Safe driving: Why you need to watch your speed
Good driving means more than simply getting to your destination on time. With the increasing number of vehicles on the roads in the UK and everyone´s schedules getting more hectic, the potential for an accident on the road is high. Every driver has the responsibility to preserve safety on the roads by driving carefully, and nothing is more important than maintaining a safe speed. Driving a few miles an hour faster or slower can mean the difference between a safe journey and an accident. The faster you drive, the less time you have to make a decision should something happen on the road ahead. With a longer reaction time you have a better chance of stopping in time should the unexpected occur – and it often does. For this reason, speed limits are important in the UK. Here’s why keeping your speed to a safe limit is essential.
Speeding is one of the main contributing factors to fatalities on the roads in the UK. It´s a fact that going too fast can cause serious problem, but this doesn’t only apply to speeding on the motorways. Going a few miles an hour over the limit in a 30 residential area reduces the amount of time you have to stop if a child steps into the road, or a car pulls out of a driveway. You may not be going very fast but hitting a pedestrian at a low speed can be fatal. The risk of a pedestrian dying after being hit at 40mph is four times higher than when the driver is going at 30mph. Many drivers think they are safe to drive at speeds above the limit but the fact is the limits have been set for a reason, after careful research and consideration of the effects of speed. You may think you´re safe but you can never be certain. Of course, even driving slowly can result in accidents but you have more of a chance to get to your destination safely if you stay within the limits.
According to government research, 3,267 people were killed or seriously hurt in 2011 where speed was a factor in road accidents.
Check your speed according to the road you are driving on and the conditions. Be especially careful when driving on rural roads. According to government figures fatal road accidents are four times more likely to occur when you are driving on country roads as when you are driving in the city.
You should not drive faster than the speed limit but also keep in mind the type of vehicle you have and the road conditions. The speed limit is set but it doesn´t mean it is always safe to drive at this speed. Use your common sense and make sure you are always in control. Factors that affect how fast you can drive include fog and rain, and the traffic flow.
If you need more information about driving rules in the UK, use the DVLA CONTACT NUMBER to check your driving rights and responsibilities.