Do you feel the need, the need for speed? Then you need to read this

Blog post posted on 19/09/18 |

In support of Project EDWARD and the FIA’s “Slowing down saves lives” campaign, IAM RoadSmart, the UK’s largest independent road safety charity, has put together a set of tips to help you manage your speed.

Take a look at the following tips produced by the charity’s head of driving and riding standards, Richard Gladman.

  • It’s alright to slow down to give yourself enough time to take the most appropriate action. Be mindful that the posted speed limit is a limit and not a target for you to achieve


  • Observe, anticipate and plan your actions to keep yourself and others around you safe


  • Are you driving at night? Is it raining? Or foggy? Bear in mind that your speed may have to change, even if you’re taking the same route every day due to the time of day you’re taking your journey and the weather condition


  • Keep to the correct following distance. Remember to allow at least a two second gap on dry road surfaces between yourself and the vehicle in front of you, and at least four seconds on a wet road surface. If, for example a vehicle moves in front of you on a motorway lane, remember to adjust your speed and reset your following gap if necessary


  • Speeding can either be due to a lapse, which can be avoided through concentration. Or it can be an error, which will result in you misinterpreting a speed limit. This can be managed by being observant and concentrating on the road. Or lastly, you could be violating the speed limit deliberately, if this is the case then you’ll need to take a look at your driving behaviour and the effect it has on other road users. Manage your time, plan your route and predict situations around and ahead of you to help keep yourself and other road users safe


  • Don’t get pressured by your passengers to drive faster as this is a clear and positive threat to your safety as well as theirs


  • Keep your vehicle in good order. Carrying out weekly checks such as car fluids and tyre tread can help with the smooth running of your vehicle. This POWDERY checklist is relevant for both motorbike and car


  • Keep your driving knowledge up to date. There are a number of ways of doing this; the Highway Code, through our interactive e-learning modules, our 75 minute on-road modules carried out by expert drivers or via our advanced driving or riding course which you can try for free


Richard says: “Lack of concentration can allow your speed to creep up, discipline yourself to stay within the limit. Be confident enough to adhere to the limit even when everyone else seems to be ignoring them. By good observation and planning, you can shorten journey times without driving in excess of the limit. A useful bonus will be the extra fuel economy you notice when you are not constantly accelerating to then have to stop.”


Notes to editors:

1.      Richard Gladman is IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards.

2.      IAM RoadSmart has a mission to make better drivers and riders in order to improve road safety, inspire confidence and make driving and riding enjoyable. It does this through a range of courses for all road users, from online assessments through to the advanced driving and riding tests. IAM RoadSmart is the trading name of all businesses operated by the UK’s largest road safety charity, the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) and was formed in April 2016 combining the IAM, IAM Drive & Survive, PDS and IAM Driver Retraining Academy. The organisation has 92,000 members and campaigns on road safety on their behalf. At any one time there are over 7,000 drivers and riders actively engaged with IAM RoadSmart’s courses, from members of the public to company drivers, while our Driver Retraining Academy has helped 2,500 drivers to shorten their bans through education and support programmes.

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