How to Control Speed Effectively
Speed control is an important part of driving. We have various speed zone across the street and on the main roads. If a driver is not following the speed sign, he is risking his and other's life and a hefty fine including license suspension for a set period of time.
Many young drivers I've tutored, tend to be following a car in front of them. Most times they are doing more speed than the road is designed for the speed. On my question, they answer that their parents asked them to follow the car in front of them. This sound so silly to me as how in the world will you know the person ahead of you is speeding for fun or for a reason? Remember, when you are following a vehicle Infront of you and you are doing over the speed of the road, you are risking your life and a fine and a suspension of license to drive.
There are ways to improve your speed control on a vehicle. Read through and you will understand how.
Reasons for not getting a Speed Control
You are driving the same route or roads every time you go to practice.
Your supervising driver or any passenger in car is distracting you.
You are not in a mood to drive or had a bad day.
The music on the car is not something that you like or radio playing boring song.
The temperature in cabin is not comfortable to your body.
You are driving with empty belly or on full bladder.
You are driving in a direction of direct sunlight with no sunglasses on.
You do not check the road sign for speed and follow your own speed.
You become nervous when someone overtake you or beep at you.
You get frightened seeing a large vehicle coming on from the road.
You are braking frequently where it is not required.
You are braking too hard when slowing down, making the vehicle come to a stop.
How to Practice Speed Control
As a thumb rule, get behind the wheels with a relaxed mind and body. Eat or drink as required.
Empty your bladder if you are going for a drive more then 30 minutes. Wear a perfume you like or use a car scent to make cabin air ambient. Adjust temperature that your body feel comfortable per weather.
Explore your area on Google or Apple Maps.
Find a straight road back street.
Choose a quiet time. Preferred as afternoon or late evening.
Hit the road and drive to the road speed limit and maintain the speed limit.
Turn around on the end of the road and go back where you started.
keep going back and forth on the same road until you learn the trick to hold on to speed limit.
How to maintain Speed on an Accelerator
PUSH, PUSH and HOLD is a simple technique to maintain a continues speed on the road. Having said that, let's see an example,
You are on a 50km/h speed zone, you are pulling out from kerb and want to maintain your speed to 50km/h. You will follow the merging procedure and then PUSH accelerator gradually to speed up, check your speed and PUSH gently again to speed up. Check if you have reached the speed of 50km/h. If not PUSH gently and when the NEEDLE reach at 50km/h mark or a 50 digit is displayed, FREEZE or HOLD your foot at that position.
Once you achieve your desired speed on the speedo, do not let your FOOT go down on pedal or lift up from pedal. Having same amount of pressure and holding the foot at the same position is the way to maintain speed.
If your speed increases up to 3km/h than road speed, lift the foot up little bit and the car will slow down gradually.
If your speed increased more than 5 km/h than road speed, brake gently to get immediate slowdown of speed.
Driving TOO SLOW
If traffic condition or weather do not permit to maintain defined road speed, a driver is required to maintain a speed at all times. You can be fined for driving 10km/h or more, less than the speed limit on the road.
On your drive test, driving 10km/h less than the speed limit without no reason (no traffic and weather is clear), you could fail your test if vehicle on your back have to take evasive action. Evasive action includes they taking over you, beeping at you.
Speeding is not only dangerous and risky but a race to death. When any one speed on the road, they are risking everyone around them. A driver will incur a fine and lose Demerit point from license for speeding on the road. Current law imposes heavy fines and suspension for "P" plate drivers.
Speeding is a explained in Road Safety Road Rules and Rule #20.
In normal circumstance, a driver is given a speeding ticket for exceeding the speed limit by 5km/h more than the road speed limit. Penalty unit’s suspension depends on the speed you exceed.
On a drive test, when a driver exceeds the speed by up to 3km/h but realises it and bring back the speed of vehicle to road speed limit within 5 seconds, it is not a default or end of test. for example,
A driver is doing 60km/h on a test, accidently the speed goes to 63km/h for 3 seconds and the driver realises it, he push the brake and bring the speed back to 60km/h immediately, he is not penalised or have failed his test.
in the same scenario, the driver instead or braking, continues to speed up and hits 65km/h, he will be asked to pull over when safe by LTO and will be advised that they failed the test as they were speeding over by 5km/h.
Why do Speed Limit keep changing?
Speed limit on the road changes at a several distance for a reason. Speed change is for a number of reasons as follow.
Road where most crashes happens
Bends & curves
Hidden blind spots are corners and roundabouts
How do I know which speed zone I'm in?
As you have studied in the Road to Solo Driving book, the speed limits are set-in built-up area and rural area.
In general, any road which has lower speed limits, will be sign posted. They have sign at the start of the road and sign at the end of the road. For example,
Most road in built up area(streets) are 50 and are unmarked. 50 signs is only put on a continuation of road where the road becomes busy with pedestrian or other traffic from a high speed road. Most street are 50 with no signs
60, 70,80 signs are generally on a main road with traffic lights present on the road to control the traffic flow. 60 speed is generally on a single lane one-way traffic road. 70 and 80 however are on 2 lanes one-way traffic road.
If you are unsure of speed in streets, play safe and drive on 40. If you are unsure of speed on main roads, play safe and drive on 60.
Also, be educated in change of speed limit on your daily roads. The road speed will be limited to lower depending on traffic congestion and how many accidents occurs in a period of time.
Is it SAFE to drive at night?
Driving at night is safe as far as you follow the rules and stay focused. Never assume that the traffic at night is so low so you can drive at the speed you wish. Or you can do some km/h more than the speed limit. Some points to consider at night drive are,
Don't be relaxed, be prepared for unexpected hazards on road.
Don't look directly on lights of oncoming vehicles, it may dazzle you for a fraction of time and leading to lose control of vehicle.
Use low beams headlights only.
NEVER USE HIGH BEAMS LIGHTS WHEN IT IS FOGGY WEATHER.
Use FOG lights if FOG present and makes it hard for you to see road markings.
Rear vehicle's head lights always trouble the driver, to overcome this, witch your rear-view mirror to NIGHT VIEW by pushing the button under the mirror. If your car is fitted with electro chromatic mirror, it will give you perfect night view of rear car and lights.
I'm bullied on the Road
We live in a society, where good and bad both elements live together. Not everyone who hits the road are always ready to oblige the road rules.
Bullying on a road is common. Melbourne is well known for Tail getting with insurance companies. Melbourne has highest rates of Head to Tail crashes on the road.
Remember that, If you are being tailgated on the road, it must be 1 of the 2 reasons. Either you are going slower or the person behind you is in rush. In this case, check your speed. If you are doing slow speed, get in to right speed and you will be okay. If you are still being tail gated, find a safe place to pull over or change your lane and let the other vehicle go.
Never drive in a Right lane where there are multi lanes. If you are a fresh license holder, stay in a left lane on a multi lane road unless you have to make a turn and need to move to a right lane. If you are doing slow in a right lane, you are risking your life and delaying everyone else on road, creating a chaos and upset driver on you.
If you are on your "P" Plates, you are more likely to be beeped and cut off on the road from certain vehicles as they enjoy scarring the new drivers on the road. Always stay vigilant about your surrounding.