One of the most important things to master as you begin learning to drive is to recognise and respect speed limits. Signs, everyday knowledge, and your own judgement can help you to control your speed.
Do you know about minimum speed limits?
Maximum speed limits are crucial, of course, but don’t forget about minimum speed instructions.
Obeying these guidelines when signposted is an important part of maintaining road safety and ensuring a consistent, smooth pace of travel that doesn’t obstruct other drivers.
When you come across a blue circular sign with a designated speed, remember to keep your speed at or above that level (without exceeding the limit). The zones will end with a red line through the minimum speed sign, so watch out for this too!
Look out for the national speed limit!
One of the most common signs that you will come across throughout your driving career is that of the white and black national speed limit.
This sign can often be hidden behind overgrown bushes or go unnoticed if you are in a busy area.
So, keep an eye out for this important sign when you’re driving, especially if you think you will soon be leaving a designated speed zone!
Know the single and dual carriageway rules!
As you know from your theory test, you should commit some speed limits to memory. If you’re driving a car in an urban area with streetlights and no other signage, you should not exceed 30mph.
However, if you’re a car on a single carriageway then you must keep to 60pm, but 70mph is allowed on a dual carriageway.
Knowing these important differences, and what is meant by a single and dual carriageway, can help you to maintain a safe speed in any location.
Different vehicles have different limits
You should also know the different speed limits for various vehicles! Remembering that a bus can only go 50mph on a single carriageway will help you to navigate the road and understand the traffic.
Similarly, if you’re planning to tow a trailer, you should know that it’s 50mph on a single carriageway, and 60mph on a dual carriageway and motorway.
Pay attention and don’t get caught out by these differences!
Consider the conditions around you!
You don’t have to maintain a maximum speed limit just because you have been given one.
Weather conditions, heavy traffic, or a sudden obstruction will mean that you have to change your speed to maintain a safe driving environment.
Always consider the specific situations taking place around you and then choose a safe speed!