Top Ten Tips To Stay Within The Limit

23 January 2015 - By Eugene Herbert - The RAC Group

Hi Folks…

Many vehicle drivers unintentionally exceed the speed limit, often without realising it. Modern cars are so powerful and comfortable they give drivers little sensation of their speed. It is too easy to creep above the limit, and in particular, many drivers believe it is difficult to drive a modern car at no less than 60 KPH on a road with a 60 KPH limit.

Ultimately drivers are responsible for the speeds at which they choose to drive, but there are some simple and practical things drivers who find it difficult to stay within speed limits can do to help themselves.

1.     Check your speedometer regularly, especially when leaving high speed roads

2.     Know the limits – look for signs, especially at junctions – In fact many GPS units  have this information available to ensure safe driving

3.     Assume lamp posts mean 60, until signs say otherwise, but remember it could be 40 kph

4.     Remember, speed limits are a maximum, not a minimum  or a target speed  

5.     30 kph is plenty when kids are about – and may even be too fast

6.     Try no higher than 3rd gear in a 60kph limit

7.     Recognise what makes you speed - keeping up with traffic, overtaking or being tailgated

8.     Concentrate – distracted drivers speed

9.     Slow down when entering suburbs

10.  Give yourself time – there’s no need to speed and you won’t get there quicker

Even a small amount above the limit makes a big difference.

Refresh your skills on a refresher driver training course.

Drivers who travel at higher speeds have less time to identify and react to what is happening around them. It takes them longer to stop. And if there is a crash, it is more severe, causing greater injury to the occupants and any pedestrian or rider they hit.

Research in the UK shows that excessive speed contributes to 15% of collisions in which someone is killed, 6% of crashes resulting in a serious injury and 4% of all injury collisions. In 2013 the  results in the UK  showed  249 people were killed in crashes involving someone exceeding the speed limit and a further 209 people died when someone was travelling too fast for the conditions.

For many who subscribe to the belief that “it’s not speed that kills but rather the inappropriate use of speed “will be pleased by what this research also highlights. Approximately two-thirds of all crashes in which people are killed or injured happen on roads with a speed limit of 50 kph or less. At 60 kph a driver is twice as likely to kill someone as they are at 50 kph.

To put this into perspective remember that a vehicle traveling at 60 kph, vehicles travel 33 m (about 4 car lengths) every second.

Even in good conditions, the difference in stopping distance between 50 kph and 60 kph is an extra 6 (or so) meters, more than 2 car lengths.

For pedestrians struck by cars, the risk of being killed increases slowly until impact speeds of around 50 kph, but above this speed, the risk increases rapidly. A pedestrian hit by a car travelling at between 50 kph and 70 kph is 3.5 to 5.5 times more likely to be killed than one struck by a car travelling at less than 50kph. Elderly pedestrians have a much greater risk of suffering fatal injuries than other age groups.

For car occupants, the risk of being in a collision with another vehicle also increases with speed. The risk is much higher in a side impact than in a frontal impact.

Even a small amount above the limit makes a big difference.

So remember, that while some may think it’s “cool” to speed, if this is done in an inappropriate manner or venue the consequences could be disastrous and devastating - not just for the victim.

Till next time - Keep safe and Don’t speed.

Eugene Herbert
Group Managing Director
The RAC Group

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