AA warns ‘driving like a snail can be just as dangerous as driving like a cheetah’!


According to official figures, the number of accidents caused by drivers going too slowly has increased by nearly a third, with DfT figures showing that in 2017, two people lost their lives and 175 were injured as a result.

These figures show an increase of 31% in just one year, causing concern that slow drivers, those who hesitate and drivers who use the middle lane could become a threat to road safety. The figures also detail incidents in which a slow-moving vehicle was a contributory factor.

Campaigners tend to focus on speeding drivers and the dangers they pose on the roads, however AA president Edmund King is warning motorists that ‘driving like a snail can be as dangerous as driving like a cheetah’.

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Driving too slowly can be just as dangerous as driving too fast, with middle lane hoggers on the motorway & drivers who hesitate a real danger on the roads. © Copyright Graham Horn and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Mr King said that many motorway users sit in the middle lane and drive way below the speed limit, making it dangerous for other road users to overtake, as well as leading to congestion.

If you’re caught driving far below the speed limit you can be punished for ‘careless driving’ which carries a £100 fine and three penalty points.

In most instances, the police will simply issue a verbal warning, however if a case ends up in court, a maximum penalty of £5,000 and nine points on your driving licence could be handed out.

The UK does have a number of minimum speed signs located in high-risk areas such as tunnels – this is a blue circular sign with white numbers in the centre.

According to DfT statistics, 261 people also died because drivers had been ‘careless, reckless or in a hurry’, leading to 19,639 casualties too.

A spokesman for the DfT said: “Careless driving including driving too slowly is an offence and anyone caught faces prosecution.”

The AA suggests the increase of slow drivers could be down to the record number of older drivers on UK roads, with DVLA figures showing that out of the 39 million driving licence holders in Britain, nearly 5 million of them are over the age of 70 and more than 100,000 of these are over the age of 90.

“The vast majority of elderly drivers drive locally and stick to set routes,” said AA spokesman Luke Bosdet, adding: “But if they are driving slowly on the motorways when they go on longer journeys to see a relative, than that becomes a problem.”

Impatient road users stuck behind slow drivers can also cause accidents as they are willing to take risks just to get past.

Once a driver reaches the age of 70 they must renew their driving licence and complete a self-assessment every three years thereafter if they wish to continue driving.

According to a poll carried out last year which involved quizzing 2,000 UK motorists, slow drivers was the seventh most common cause for motorists to swear!


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