From Castlebar - County Mayo -

Road Safety
Driving too Slowly is Dangerous Too
By Noel Gibbons
23, Jul 2012 - 08:07

We all know that speeding is against the law. Why? Because most of us aren't trained or experienced in handling a vehicle at a high rate of speed, especially if that vehicle goes out of control. So the answer, simply put, is that it's too dangerous to drive at high speeds.

However Motorists who drive too slowly without considering other road users may be contributing to the high toll of road collisions on our roads, a road safety officer has claimed. Motorists can experience increased stress levels and heightened irritability when faced with a vehicle driving slower than the rest of the traffic.

Plenty of people complain about drivers speeding, drink driving and tailgating etc. But there are other categories of drivers, which may not be so obvious, that are still at risk to themselves and others.

Noel Gibbons, Road Safety Officer said "Slow drivers may unknowingly contribute to other motorists making sometimes fatal overtaking manoeuvres. This can be prevented by regularly checking your mirrors and being aware of what is behind your vehicle."

It's not just tractors and heavy vehicles that cause tailbacks!

If you're reading this and find you may fit the profile of a slow driver,  please keep an eye on your mirror and pull in to allow traffic to pass when its safe to do so.

Some drivers believe,that if they drive on the hard shoulder where there is a broken yellow line that they are in breach of the rules of the road. However, if a driver wants to allow a vehicle behind them to overtake, they may pull in to the hard shoulder briefly as long as no pedestrians or cyclist are already using it and no junctions or entrances are nearby.

The county's Road Safety Officer has insisted it is speeding motorists who cause deaths but would like to highlight the effect that slow moving vehicles can have on other road users.

Mr Gibbons said: "What they should endeavour to do is drive at the speed appropriate to the conditions, if they're not comfortable in doing that, we're not asking them to speed up, we're asking them to give way to following vehicles. They must be aware of the tail of vehicles behind them and by ignoring that, they're actually driving without due care and attention. The premise is simple, reduce the need to overtake, and it follows there would be less overtaking collisions. In the years 1996- 2010 some 6% of collisions were caused by improper overtaking. I am asking for common courtesy to be shown on our roads."

The drivers of faster moving vehicles don't have the "right" to intimidate slower drivers off the road and are reminded to adhere to the two second rule when driving behind another vehicle. Tailgating is also dangerous. It's easy to check if you are tailgating by saying 'Only a fool breaks the two second rule' slowly to yourself - beginning as the car in front passes a fixed object such as a telegraph pole or road sign. If you reach the marker before you finish the 'fool phrase' you are much too close to the car in front. In wet conditions the gap should be four seconds. All road users, whether driving fast or slowly, are asked to consider others when driving - you are not alone on the road network.


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