Did World Cup fever cause young drivers to speed home in Suffolk?

England fans drove with more caution in Suffolk than elsewhere across the country, according to insu

England fans drove with more caution in Suffolk than elsewhere across the country, according to insurance company findings Picture: ADRIAN JUDD

Suffolk drivers displayed trend-bucking patience on the roads during England’s World Cup campaign, according to new speed tracking statistics.

The county was among a handful across mainland Britain to see speeding fall in the hour before matches involving the national football team.

By looking at speed tracking data recorded one week before the tournament began, statisticians found football fans resisted the urge to rush home for kick-off.

Technology fitted in the cars of insurance customers showed speeding incidents fell 35% across the county, while cases went up by almost a third (31%) in Norfolk and by more than half (52%) in Essex.

Across England, only drivers in South Humberside showed more patience – with speeding down 41%.

While steeper declines were recorded in five areas of Britain, all were located in Scotland or Wales, where fans watched from a position of neutrality after their nations’ failure to qualify.

According to insurethebox analysis, speeding among the firm’s predominantly younger drivers, aged 17-24, increased 133% across the East of England in the hour before England’s semi-final match against Croatia.

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Half of all serious accidents on country roads involve drivers of in the same age range and are due to loss of control – largely because of speeding.

The bigger the game, the more likely people were to speed, according to the data, which showed speed increased 29% among fans in the East of England ahead of the group game against Belgium, before reaching 133% in the hour before England’s swan song fixture.

Simon Rewell, road safety manager at insurethebox, which uses individual driver data to determine the risk profile of each policyholder and calculate their premiums, said: “Fans must make sure that, no matter how big the game, it is not worth the risks that come with speeding.

“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, Road Safety GB added: “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.”