4 Factors Involved in Determining a Reasonable Speed in California
Most people believe that when they drive on California road’s they must abide by the posted speed limit. What they often do not know is that this is only true in ideal circumstances. In other instances, they must exercise what the law refers to as “reasonable” speed. What does that mean? What is reasonable speed?
Keep reading to find out what the California Department of Motor Vehicles takes into account when they determine what a reasonable speed is. If you have been in a car accident in which you believe someone else was at fault, call Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 909-982-0707 for a free legal consultation.
People and bikes
The DMV offers two pieces of advice regarding reasonable speeds and traffic. First, they say that drivers should driver slower when there are more drivers on the road. Second, they say that they should match the speed at which traffic is flowing. Note that this second point only applies if traffic is driving less than the speed limit. If you are on a road with a 55 mile per hour speed limit and you get a ticket for driving 70 miles per hour, telling the police that you were simply driving with the flow of traffic is not likely to help.
It is appropriate to driver different speeds on different types of road surface. For example, if you are on wet asphalt then you should likely drive more slowly than you would if it was wet. If you are on an unpaved road, then you have less traction and therefore less control. As a result, you likely want to driver more slowly. An uneven road can pull your car to one side or another. All of these situations may warrant slowing down.
It is always your job to yield to pedestrians and bicycle riders – even if you legally have the right of way. If you cause a pedestrian accident, in most cases it does not matter if they were at a legal crosswalk or not. Unless they stepped out directly in front of your car, it will likely be considered your fault. As a result, if there are people or bikes on a road, you may need to slow your speed.
Most of us in California do not experience the type of weather that can result in serious road hazards, such as snow and ice. However, rain and fog can cause serious hazards in some cases. In fact, even a very hot day can heat pavement and make it more dangerous. You should always take the weather into consideration when deciding what a safe speed is.
The key point is that speed limits are only listed in regards to perfect weather and perfect conditions. In anything less than that, it is wise – and the law – to slow down. Remember that if you are in an accident, you can contact Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 909-982-0707 for a free legal consultation.