Official figures show that road crash casualties caused by slow drivers shot up by a third in 2017 – don’t become part of the growing problem.
According to the latest research from the Department for Transport, slow or hesitant drivers caused 175 injuries and two deaths in 2017, representing a 31% increase from the previous year.
The increase could be down in part to the growing number of elderly drivers on UK roads, reckons the AA; Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency figures reveal nearly five million of the country’s 39 million driving licence holders are now over 70-years-old with 100,000 aged 90-plus.
This combined with bad habits such as middle-lane hogging or slowing down to look at your mobile can lead to dangerous situations:
• Slow drivers cause others to become impatient and overtake under potentially hazardous circumstances
• This applies especially to those who hog middle lanes, leading to other road users having to slow down/overtake needlessly
• Slow driving can also cause congestion, increasing pollution and delaying other road users.
Driving like a snail can be as dangerous as driving like a cheetah. Too many motorway users hog the middle lane and drive ‘far below the speed limit’ which can lead to undertaking, tailgating, congestion and road rage, [Also] I was in a queue of five cars joining the M3 recently when the lead driver was driving at approximately 25 mph. It was incredibly dangerous.”
– Edmund King, president of the AA
Can You Be Prosecuted?
While rare, driving too slowly can see you done by the police for careless driving. This can result in a £100 fine and three points on your licence. If you should end up in court, you can expect a fine of up to £5,000 and nine points – and even be disqualified from driving.
Remember, the sign for a minimum speed limit in the UK is a round blue circle with a white number in it. The end of the minimum speed limit is signified by a red line through the sign. Expect to find these signs in areas deemed accident spots by authorities (such as tunnels).
Can You Fail Your Test for Driving Too Slow?
In a word, yes; your examiner will be watching to see if you are competent and have the appropriate skills for safe driving. If they feel you are not driving at a suitable speed for the road and conditions, you run the risk of receiving a minor or even test-failing fault. In fact, driving too slowly is one of the top ten reasons for failing the test.
Our advice is to not kid yourself into thinking that by driving slowly, it will increase the chances of passing your test. Instead, driving slow will be seen as a sign you lack confidence and represent a potential danger to other road users.
Main image © West Midlands Police