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Stopping Distances and Speed

Stopping distances:

When we are driving we should leave a gap between us and the vehicle ahead useing the

2 second rule

The highway code gives us a general guide for stopping distances which is very useful to know, which doubles in wet weather and can be up to 10 times as long in snow/icy conditions.


Speed limit signs are round - these are order signs. You should always keep your speed below the maximum speed limit for the road you are driving on.  Although you are not legally obliged to drive at the maximum speed limit, if it is safe to do, you should try and drive at a speed that at least approaches the required speed.

Driving too slowly can be as dangerous as driving too fast.  The driver who drives along a 60 mph road at 30 mph causes a tailback of traffic and can be frustrating for other road users.

Speed in itself is not dangerous, inappropriate speed is.  Always take into account the weather and the road conditions.  Driving at 60 mph on a 60 road when icy or heavy rain is dangerous and inappropriate. As is driving on a dual carriageway (national speed limit 70 mph) at 40 mph when the weather is fine.


The general speed limit rules for cars are:

For built up urban roads with street lighting the national speed limit is 30 mph

For single carriageway roads the national speed limit is 60 mph

Dual carriageways and motorways the national speed limit is 70 mph

These speed limits apply at all times, but occasionally may be different, so keep looking when you enter any new roads for changes. There may be changes where there are road works.



Cars and motorcycles:-




     Built up area            Single carriageway           Dual carriageway


National Speed Limit    National Speed Limit     National Speed Limit



        30 mph                        60 mph                                 70 mph