One of the many traits of a good driver is being a master of speed control. Knowing how to use the accelerator, brake, (and gears) to control your vehicle on the road is crucial not only to you but to the pedestrians and fellow drivers on the road as well.
Naturally, as you see a signboard that warns you about a sharp curve coming ahead, you hit the brake and reduce your vehicle’s speed. And as you are about to cross it, you bring your foot to the accelerator to bring your car back to its original speed.
Some people might think that the safest form of driving is at a low speed. That may be true in some cases, but the key here is balance. Depending on the road you are driving on and the respective speed limits, driving at the appropriate speed is very important.
Knowing The Suitable Speeds
For example, on a road with a speed limit of 50 km/h, you can’t drive at a speed of 35 km/h as this would most likely frustrate the other drivers and cause them to find ways to overtake your vehicle.
You should try to settle at a speed that is just right according to the conditions you are driving in. The speed posted on a specific road is only the maximum for perfect conditions. If it is raining or you are facing some other condition that requires a lower speed, you should drive slower.
Unless stated by a sign, the general speed limits are as follow:
- 80 km/h outside towns and cities.
- 50 km/h in towns and cities.
- 20 km/h is the highest speed in an alleyway or a lane in towns and cities unless posted otherwise.
Firm, Stable, And Steady Speeds
Speeding is the cause of most traffic violations and mostly causes accidents as well. This is why it is the utmost necessity to drive while knowing the right methods for speed control and driving your vehicle at a steady speed as required.
You should know how to use your accelerator and brake swiftly to use your driving skills appropriately as you approach a stop sign or are changing lanes.
You should start slowing down when you first notice a stop sign and then scan the road for hazards. Applying the brake quickly after reaching a stop sign is very dangerous and could threaten your and your passengers’ safety, along with another driver’s safety by increasing the chances of an unfortunate crash.
Driving According to Road Conditions
The maximum speed limits you often see posted on the roadsides are decided with ideal conditions in mind such as clear roads, good weather, and nominal traffic.
However, since driving conditions aren’t ideal all the time, you need to adjust your vehicle’s speed as the driving conditions vary.
Some tips to control your speed well would be:
- Maintain the same (or a similar) speed to the other cars and vehicles driving near you. This should help you keep a regular pace and help in maintaining the flow of traffic, all within the speed limits, of course.
- Avoid large groups of traffic by slowing your speed a little to allow the other vehicles to pass by, and then return to your previous, regular speed.
- Develop your driving skills to adjust your speed as you come across intersections, school zones, or other areas that you are not familiar with where pedestrians might act unexpectedly.
Know Your Vehicle
You should know how to judge and control the right speed of your car depending on these conditions. Speed changes can lead to drastic consequences if not dealt with responsibly and attentively.
- Don’t drive too fast for the weather and road conditions.
- Don’t lose speed when you change lanes.
- Don’t slow down too much when you turn off a high-speed road with an exit lane.
- Slow down your vehicle when driving on a hill; going uphill, downhill, and speeding is to be kept strongly in consideration when driving on uneven terrain and hills.
Further Developing Your Speed Control Skills as A Beginner
Especially if you are a new driver, you should properly learn how to maintain a constant speed while driving on streets, particularly in residential areas, or on two-lane roads that have little traffic and fewer side streets.
As you become more experienced as a driver, you can start driving in areas with heavier traffic where the speed needs to be adjusted more often. This will help you greatly in mastering speed control.