5 tips when driving at high speed

Asking this question in Singapore is like asking someone if they wanna go rob a bank. People will give me the look of utter shock, and ask why i’m even asking such a question.

To be fair to them - I can understand why. The speed limit on Singapore roads is a measly 90 kmh, a big difference to the speed limits in other countries like :

  1. Netherlands (130 kmh)

  2. Poland (140 kmh)

  3. UAE (100 - 160 kmh in certain areas)

and the famous German autobahn where the speed limit is as fast as your car can go :D

But for the sake or answering this question, here are some tips for when you have to drive fast, for example in the event that your pregnant wife is in the rear seat of the car and you have to reach the hospital ASAP :

1. Clear visibility

You should be able to see at least a kilometre ahead of you, if you're doing high speeds. Of course, this means you should ideally do it on arrow straight stretches. In real life, this rarely happens, so what you can do is to always look not at the car in front of you, but a few cars in front of you.

This will give you more reaction time, since if the 3rd car in front of you brakes, the cars behind them will also brake, and you would have already anticipated this earlier.

2. Aerodynamics

When you are driving really fast, you have to understand that the wind will try to lift your car off the ground, which is why sports cars have spoilers. This is to increase the downforce and ensure that the car sticks to the road and doesn’t turn into an aeroplane.

This also means that your steering will be lighter that it ought to be. Be careful in these situations, as a simple twist here or there could prove dangerous at very high speeds.

Downforce, bruh.

Downforce, bruh.

3. ABS

No, not the six-pack. ABS stands for anti-lock braking system. If your car does not have ABS (what car are you driving?!), you better be in a position to preempt obstacles in your way, because heavy braking at high speeds will get your wheels locked, and lead to fishtailing which can make you lose control. Don’t worry though, as many modern cars come with ABS as standard.

4. Never take your eyes off the road

Thanks, Captain Obvious. But seriously though, revelling in your own glory by looking at your speedometer while going at 160 km/h can be extremely dangerous. 160 km/h is equivalent to 44.4 metres per second, which means just glancing at your phone to see that instagram like notification means you have covered 44 metres without looking at the roads.

Even snapchat was handed lawsuits over the ‘speed filter’ after numerous accidents occured as users tried showing off their speeds.

When driving at high speed, always ensure your eyes are 100% on the road, because even half a second can cost you dearly. Calls, notifications can wait. Your life is on the line.

5. Ensuring your car can handle the speed

Check that your tires are properly inflated, and that you aren’t straining the engine too much. Modern engines have some degree of tolerance, but you do not want to constantly rev your engine to red line and cause damage to it.

Also, be aware of the dynamics of your car . If you're driving a tall vehicle like an SUV or MPV (e.g Nissan X-Trail, Toyota Estima), it's center of gravity would be much higher compared to a low slung sedan (e.g Jaguar XF) - this would translate into poorer handling while cornering and being more prone to swaying when it encounters crosswinds.