Everybody is aware of the dangers of driving too fast. Numerous accidents are caused every year by drivers who are exceeding the speed limit, and we all know that driving too fast is dangerous for multiple reasons. But what about driving too slowly? Can driving well below the speed limit also be unsafe? Is driving too slow just as dangerous as driving too fast?
What Are The Dangers Of Driving Too Slow?
It can be tempting to drive slowly in the interests of safety, especially if you are already feeling stressed or nervous behind the wheel (particularly if you’ve had to cope with road rage as a disabled driver before). Usually, driving slowly is encouraged, and is preferred to driving too quickly – many drivers have been told to slow down at some stage, but rarely are drivers told to speed up!
Going slowly, to a reasonable extent, ensures you are in control and have plenty of time to react to your surroundings (plus, that you won’t break any speeding laws). However, if you are going too slow on the highway, this can also cause problems. In fact, some studies indicate that driving too slowly may even provoke more accidents on the road than speeding.
So is driving slow more dangerous than speeding? While speeding tickets are given far more regularly, you can also be ticketed for obstructing traffic, or for driving too slowly. According to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV): “Even if there is no minimum speed limit, those driving too slow can be as dangerous as those who drive too fast”.
The laws of each state differ when it comes to minimum and maximum speed limits, so it is important to check the rules applying to your own state for the most relevant information. For example, some states may not always display the speed limit clearly, but it is presumed that drivers are aware of this limit in advance. This shows how important it is to research the rules around driving in your destination – never presume that the rules are the same in every state of the U.S. (or abroad, for that matter!).
Is Driving Too Slow Just As Dangerous As Driving Too Fast?
Both approaches can be dangerous. Here are some of the reasons why driving too slowly can be unsafe:
- If you drive too slowly, you may halt the traffic flow. This can be dangerous for drivers who cannot see this in advance – for example, if you are driving in bad visibility or in a very busy area, you may cause a collision.
- Driving too slowly may provoke road rage among other road users. This is an uncomfortable experience for anyone on the road – nobody likes being shouted at by aggressive drivers. While the road rage of another driver is not typically your responsibility, it is best for everyone to avoid conflict while on the road, so always try to drive at a safe speed that promotes good flow of traffic to avoid any issues.
- If your vehicle is moving too slowly, other drivers may take risks in order to drive at a faster speed. For example, impatient drivers may follow too closely behind the vehicle in front, or attempt to overtake in areas that are unsuitable. These scenarios can be dangerous for everyone on the road, as they increase the chances of an accident happening.
- Driving slowly means it will take you longer to reach your destination. If you have given yourself a certain length of time to arrive at a destination but are getting there more slowly than planned, you may be tempted to drive for longer periods without taking a proper break. This can cause a whole range of problems, such as decreased concentration, lack of focus on the road, and fatigue. Unfortunately, these factors all lead to an increase in the likelihood of a road accident taking place.
All in all, it is important to drive at a speed that is comfortable for you, and that does not exceed the speed limit. However, the speed at which you drive should not obstruct other drivers who are going at a regular speed, and it’s therefore important to ensure you don’t drive dangerously or illegally slowly, either.
If you have problems with driving too slowly, consider the following:
- Do you lack confidence while driving? If this is the reason you find yourself driving extremely slowly, perhaps you would benefit from taking some additional driving lessons with your local school in order to practice in the presence of an expert. Alternatively, perhaps you have a friend or family member who is a comfortable and experienced driver and could offer some advice.
- Ensure your vehicle is adapted for your needs, so that driving is as easy and as comfortable for you as possible. Vehicles can have a multitude of different driver adaptations these days, which may completely change your experience as a disabled driver.
- Never drive under the influence of any substances (including medication) that could impact the speed at which you drive or your perception of reality.
Driving at appropriate speeds is important, but so is having the proper parking pass. You can get your disabled parking pass online.
Featured image by Mauro Sbicego on Unsplash