and 7% drive at 90mph[i]

A recent RAC report has shown that many company car drivers are already exceeding the current 70mph speed limit. And, at a time when the government is under increasing pressure to increase the existing limit to 80mph, what does this extra 10mph actually mean for you? Well firstly, it's not law yet, so anyone currently travelling at 80mph is breaking the law and is therefore risking fines, points, and more. But, what if the law changes and 80mph becomes an acceptable speed? Well...


As you'd expect, increased speeds mean increased risks and danger. For example, stopping distance at 80mph will be 400ft (an increase of 85ft from 70mph)[ii]. That's a staggering 26 metres extra distance to stop simply by adding an extra 10mph to the travelling speed. To put this into context, 25m is the length of a standard swimming pool.

Now, although newer cars may be more than capable of reaching 80mph, what about the roads? Are they ready for the increased speed? Apparently not. According to the Institute of Advanced Motoring, not all UK motorways are built to ideal standards, with many having limited sight lines and tight curves[iii].

This means that your reaction times/braking distances and also the roads, are not prepared to handle a velocity of 80mph, making this a very dangerous activity indeed.

But you'll get there quicker, right?

Believe it or not, travelling at 80mph only saves 6 seconds per mile compared to 70mph[iv]. So, on a 100-mile journey, your travel time will be reduced by just 10 minutes. This calculation also doesn't take into account things like delays etc, meaning, anytime you save in the journey could easily be lost if you simply struggled to find a parking space at your destination. So, taking into account the dangers and risks already mentioned, and the fact that the only benefit is possibly a 10-minute shorter journey, is it worth it?

Environmental impact

Driving at 80mph increases the dangers posed to drivers, and doesn't make a great deal of difference to travel time. And, it also has negative impact on the environment. For example, when speeds are increased from 70mph to 80mph, fuel consumption grows by 20-25%[v]. This in turn means that over 2.2 tonnes of carbon emissions will be spread into the atmosphere every year by these vehicles[vi].

So, as you can see, driving at 80mph may not be the time-saver that company car drivers believe it to be. And, even if the national speed limit is increased to 80mph, perhaps the factors covered in this post will make drivers think twice about 'putting their foot down'.

At Citroën Contract Motoring, we are experts in vehicles, company fleets, and driver safety. So if you'd like to find out more about maintaining the safety and efficiency of your business vehicles, speak to us today on 0345 319 1017.

[i] http://www.rac.co.uk/pdfs/report-on-motoring/rac-report-on-motoring-2016.pdf

[ii] http://www.riodrivingschool.co.uk/is-80mph-worth-it/

[iii] https://www.carkeys.co.uk/news/should-the-uk-speed-limit-be-raised-to-80mph

[iv] http://www.riodrivingschool.co.uk/is-80mph-worth-it/

[v] http://www.riodrivingschool.co.uk/is-80mph-worth-it/

[vi] http://wardblawg.com/2015/02/19/will-speed-limit-reform-affect-road-deaths-in-the-uk/