When you drive, it's common to travel slightly below the speed limit, at the speed limit, or slightly beyond it. It's usually unconventional to travel significantly slower than the speed limit, but there are numerous scenarios in which doing so is in your best interest. Should you cause a collision, even if you were driving at the speed limit, the other party's legal team may suggest that you're negligent because you weren't being prudent based on various conditions. It's a good idea to always be aware of the speed limit, but to know that slowing down in different scenarios is safe and may help you in a legal situation. Here are three such scenarios.
Fog can dramatically reduce visibility for drivers, especially in low-light situations such as early in the morning or after the sun sets. If the speed limit is 50 miles per hour in a given area, don't feel as though you must travel at this pace. If the fog is heavy, driving the speed limit could be hugely dangerous, as other motorists could be traveling significantly slower than you. This could cause you to come up to another driver quickly and not be able to react in time to prevent a collision. A slow traveling speed commensurate with the fog can be enough to prove that you weren't being negligent.
Driving on icy roads can make it difficult for you to control your vehicle in virtually every way, so it's important that you drive based on the conditions, not on the speed limit. In icy weather, most prudent motorists will be driving slowly, and if you're traveling at a rate of speed that is higher than everyone else, it can look extremely bad if you cause an accident — especially if there are witnesses or security camera footage to illustrate your lack of prudent driving.
You also need to adjust your rate of speed based on the traffic volume, regardless of what the speed limit says. Causing an accident and then arguing that you were going the speed limit won't be a good defense, as the other party's legal team will simply accuse you of being negligent because you weren't exercising prudent driving for the conditions. Driving in heavy traffic also means giving yourself more braking space, which can make a difference in preventing a rear-end collision that could have you facing legal action.
If you do end up facing legal action due to an accident or you're the victim of such an accident, be sure to contact a local accident attorney for assistance.