Defensive Driving: The Dangers of Driving Too Slowly
Although there are also several reasons why driving too slowly can be just as unsafe as driving too fast. Listed below are driving scenarios where driving too slowly can become dangerous.
Driving too slowly on a highway is considered to be very unsafe. Not obeying the speed limit can put yourself and other drivers at risk for a collision and is against the law. The Ontario Highway Driving Act, section 132 states: “No motor vehicle shall be driven on a highway at such a slow rate of speed as to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic thereon except when the slow rate of speed is necessary for safe operation having regard to all the circumstances.” If a driver disobeys this law, they can lose two demerit points and receive a fine of $110.
There are also strict rules about cutting vehicles off on the highway, according to The Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO). The handbook states: “Be careful not to cut off any vehicle, large or small, when making a lane change or joining the flow of traffic. It is dangerous and illegal for a slower moving vehicle to cut in front of a faster moving vehicle.”
MTO also states: “Use the far left lane of a multi-lane freeway to pass traffic, moving slower than the speed limit, but don’t stay there. Drive in the right-hand lane when possible.”
Traffic laws have a purpose to help keep us safe on the roads. As a defensive driver, it’s important to meet the speed requirements to keep yourself, your passengers and other drivers safe. Although, if there are weather or physical hazards on the road, then adjust your speed accordingly.
Not paying attention to the roads when driving can be deadly. If you lower your speed when fiddling with the GPS or talking and texting on your mobile, it still does not make it safe in anyway. Distracted drivers can experience slow or even non-existent reaction time to hazards around them.
Distracted driving is illegal and in some cases can include automatic suspension of a driver’s license. A first offence will consist of three days suspension and a $1,000 fine. A second offence will include seven days suspension and $2,000 fine. A three or more offences will include 30 days suspension, a $3,000 fine and six demerit points.
To help curb the distracted driving epidemic, please have your mobile device turned off when driving or keep it out of sight in your purse, your car glove compartment or trunk.
Some young drivers may not be fully confident in their driving abilities yet, and will drive below the speed limit. As cautious as they are trying to be, it can also be considered risky and cause traffic build up.
If you are stuck behind a slow driver, try to remain patient and resist the urge to pass unless it is safe and clear to do so. You can also flash your lights at the driver to let them know they are going too slow in the lane.