Snails travel at a speed of one meter per hour. Research indicates that snails move quickly enough to cover the area of an average UK garden in one evening.
Snails prefer to travel in the "slipstream," or slimy trail, left behind by other snails. Snails use 40 percent of their energy to produce slime, which reduces friction and protects them against injury from sharp objects. Following a trail of slime that has been left by another snail helps to conserve energy. Snails move by creating waves of contractions down the center of their muscular foot, which is covered with cells called epithelial cilia.