6 October 2016

10 facts and tips about driving too slowly

Breaking the speed limit is both illegal and dangerous, something that Carrot Insurance therefore strongly reminds our customers and other blog readers to avoid doing. Some drivers go to the extreme opposite and drive excessively slowly, though, which can be pretty dangerous too. We got stuck in and investigated the subject a bit more, to bring you ten facts and tips to help you improve your driving.

1. A Google driverless car was pulled over by police for travelling at 24mph in a 35mph zone, which had caused a long queue of traffic to build up behind it. Oops.

2. Driving excessively slowly on a motorway or dual carriageway creates an unexpected obstacle for other vehicles which may then need to brake sharply or swerve in order to overtake or avoid a collision. Lorries in particular need longer to stop or change lane.

3. Undertaking is against the law but is commonly observed when a slow-moving vehicle is hogging the middle or even the fast/outside lane of a motorway, which is also illegal and could lane you with a fine and points.

4. On single carriageways with few opportunities for safe overtaking, a queue of traffic can often build up behind slow vehicles, which makes some motorists really angry and can result in them doing something stupid like trying to get past on a blind bend or even resorting to road rage.

5. Driving slowly to reduce anxiety can actually make a driver more nervous when they see impatient vehicles looming in the rear-view mirror behind them. This unwanted attention can make timid drivers feel embarrassed and lead to mistakes.

6. Like many other ADIs, Wimbledon Driving School says that driving too slowly is the 10th most common reason why learner drivers fail their driving tests, instructors viewing it as a lack of skill and confidence. Under the subheading ‘Inappropriate speed’, the Learners Guide website advises its students to drive at a speed suitable for each road and not unnecessarily hold up traffic.

7. Most UK roads don’t have minimum speed limits, but the police can still pull you over and give you a good talking to, along with a fine of up to £5,000 and between 3 to 9 penalty points on your licence if your speed is considered to be “Driving without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other road users”, called a code CD30.

Young drivers insurance blog - minimum speed limits signs UK blue


8. It’s totally understandable if an event has happened that has knocked your confidence behind the wheel resulting in you purposefully driving slowly, or if you’re trying to save fuel or keep everyone around you safer. It’s recommended to keep up with the flow of traffic within the speed limit and road conditions, though, so an approved driving instructor (ADI) should be more than happy to give you refresher lessons to boost your confidence.

9. The Safer Motoring website advises anyone who is especially nervous behind the wheel to keep to the inside lane when driving on a motorway, or to avoid them and stick to quieter A and B roads if possible.

10. Some vehicles can’t help driving excessively slowly, such as tractors, road-sweepers, abnormal loads, funeral processions and JCBs. If you encounter a slow-moving vehicle in front, whether it’s one of these or simply a nervous driver, take a deep breath and remain kind and patient. Besides, the Highway Code is pretty clear regarding not beeping your car’s horn unless you need to warn other road users of your presence.

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Oliver Hammond

Written by Oliver Hammond

Oliver is an established freelance motoring writer, published journalist and automotive copywriter based in Manchester. He regularly reviews cars and covers events and launches as editor of petroleumvitae.com and his articles appear in various magazines each month. No relation to Richard from Top Gear, he’s got a weakness for luxo-barges, proper 4x4s and oddball cars.