Although 95 per cent of pedestrians and 92 per cent of cyclists are injured in areas with 40 miles per hour speed restrictions, or slower, the biggest cause of accidents (68 per cent) is a failure to observe properly – resulting in the "I just didn’t see them" type of collisions.
Speed is implicated in just over a quarter (26 per cent) of accidents.
A conference at Aston University is discussing speed management and the role of reducing city speed limits to 20 miles per hour zones.
Elizabeth Dainton, research development manager at the Royal Automobile Club Foundation, says: "Reducing road casualties in the UK must remain a priority, and speed limits as well as 20mph zones have an important role to play.
"It does not follow that 20mph zones should be implemented in residential areas without adequate consideration being given to local circumstances and public opinion. One-size fits all policies are rarely successful. 20mph zones are no different."
The newer, more stringent, driving test requirements will use hazard perception tests to increase a newly qualified driver’s awareness of other road users, but as long as almost two thirds of people failing a sight-test in the UK say that they are current motorists, according to the Royal National Institute of the Blind (RNIB), traffic management alone will not solve the dangers of poor visibility.