Around one in five British motorists have driven at more than 100 mph on the public road, according to new research. However, the study by road safety charity Brake found this proportion was considerably higher for young drivers, of whom one in three hit the ton on UK roads.

Shockingly, the survey of more than 2,000 UK motorists found 33 percent of 25- to 34-year-old drivers have admitted to speeding at more than 100 mph on a public road. Across all age groups, the average falls, but it's still a hefty 18 percent.

There’s also a big split between the sexes, with 28 percent of male respondents admitting they have exceeded 100 mph on the public road. That proportion was much lower among women, of whom just nine percent confessed to hitting three-figure speeds.

Car speeding on empty mountain road in Dartmoor National Park Devon UK

Perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise, therefore, that 32 percent of respondents said they had been in a vehicle speeding at more than 100 mph on a public road, either as the driver or a passenger. Again, that figure was far higher for men than women (44 percent of male drivers and 21 percent of female drivers), and for young drivers, of whom 47 percent said they had been in a vehicle travelling at that speed.

By working with police forces as part of Road Safety Week (November 16-22, 2020), Brake has also collected data on the largest speeding tickets, including a driver travelling at 152 mph in a 30 mph zone. That speed was recorded by London’s Metropolitan Police, while outside the capital, Nottinghamshire Police recorded a vehicle travelling at 180 mph in a 70 mph zone.

Speeding Van

Joshua Harris, the director of campaigns at Brake, said the organisation was hoping to convince drivers speeding is a risk that is not worth taking.

“There is no excuse for breaking the speed limit and these figures highlight the grossly excessive speeds of some drivers who show complete disregard for the law and people’s safety,” he said. “None of us should be put in danger by the high-risk behaviour of others when we’re getting about on roads, and that’s why, this Road Safety Week, we are asking everyone to join us in our call that there is no need to speed.

“Many drivers drift over limits by mistake but our research shows that a shockingly large number of drivers, particularly men, break speed limits excessively. We want all drivers to remember the daily disasters that are due to speed, think about the victims, slow down, and reduce road danger.

It’s important to remember that sometimes driving under the speed limit can still be too fast, particularly on winding roads, roads with poor visibility, and roads where there could be people about on bicycles and on foot. The voices of the bereaved and injured help us all to understand that getting somewhere a few minutes earlier is never worth the risk.”