While most of us try to stay within California’s maximum speed limits, you also must follow the state’s minimum speed law. Minimum speed laws attempt to avoid unnecessary traffic backlogs and car accidents. Unfortunately, dangerously slow drivers can cause serious, life-threatening injuries. Below, our minimum speed law attorneys explain California’s speed laws and how they might impact your personal injury claim.
What Is California’s Minimum Speed Law?
California law sets a series of speed laws. While most of us are familiar with maximum speed limits, there are other speed-related rules:
- Basic Speed Law: Regardless of a highway’s minimum or maximum speeds, you should always base your vehicle’s speed on your environment and the current weather conditions. For example, an accident, cyclists, or a heavy rainstorm might require you to slow down.
- Minimum Speed Law: California drivers cannot drive so slowly that they block or impede the normal flow of traffic. Some highways post minimum speed limits, which are based on engineering studies and traffic flow. You also typically cannot come to complete stop on the roadway.
If there is a posted minimum speed on the roadway, you must meet this requirement — unless the road conditions or other circumstances merit a slower speed. Slow moving vehicles also should remain in the right lane in most situations. And, if your vehicle breaks down, you should exit the roadway as quickly and safely as possible.
How Do Excessively Slow Drivers Cause Accidents?
Distracted, young, and elderly drivers are most inclined to drive slowly. Excessively slow drivers put themselves and others at risk because they might:
- Block the normal flow of traffic,
- Suddenly slow down or stop on the highway,
- Cause others drivers to quickly decelerate or veer to avoid an accident, or
- Impatient motorists might attempt to pass on the right, causing traffic disruptions.
While all drivers have an obligation to closely monitor road conditions and nearby drivers, it can be difficult to anticipate the presence of a dangerously slow driver.
When a driver operates below the posted speed minimum and causes an accident, you might have a negligence claim against him or her. However, minimum speed law cases require a detailed analysis of the facts surrounding the accident, including:
- Any forensic data and witness testimony that support your claims,
- The weather conditions and other factors which might have merited a slow speed,
- Whether the driver was impaired or distracted, and
- Whether comparative fault is an issue in your claim.
Sometimes, speed-related cases also require expert witnesses who specialize in accident reconstruction or medicine. At Russell & Lazarus, APC, we have represented injured Californians for over 30 years. We understand the nuances of a minimum speed law case and will help you understand the issues involved in your claim. Contact us for more information.
Road Rage and Slow Drivers
While we understand that excessively slow drivers are frustrating, you should always remain calm and follow California’s traffic laws. If you let road rage take over, you might face the loss of your license, court-ordered drivers’ education, civil liability, and criminal charges. And, if you were injured in a road rage incident, contact our office immediately.
Discuss Your Claim an Orange County Minimum Speed Law Attorney
If you sustained serious injuries due to a slow driver, contact an Orange County minimum speed law attorney. Depending on your circumstances, you might be able to receive compensation for your injuries, medical bills, and lost wages. The personal injury lawyers at Russell & Lazarus, APC can help you understand both your legal rights and the strength your claim. Contact us for a free consultation today.