Road safety and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist is urging all road users to take personal responsibility for safety on every journey. Central to this is the need for a better understanding of the dangers of speed among vehicle drivers, when it’s above the limit or inappropriate for the conditions.
GEM road safety officer Neil Worth comments: “No one else controls the speed of the vehicles we drive, so choosing to drive at an illegal or dangerous speed is a conscious and deliberate act.
“Even small reductions on speed on rural roads can lead to significant reductions in casualties, particularly on single carriageway roads. After all, do you know what’s round the corner on a rural road with restricted visibility? It could be another car or a motorcycle coming towards you too fast, a group of cyclists on a ride out, sheep or cattle crossing the road, a horse and rider, a wild animal, a slow-moving farm tractor…
“Until you have perfect sight of what’s ahead, you need to be ready to anticipate what could be there. By adjusting your speed and position accordingly, you’re doing your bit to keep yourself and other road users safe.
“So if we all take a few moments to think about the speeds we use, and reduce them where necessary, we can play our part to prevent crashes happening and to reduce the impact and the severity of injuries when they do occur.”
Here are GEM’s five tips for using speeds that are both legal and safe on your journeys:
- Give yourself plenty of time. Leave a bit early and lose any sense you might have to go faster to get to your destination on time.
- Focus on the journey. Make a point of reading all road signs and speed limit changes – out loud if that helps!
- If there are lamp posts, you should assume the limit is 30mph.
- Think ahead, scan ahead. Look for clues that a speed limit might be about to change.
- Be particularly observant when leaving motorways or other fast roads, even if dropping down into a 40mph or 30mph may well feel very slow.