The speed limit is the absolute maximum and does not mean it is safe to drive at that speed irrespective of conditions. Driving at speeds too fast for the road and traffic conditions is dangerous.
You should always reduce your speed when:-
the road layout or condition presents hazards, such as bends
sharing the road with pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders, particularly children, and motorcyclists
weather conditions make it safer to do so
driving at night as it is more difficult to see other road users
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 (see Typical Stopping Distances diagram, shown below)
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
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