Slow down, drive safely for the conditions

Speed is one of the main factors in fatal road crashes

The law states that you must not drive faster than the speed limit. The speed limit is the absolute maximum and it doesn’t mean it’s safe to drive at that speed in all conditions.

The habit of speed:

  • We often accelerate and change gears without thinking
  • Without always meaning to we can find ourselves travelling on urban roads at more than 30 mph. It has become a habit
  • The risk of death is approximately four times higher when a pedestrian is hit at 40mph than at 30mph
  • If you cause an accident you will have to live with the emotional consequences of causing death or injury to others

Reducing the risk of speeding:

  • Consider using third gear rather than fourth in 30mph zones
  • Use good ‘accelerator sense’. This means making sure there is enough clear road space ahead and that you know the speed limit before accelerating

Drivers are particularly vulnerable to accidents when they need to turn right across traffic. It is believed that this is due to a slowing of the ability to process information, making judgement of speed more difficult.

To make things safer at junctions you should:

  • Adjust your speed of approach to the junction so that you have time to assess it properly
  • Before you emerge from a junction look right, left and right again and then check for pedal cyclists and motorbikes
  • Even if it looks safe to emerge the situation can change very rapidly, so keep checking the situation until you are up to normal speed

Further information:

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