Accidents from driving too SLOWLY are increasing

Slow driving causing more accidents

The Department for Transport (DfT) says the number of road deaths in the UK directly related to slow driving is on the up.

According to DfT figures, 26 people were seriously injured and two were killed in 2019, in incidents where slow driving was a contributing factor. And 132 more sustained less severe injuries in slow driving incidents.

Slow driving itself is rarely the direct cause of incidents or injuries. However, there are behaviours associated with it that are dangerous. Over-ambitious overtakes, undertaking on the motorway, tailbacks and road rage can all be directly related to slow driving. Those who incorrectly merge on motorways, coming to a stop on slip roads, for example, find themselves facing cars passing by at 70mph.

Motorway speed limit 80

Although punishments are normally associated with excessive speed, you can face a fine and points for driving too slowly. In the UK, the punishment is similar to low-level speeding: three points and a £100 fine. Whether a speed awareness course is an option for motorists caught driving too slowly is unclear.

Minimum speed limits are a rarity in the UK, though some high-risk areas do have them, where it’s important to avoid tailbacks. Some tunnels will have a minimum and maximum speed limit. Mersey Tunnel, for instance, has signs to tell drivers the minimum speed limit. The only difference is the number will have a red line through it.

Minimum speed limits are more common in certain parts of Europe.

Drivers mistakenly fined for speeding

“I’m not in the least bit surprised by these worrying statistics,” said Hugh Bladon, a founding member of the Alliance of British Drivers.

“I have advocated for a long time that driving too slowly causes frustration for other people and can cause them to attempt an overtaking manoeuvre, which is the most dangerous thing you can do on the roads.”

5 replies
  1. dave webb
    dave webb says:

    its not necessity people driving to slow, I drive to the limit as I have a speed limiter and I have been often overtaken while driving at the speed limit always on the motorways and A roads but also on suburban road not enough is done to deter drivers from breaking the speed limit,

    • Gavan Hill
      Gavan Hill says:

      I drive on dual carriageways to and from work including an extremely bussy section of A1, I also drive a 26 ton truck for a living, nearly every day I see accidents near junctions, generally due to cars not knowing how to merge with a dual carriageway or motorway, in the truck I am limited to 55, max speed by law was raised to 60, yet on national speed limit roads I am regularly forced to over take cars, I’m doing 55 on a road that is a 70 limit for cars yet I am still over taking regularly.

      obviously me overtaking and going out at 55 (when I actually have space to) still ends up with a line behind me as the cars moving at the speed limit catch up to me, this will likely annoy other road users and it is all caused by people driving vehicles that should never be overtaken by a truck. the same is true of merging, if I’m sitting at 55 in a truck I will see cars come down slip roads only to slow down as they get to the end expecting me on the main road to slow down and flash them out, generally these people end up coming to a dead stop and struggle to get out as they have to pull away into fast moving traffic, while in truth there isn’t a single car on the road that can’t get up to speed and merge safely without expecting the entire road to slow for them.

      yes speeding is also a problem, but as I drive on multi lane roads and often see the left lane moving faster than the middle and right lanes due to people sitting out when they don’t need to, I would say we do need more legislation around the people actually causing the traffic by being in the wrong lane or being incapable of merging with traffic. the slowdown caused by these people is generally the cause of accidents on bussy roads, as if they kept moving and used common sense and the entire road there would be far less accidents, at least going on my experience with local roads.

  2. David Williams
    David Williams says:

    I live in a rural area with a large elderly population (I’m 68) and slow drivers are a nightmare. They toddle along at 40mph in the 60mph limits on A roads then speed up if you try to overtake them. On the back roads I’ve actually been cut up by geriatric idiots driving at 20mph who don’t seem to like the idea of being overtaken, they see you coming and move over in front of you. I don’t have any idea how many crashes they cause but one of the drivers who tried to cut me up overdid it and put himself in a ditch.

    The irony of this news story is that the ‘road safety’ organisation BRAKE is one of the leading advocates of slower driving.

  3. Ralph
    Ralph says:

    I live in a small town with a dual carriageway bypass. The quickest way from the centre to the main supermarket and out to the nearest city involves no more a few hundred yards of this road. It is so short that the slip roads on and off again almost meet. A terrifying number of drivers crawl up on to it at 35-40 and may get to 50, almost as if they don’t think it’s worth speeding up because they’re pulling off again in 30 seconds. It’s known locally as the most dangerous bit of that dual carriageway for 30 miles either way specifically because of the slow drivers. I drive an old and very slow van and by using the length of the slip road I can be pulling out at 60 so I see no excuse for anyone except HGV’s and similar.

    “Not all bad drivers are slow drivers but all slow drivers are bad drivers” Erik Carlsson


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