Try slowing down – you’ll reduce stress, save money and be much safer

It pays to keep any eye on your speed. Photo: Stock image


thumbnail: It pays to keep any eye on your speed. Photo: Stock image
thumbnail: TRAFFIC SIGNS
Eddie Cunningham

I often wonder if drivers realise just how quickly they are travelling.

Even if we (yes, I include myself) are behaving ourselves and staying at, or near, the 100kmh limit on the M50, for example, we are still travelling at nearly 28 metres every second.

That’s a lot of ground to cover in little more than the blink of an eye.

So if the car in front were to suddenly reduce speed – even by half – we wouldn’t really have a lot of time to react and avoid rear-ending it.

That is pre-supposing we are not preoccupied or distracted by something or someone in the car.

I see lots of cars (especially those that pass me by) that I know are driving too fast and minimising the space to the car in front.

It is probably fair to say that, relatively speaking, it is even more dangerous on narrower roads, many of whom have 80kmh-100kmh limits.

I mention this by way of noticing how much “bunching” goes on.

Cars speed up as if it is imperative to avail of any space in front (a lot less than 28 metres). Then they have to reduce speed because someone out front is obeying the limit and so it goes, slow/fast slow/fast.

A steady drive is a far safer and easier way to save fuel as well but we seem to want to devour any space that emerges.

The more impatient drivers start crossing into inside lanes and lines to nip into a pocket of space before dodging back out again.

I was once a devil for that. But I’m stopping. Honestly, it’s not worth the hassle. You have no idea how pleasant it can be to just toddle along. And that is possible by leaving a bit more time to get where I’m going.