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cloesup of two vehicles after a head on collision
Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp
(833) 997-1774

Can driving too slowly be dangerous? This might sound like a ridiculous question, but the answer is yes, and it is actually a pretty serious problem. When motorists drive under the speed limit, they create a road hazard by forcing those around them to make split-second decisions that often lead to catastrophic accidents.

If you are not keeping pace with the flow of traffic, you should be in the righthand lane. This will minimize the risk you pose to other drivers and help keep Virginia’s roadways safe for everyone.  

The Virginia personal injury lawyers at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp are here to help you understand and protect your rights as a car accident victim. We recognize that most people are not familiar with the claims process and are here to walk you through each step. Contact our Norfolk law offices today to schedule a free review of your potential case.

Can Driving Slowly Cause Traffic Accidents?

How Is a Slow Driver Dangerous?

When one vehicle approaches another that is traveling well under the speed limit, the driver might have to decide between slamming on their brakes, swerving off the roadway, or making a dangerous lane change. All of these responses are capable of causing a serious accident. Not only is it dangerous to drive too slowly; but it is also against Virginia driving law, which states: “No person shall drive a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation or in compliance with the law.”

One slow-moving motorist can force multiple vehicles to stack up behind it. This interrupts the flow of traffic and prevents other motorists from driving at a constant speed, which in turn stops them from maintaining a safe following distance between their vehicles. Lefthand lanes are designed for passing. That is why those driving under the speed limit are supposed to use the righthand lane. When a slow motorist drives in the lefthand lane, it creates a potentially hazardous situation because other motorists might speed up and try to pass on the righthand side.

Why Do People Drive Under the Speed Limit?

Excessively slow driving is usually a good indication that the driver is distracted. You should always be mindful of vehicles that are moving slowly because the driver is likely not paying attention. Distracted driving is a major issue in the United States. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reported that driving while distracted causes over 3,000 fatal traffic accidents every year.  

A slow-moving driver might be programming their GPS, sending text messages, or trying to find a particular address. Another common reason for slow driving is rubbernecking. This is when motorists greatly reduce their speed to ogle a crash or other unusual event on or near the roadway. Older drivers with failing vision or other physical shortcomings might be unusually cautious, causing them to drive extremely slowly. It is important to remain vigilant around elderly drivers because they often have delayed reaction times and might slow down even further when changing lanes or making a turn. 

When Is It Okay To Drive Slowly?

There are plenty of occasions when slowing down to drive is a good idea. Hazardous road conditions require slower speeds. Decelerating makes it easier for drivers to react appropriately if they have to brake unexpectedly or suddenly swerve to dodge a hazard in the roadway. 

Other situations where slow driving is recommended are when:

  • There is inclement weather, such as snow, rain, fog, or sleet  
  • You are close to railroad tracks
  • You are near animals
  • You are near crosswalks, school zones, or school buses 
  • There is an obstruction in the roadway

Did a Slow Driver Cause Your Virginia Traffic Accident?

If you were injured because of another driver’s careless actions, you should not be responsible for paying your hospital bills and other accident-related expenses. At Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp, we help personal injury victims get the financial compensation they deserve. Contact our Norfolk-based Virginia car accident attorneys for a free case assessment at (833) 997-1774 or via our online form. We can examine the details of your accident and determine if you have a valid claim.  

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