IAM RoadSmart, the UK's largest independent road safety charity, has put together a list of tips to help drivers manage their speed on UK roads.

According to government figures, around 20,000 road traffic incidents each year that resulted in death or serious injury have speed as a major contributing factor.

Speeding stories

Fast moving traffic on busy motorway

IAM RoadSmart's tips are:

  • It’s alright to slow down to give yourself enough time to take the most appropriate action. Be mindful that the posted speed limit is a limit and not a target for you to achieve
  • Observe, anticipate and plan your actions to keep yourself and others around you safe
  • Are you driving at night? Is it raining? Or foggy? Bear in mind that your speed may have to change, even if you’re taking the same route every day due to the time of day you’re taking your journey and the weather condition
  • Keep to the correct following distance. Remember to allow at least a two second gap on dry road surfaces between yourself and the vehicle in front of you, and at least four seconds on a wet road surface. If, for example a vehicle moves in front of you on a motorway lane, remember to adjust your speed and reset your following gap if necessary
  • Speeding can either be due to a lapse, which can be avoided through concentration. Or it can be an error, which will result in you misinterpreting a speed limit. This can be managed by being observant and concentrating on the road. Or lastly, you could be violating the speed limit deliberately, if this is the case then you’ll need to take a look at your driving behaviour and the effect it has on other road users. Manage your time, plan your route and predict situations around and ahead of you to help keep yourself and other road users safe
  • Don’t get pressured by your passengers to drive faster as this is a clear and positive threat to your safety as well as theirs
  • Keep your vehicle in good order. Carrying out weekly checks such as car fluids and tyre tread can help with the smooth running of your vehicle. This POWDERY checklist is relevant for both motorbike and car
UK smart motorway network

"Lack of concentration can allow your speed to creep up, discipline yourself to stay within the limit," said the charity’s head of driving and riding standards, Richard Gladman."Be confident enough to adhere to the limit even when everyone else seems to be ignoring them."

"By good observation and planning, you can shorten journey times without driving in excess of the limit," he added. "A useful bonus will be the extra fuel economy you notice when you are not constantly accelerating to then have to stop."