Driving Test: Vehicle's Speed Limit And Stopping Distance

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Speed limits:

You do not cross the maximum allow speed limits for the route and for your vehicle. The presence of street visible lights generally allow 30 mph (48 km/h) speed limit unless otherwise specified.

While crossing the absolute maximum speed limits indicate that it is not safe to drive at that speed irrespective of conditions and you are on risk. Driving at speeds too fast for the road and traffic conditions is dangerous. You should always reduce your speed when:

  • driving at night as it is more difficult to see other road users
  • weather conditions make it safer to do so
  • sharing the road with pedestrians, horse riders, particularly children, cyclists and motorcyclists
  • the road layout or condition presents hazards.

Stopping Distances:

Drive at a speed that will allow you to stop well within the distance you can see to be clear. You should

  • leave enough space between you and the vehicle in front so that you can pull up safely if it suddenly slows down or stops. The safe rule is never to get closer than the overall stopping distance
  • allow at least a two-second gap between you and the vehicle in front on roads carrying faster-moving traffic and in tunnels where visibility is reduced. The gap should be at least doubled on wet roads and increased still further on icy roads
  • remember, large vehicles and motorcycles need a greater distance to stop. If driving a large vehicle in a tunnel, you should allow a four-second gap between you and the vehicle in front

If you have to stop in a tunnel, leave at least a 5-metre gap between you and the vehicle in front.

In normal circumstances- The safest way to brake is to do so early and lightly. Brake more firmly as you begin to stop. Ease the pressure off just before the vehicle comes to rest to avoid a jerky stop.

In an emergency- Brake immediately. Try to avoid braking so harshly that you lock your wheels. Locked wheels can lead to loss of control.

Skids- Skidding is usually caused by the driver braking, accelerating or steering too harshly or driving too fast for the road conditions. If skidding occurs, remove the cause by releasing the brake pedal fully or easing off the accelerator. Turn the steering wheel in the direction of the skid. For example, if the rear of the vehicle skids to the right, steer immediately to the right to recover.

ABS- If your vehicle is fitted with anti-lock brakes; you should follow the advice given in the vehicle handbook. However, in the case of an emergency, apply the footbrake firmly; do not release the pressure until the vehicle has slowed to the desired speed. The ABS should ensure that steering control will be retained, but do not assume that a vehicle with ABS will stop in a shorter distance.

Brakes affected by water. If you have driven through deep water your brakes may be less effective. Test them at the first safe opportunity by pushing gently on the brake pedal to make sure that they work. If they are not fully effective, gently apply light pressure while driving slowly. This will help to dry them out.

Coasting- This term describes a vehicle travelling in neutral or with the clutch pressed down. It can reduce driver control because

  • engine braking is eliminated
  • vehicle speed downhill will increase quickly
  • increased use of the footbrake can reduce its effectiveness
  • steering response will be affected, particularly on bends and corners
  • it may be more difficult to select the appropriate gear when needed

The Driver and the Environment- You MUST NOT leave a parked vehicle unattended with the engine running or leave a vehicle engine running unnecessarily while that vehicle is stationary on a public road. Generally, if the vehicle is stationary and is likely to remain so for more than a couple of minutes, you should apply the parking brake and switch off the engine to reduce emissions and noise pollution. However it is permissible to leave the engine running if the vehicle is stationary in traffic or for diagnosing faults.

Source: DSA

About Author.

John Grath is involved with Driving test in writing useful driving theory test and motorbike theory test tips.You can learn more about driving test, driving test dvd, book driving theory test, driving test CD, DVD, hazard perception dvd, theory test download, theory test DVD online theory test information here.

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