An analysis of speed related UK accidents using a human functional failure methodology

Accidents involving either illegal or inappropriate speeding play a part in a large proportion of accidents involving cars. The types of typical failure generating scenarios found in car accidents where illegal speeding or inappropriate speeding is contributory are compared using the detailed human functional failure methodology developed in the European TRACE project (TRaffic Accident Causation in Europe), funded by the European Commission. Using on-scene cases from the UK ‘On The Spot’ database (funded by the UK Department for Transport and Highways Agency), a sample of cases where speed is contributory have been analysed. An overview of speeding cases from the 4,000 in-depth cases available in the dataset is also presented. The results highlight not only the differences between inappropriate and illegal speeding cases, but also the differences in the functional failures experienced by both the ‘at fault’ and ‘not at fault’ road users in both types of speed-related accidents. The results form a unique base of knowledge for future work on the human-related issues associated with speeding of both types, for all crash participants. Also considered is how new technologies can address speeding accidents.