When most people think of speeding, they think about driving over the posted speed limit. While this is a common type of speeding that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports was a contributing factor in 26% of all traffic fatalities in 2017, this is not the only type of speeding. Driving too fast for the current weather or road conditions is also a form of speeding that can cause traffic fatalities or serious injuries.
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident because another driver did not adapt their driving behaviors based on the current conditions, an El Paso accident caused by failure to heed changing weather or road condition lawyer may be able to help. Call us today at (800) 777-7777 to discuss your claim during a free and confidential consultation.
TYPES OF SPEEDING
Texas groups speeding into two categories:
PRIMA FACIE SPEEDING
Prima facie speed limits are posted speed limits. These limits are established based on good road and weather conditions for the average driver. Driving faster than the posted limit is evidence that a driver is traveling at an unreasonable and unsafe rate of speed. Prima facie speed limits are stated in the Texas Transportation Code §545.352, including:
- 70 mph on a numbered highway outside an urban district
- 60 mph on an unnumbered highway outside an urban district
- 30 mph in an urban district
- 15 mph in an alley
- 15 mph on a beach
- 15 mph on a county road adjacent to a public beach
Highways that were built to accommodate higher speeds can have speed limits up to 85 mph, and local areas can establish their own speed limits on roads that are not maintained by the highway department.
According to the Texas Transportation Code §545.351, basic speeding occurs when a motorist:
- Drives at a speed greater than is “reasonable and prudent” under the existing conditions without regard for “actual or potential hazards” that are present at the time, or
- Drives at a speed that can cause the motorist to collide with another person or vehicle that is on or entering the highway in accordance with the law
By not heeding changing weather or road conditions, a motorist may be guilty of speeding as it is defined under Texas law.
DANGERS OF SPEEDING
Speeding is dangerous because it can cause a number of serious consequences, including:
- Increased likelihood of losing control of the vehicle
- Reduced effectiveness of the vehicle’s safety features
- Reduced driver reaction time
- Increased severity of auto collisions because of the greater force that occurs at higher speeds
When speeding is coupled with other poor road or weather conditions, the increased likelihood of getting in an accident is even greater because of additional risk factors like a greater likelihood of losing control of the vehicle, slippery surfaces, or poor visibility.
TEXAS LAWS ON SPEEDING
Additional Texas laws on speeding that may impact a claim of this nature are found under Texas Administrative Code Title 43 §25.21 and Texas Transportation Code §545.353:
- Speed limit signs for wet weather conditions can be posted alongside signs for regular speed limits and must be obeyed
- The Texas Transportation Commission can alter speed limits if it finds that existing ones are not reasonable or safe based on an engineering and traffic investigation and can determine a regular speed limit and a speed limit that applies during wet or inclement weather
Additionally, Texas Transportation Code §545.351 specifically states that drivers must reduce their speed when they are:
- Approaching and crossing an intersection
- Approaching and crossing a railroad crossing
- Approaching and going around a curve
- Approaching the top of a hill
- Traveling on a narrow roadway
- Traveling on a winding roadway
- Confronting a traffic hazard, such as weather or road conditions or the presence of pedestrians
PRECAUTIONS TO TAKE DURING POOR WEATHER OR ROAD CONDITIONS
Drivers who know that they will be confronting poor road or weather conditions can take additional precautions to reduce the likelihood that they will be involved in an accident. Some precautions include:
- Plan ahead so that you give yourself more time to reach your destination
- Take an alternate route if possible
- Reduce your speed
- Increase the distance between you and other motorists
- Keep your vehicle in good condition, since bad tires, brakes, or other key components may not perform as well on slippery roads
- Pull over and wait until the dangerous condition subsides if necessary
If you were injured in a traffic accident caused by a driver not following these precautions, an El Paso accident caused by failure to heed changing weather or road condition lawyer from our team may be able to investigate your claim. Call (800) 777-7777 today for your free consultation.
EVIDENCE OF SPEEDING OR FAILURE TO HEED CHANGING WEATHER OR ROAD CONDITIONS
In car accident claims based on failing to heed changing weather or road conditions, it is important to have evidence against the other driver to support your legal theory. Some examples of evidence may include:
- The accident report
- A citation that the other driver received
- Pictures of the accident scene and skid marks
- Video of the accident scene
- Eyewitness reports about how the accident occurred
- Admissions that the other driver made at the scene
- Electronic information stored in the vehicle
- Physical damage to the vehicles and other property
To learn how we may be able to help gather evidence of the other driver’s negligence, contact our personal injury team.
CONTACT US FOR A FREE CASE REVIEW
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident caused by a driver who did not drive safely for conditions, an El Paso accident caused by failure to heed changing weather or road condition lawyer from our team may be able to help. We provide a free consultation to discuss your legal rights and options and work on a contingency-fee-basis, so you have nothing to lose by contacting us. Call us today at (800) 777-7777 for your free case review.