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How fast are you?

Slow down pictogramDriving at a slower speed will give you those couple of extra moments that could lessen the impact or even avoid a crash.

Could you react fast enough if the unexpected happened?

You don't have to be driving over the speed limit to be driving too fast. If you are driving at an inappropriate speed you may end up:

  • Approaching a junction or bend too fast.
  • Overtaking where it’s unsuitable.
  • Be unable to negotiate narrow roads properly.

Keep your passengers safe

You are responsible for your passengers’ safety. Don’t let them encourage you to drive faster even if you are late.

Time to stop

Leave a 2 second gap pictogramThe faster you drive the less time you have to stop if something unexpected happens. Crashes happen when you run out of time and space.

Thinking distance is the distance travelled between the driver realising they need to brake and applying the brakes. It can be increased by:

  • Tiredness
  • Distractions
  • Being under the influence of alcohol or other drugs
  • Speed.

The braking distance is the distance taken to stop once the brakes are applied. It increases:

  • If the car’s brakes or tyres are in poor condition
  • Or the road and weather conditions are poor, for example icy or wet roads
  • With the car’s speed.

Time to react

  • Many crashes happen because the driver loses control particularly on bends or in wet or ice conditions.
  • Drive for the road conditions and give yourself time to react by reducing your speed.
  • The difference of a few miles per hour could mean the difference between life and death. Speed limits on roads are set as a maximum and not a target.
  • Poor weather conditions and driving at night have an effect on what is an appropriate speed. If it is raining or icy we all need extra braking time and driving at a lower speed helps to give you that time.

Speed limits are set as a maximum and not a target

Situations where you might want to consider driving at a lower speed:

  • Around schools at opening and closing times.
  • When children are about, especially residential areas, near playgrounds or parks.
  • On busy, narrow roads.
  • Where parked vehicles reduce the width of the road.
  • On rural roads which are narrow, bendy and hilly and visibility is restricted.
  • In poor weather or reduced visibility.
  • On wet, icy or snowy roads.
  • In roadworks.