Speeding is the biggest cause of road traffic collisions and we all know that exceeding the limit by even a few mph can have a catastrophic impact in a collision. What is less discussed is the impact of speeding on your driving behaviour in general – what happens to you and your car when you drive slowly? What are the benefits?
Octo Telematics, the number one global provider of telematics for the auto insurance industry, supports Road Safety Week and the pledges Brake has proposed on slow driving:
Drivers – I'll stay under limits, and slow down to 20mph around schools, homes and shops to protect others. I'll slow right down for bends, brows and bad weather, and avoid overtaking.
Everyone – I'll speak out for slowing down and help drivers understand that the slower they drive, the more chance they have of avoiding a crash and saving a life.
Here are five good reasons to drive slowly, for yourself and for all those around you:
- Safety – Driving more slowly is crucial to road safety. Every 1mph reduction in average speeds is estimated to lead to a 5% fall in crash rates. Police at crash scenes record breaking the speed limit or travelling too fast for conditions as a contributory factor in more than one in four (27%) fatal crashes in the UK.
- Wear and tear - Speed has a huge impact on wear and tear from the moment you start the car to the moment you put on the hand brake. It’s much kinder to your engine to start the car and move away slowly than to start the engine and wait for it to warm up before roaring away. Harsh braking and cornering at speed also take a toll on your tyres.
- Fuel costs - Once you’re on the road, slower driving means lower fuel costs – driving faster tends to burn more fuel and is a less efficient way to drive. It has a big impact on stopping and starting on your journey too – rapid acceleration and harsh braking also affect your fuel emissions.
- Awareness – Slower driving makes you more aware of and responsive to your environment, making you more likely to react safely to potential hazards. Take every opportunity to look, see and act on what's happening well ahead and around you. This pays off not only in terms of collision prevention, but also a more efficient and relaxing drive.
- Stress – Driving more slowly and carefully means less stress for you and for other road users around you. The desire to do get everywhere at top speed is a big source of stress – accept that you can’t control traffic flow.Simply observe your situation and then make your move ... and save yourself and others from road rage.
Octo’s free smartphone app Octo U (iPhone and Android) collects, analyses and stores telematics data on your driving behaviour, giving you tips on how to improve and a score to motivate you. It detects, reconstructs and analyses all significant events that occur during a trip, such as harsh braking, rapid acceleration, speeding and how curves are negotiated. You can compare your score with friends and compete to be the best driver, as well as submit it to a panel of insurers to see if you could qualify for a discount.