Fever pitch – football fans’ speeding kicks off ahead of big matches

Fever pitch – football fans’ speeding kicks off ahead of big matches
Fever pitch – football fans’ speeding kicks off ahead of big matches

The new football season has kicked off and new research has suggested that big games could have a negative effect on drivers’ behaviour.

A study of young drivers’ habits during the recent World Cup showed that in the build-up to important matches speeding increased dramatically.

Using data from on-board “black boxes” telematics insurance specialist insurethebox tracked the rates of speeding among its customers and found they rose on average by more than a fifth before each of England’s games, suggesting drivers were rushing to be in front of a TV before kick-off.

Read more: One in five motorists risking jail over ‘harmless’ driving offence

Ahead of every match instances of speeding across Britain increased by a minimum of seven per cent, reaching up to 43 per cent ahead of the crucial semi-final against Croatia.

Unnecessary risk

Simon Rewell, road safety manager at insurethebox, commented: “‘It’s coming home’ has been a popular message for football fans this summer. But fans must make sure that no matter how big the game, it is not worth the risks that come with speeding.”

The data from insurethebox’s predominantly 17-24-year-old customers showed significant geographical differences, with drivers from the Midlands speeding the most. During the group stage games their speeding increased by 46 per cent, rising to 78 per cent in the knockout stages. Young drivers in the East of England ranked second overall, with a 133 per cent increase in speeding before the Croatia semi-final – the highest in the country for this match.

Unsurprisingly, young drivers in Scotland and Wales ranked lowest in the speeding league table with average increases of three and 18 per cent. For the most part drivers in Scotland seemed indifferent to the matches, except the semi-final against Croatia. Perhaps hoping to see the Auld Enemy crushed by Croatia, Scots drivers’ speeding increased by 41 per cent.

speeding

Education

The data suggests that young drivers are putting their safety at risk by rushing to be home in time for important matches and has prompted a warning for them to take care as the new season gets underway.

According to insurethebox’s telemetry, over half of all serious accidents on country roads involving 17-24 year olds are due to loss of control, largely due to speeding.

Simon Rewell added: “Leaving five minutes earlier is a much safer way of getting home for the game – and avoids the risk of a collision that could have lifelong consequences.”

Liz Brooker, MBE, vice chair of Road Safety GB, commented: “Helping young drivers to understand the risks associated with inappropriate speed is vital to help reduce the number of collisions and casualties caused by speeding and this initiative by insurethebox will provide useful insight for that debate.”

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