Tips for Staying Within the Speed Limit

Everyone can make mistakes, especially when driving, and if you’ve recently been prosecuted for speeding, or if you’ve just got your licence back after a ban, you may be worrying about speeding again.

Don’t worry; instead, read these tips as they’ll help you to avoid those motoring lawyers (as lovely as they are) who helped you out before.

Check your speedo regularly, especially when coming off higher speed roads

Modern cars are so comfortable that they don’t feel like they’re going as fast as they are. Don’t rely on how fast you feel you’re going – look at your speedometer. It can feel like you’re crawling along when you come off a motorway, but you could still be doing 40mph, which can land you in trouble if the limit’s 30mph.

If your car has a speed management system, use it!

Look for signs

You should always look for speed limit signs. Many drivers who’ve been caught speeding claim that they thought the limit was higher. Don’t rely on the road type to indicate the speed limit – dual carriageways in urban areas can have limits ranging from 30mph to 70mph.

Very often, speed signs are at junctions, as this is where limits tend to change. However, junctions are busy and you may miss them, so look for repeater signs. If you’re unsure about a speed, maintain a lower one until you see a sign.

If there’s lampposts, assume the limit is 20mph

You may see a sign saying 30mph at some point, but until then, assume it’s 20mph, as many built-up areas now have 20mph speed limits.

Remember that speed limits are limits, not targets

Just because there’s a speed limit you have to meet it! There are times when driving at or near the limit isn’t safe – near schools at opening and closing, near parks, residential areas, when parked vehicles narrow the road and when a road is narrow, windy and busy. Then there’s adverse weather conditions and poor visibility, as well as roadworks.

Remember that children have poor judgement

Children are much less aware of roads and vehicles. They can’t judge speed and they’re also prone to dashing into the road. Sadly, 54 children were killed on roads in 2015. It’s our responsibility as adults to drive slowly and safely so that even if a child darts into the road after a ball and you hit them, you’re going slowly enough for them to survive.

Identify your speeding triggers

You may tend to speed when you’re being tailgated, or when you’re listening to loud music. If you’re overtaking another vehicle you may put your foot down too enthusiastically or you may pick up too much speed when going downhill. Knowing your triggers means you can avoid them.

Maintain a safe distance

Observing the two-second rule – keeping a two-second gap between you and the car in front – will help you to regulate your speed. Double this gap in wet or icy weather.

Concentrate

Driving is a complicated task, so don’t overload your brain by talking on the phone or lighting a cigarette at the same time. If you’re distracted, you’re unsafe. You’re also, in the case of using a hand-held mobile, breaking the law.

Slow down in villages

Villages are sometimes surrounded by roads with 60mph limits. These limits will reduce as you get nearer, so be ready. Play it safe and aim for 20mph. You’ll feel like you’re at snail’s pace, but even at 30mph you could seriously injure or kill a pedestrian.

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