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Slow drivers 'more dangerous than speeding'

By Kyle Linsay
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 - 12:02

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“Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

Speeding is a killer, but so is driving too slowly without taking the prevailing road conditions into account.

While a huge proportion of road accidents are the result of excessive speed, slower drivers are also a significant cause of accidents leading to calls for minimum speed limits on some roads.

The new regulations designed to prevent ‘middle-lane hogs’ on British roads are producing results but there’s still some way to go to get the message across that sometimes slower isn’t always safer.

“Slow drivers can be a menace on some roads,” says Flexed.co.uk spokesperson Mark Hall. “When drivers don’t keep up with the prevailing road conditions, they become a mobile chicane and a danger to others.”

In fact, many professional drivers say that it’s the slower, unpredictable road user that they worry about the most, saying that most appear not to have conventional road sense that most others possess.

“More than once I’ve nearly rear-ended somebody driving at 30mph on a dual carriageway while everybody else was doing 60-plus,” one HGV driver told Flexed.co.uk, “They just seemed to be in another world.”

Another HGV driver said: “My rig is speed-limited to below 70mph, but I still have to negotiate my way round some car users who can’t drive to the road conditions. It annoys me, and it annoys the traffic that builds up as I pass. They’re a mobile bottleneck, and a real danger to road safety. Rant over.”

Many studies have produced data that show slow drivers pose a significant risk on the roads, simply because they are more likely to be overtaken, and tempt other road users into risky manoeuvres.

Flexed.co.uk points to the recent implementation for laws to prevent ‘middle-lane hoggers’ from holding up traffic and forcing other drivers into overtakes into faster-moving traffic.

“We had doubts over the lane-hogging law when it first came out, and while enforcement is patchy, it is certainly having an effect on motorways and other main roads,” says Hall. “But the fact is, it took legislation to force people who thought they were driving safely and slowly to realise that this is not actually the case.”

“This isn’t a witch hunt against slow drivers”, says Hall, “because heaven knows there’s enough bad drivers with lead boots. What we’re suggesting is that motorists are more aware of the traffic conditions, and drive accordingly.”

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