Driving too fast for the conditions can quickly lead to a crash. Moving too fast for the conditions simply means that you’re moving fast enough that it’s not reasonable for the circumstances. For example, if you’re traveling 70 mph in a 70 mph zone but it’s snowing, you may be accused of driving too fast for the conditions. Wet roadways, construction zones, heavy traffic, intersections, curves and other factors may mean you have to adjust your speed.
On wet roads, it’s appropriate to reduce your speed by approximately one-third. On roads where the snow is sticking, reduce your speed by half to prevent crashes. If you feel you can’t control your vehicle safely, then you should pull over to the side of the road until it’s easier to travel.
The first few minutes of rain are the most dangerous, which is something many people don’t consider. Most people assume that it’s when there is a lot of water on the roads that it’s most hazardous, but the truth is that rain mixes with oil when it first falls. That makes the roads slicker than if there was only water on them.
For drivers in smaller vehicles, driving too quickly is usually easier to correct. Even if they slide or swerve, many smaller vehicles are able to be driven back into a safe position. The same is not always true for trucks. These larger vehicles take longer to stop and can jackknife, making them dangerous in poor weather conditions. The drivers need to pay attention and slow down to avoid causing serious crashes. If they don’t slow down, they could cause injuries or deaths.
If you’re involved in a crash with a vehicle traveling faster than the conditions allow for, you’re not alone. Our website has more information on what to do next.