Most fatal crashes in the county happen on rural roads where some drivers may wrongly assume that the national speed limit is always the safe speed to drive at.
This summer, Kent County Council is urging drivers to remember that speed limits are not a target to reach.
Research shows that three in five deaths happen on rural roads, that is main routes outside of town centres with a speed limit of 50mph or more.
Over the last five years, there have been 223 collisions on Kent’s roads, resulting in 339 casualties – including 51 people who were killed or seriously injured – as a result of a vehicle travelling too fast, but not necessarily above the speed limit.
Over half of the drivers involved are aged between 17 and 34.
Kent Road Safety’s Vicky Harvey said: “We want you to think about the speed you’re doing and whether it is appropriate.
“We’re not necessarily talking about breaking the speed limit, it’s about the speed you’re travelling at and whether it is appropriate for the time and place.
“That changes every time you drive, and you should be considering that – you crash because you can’t stop in time, and if you can’t stop in time it’s because you’re going too fast.”
There are fewer serious collisions on main A and B roads and with the difference in impact speeds, a collision on a 60mph road with people driving to the limit could see two cars colliding with an impact of 120mph.
Mrs Harvey added: “If you’re on a motorway, impact speeds can be slower because, for instance, where someone travelling at 50mph is rear-ended by a driver at 70mph, the initial impact is 20mph.
“Rural roads often have things alongside them such as walls, fences, trees, junctions and traffic lights. In addition to this there could be vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders.
“It’s the combination of mixed hazards and the higher speed in these areas that creates the danger and we’re asking people to think about whether their speed is appropriate for the complex range of hazards.”
The campaign will see advertising focus on a driver’s ‘conscience’ sitting in the back seat, reminding the driver that driving at the appropriate speed is the right choice.
People need to think as they drive along, if a car suddenly stopped, if a traffic light changed, if someone was to step out, could you stop in time? Drivers should make the right choice and not take speed to the limit.