Is It Illegal To Drive Too Slowly?
Everyone knows that driving above the speed limit puts you at risk to be pulled over and given a ticket. What many people don’t realize, however, is that driving too slow can also lead to a traffic violation. Yes, you read that correctly. Driving too slow can cost you hundreds of dollars.
There are several reasons a police officer may pull you over if you’re driving below the speed limit. These include:
- You are causing a potentially dangerous situation by interfering with the flow of traffic.
- You may be driving slow because you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- You may be driving slow because you are too old to drive and your license status needs to be reevaluated.
- You may be driving slow because you are up to no good, for example looking for a drug dealer or a prostitute.
Generally, you should be fine if you’re driving at or around the speed limit, but it also depends on the road conditions around you. If you’re driving much slower than the cars around you or you’re blocking traffic, a police officer can give you a ticket for impeding traffic.
Why Driving Too Slow Is Dangerous
According to driving too slow statistics from one study conducted by the Institute of Transportation Engineers, the drivers that are most likely to get into accidents are those that are driving well below the speed limit.
Driving too slow is dangerous because the other drivers on the road are expecting you to be traveling at roughly the same speed they are. When they approach you going to speed limit and suddenly realize you are driving well below it, it forces them to make quick decisions that may cause them to crash or cut someone else off.
If you’re driving slow in the left land, you will force everyone else to pass you. This in itself creates dangerous conditions and increases the risk of an accident.
If you’ve been injured in an accident that was caused by a too-slow driver, you may want to file a personal injury lawsuit before the statute of limitations in your state runs out. According to Dallas Car Accident Lawyers, before you commit to a lawyer you should ask:
- How much experience they have
- How many years they have worked on auto accidents
- How many cases like yours they have won.
If slow driving wasn’t so dangerous, it wouldn’t be illegal. Just as you can file a case against a speeding driver, a drunk driver, or a distracted driver, you can also sue a slow driver.
Following the Flow of Traffic
The most important thing to do when driving to avoid getting in trouble is to follow the flow of traffic. If you’re visiting a town or city, you should watch the drivers around you to see how they behave and what at speeds they usually travel. You don’t have to match their speed if they consistently go over the limit, but you should do your best to stay out of their way if possible.
It’s ok to go slower than the other cars around you if you have a good reason or if you stay out of the way of other vehicles. Maybe you’re preparing to turn, or you were passing another slow-moving vehicle. You’re also justified if weather or road conditions made it unsafe for you to go any faster.
On a smaller road, you should drive as closely as you can to the right edge of the lane so that people can go around you. Doing so will decrease the likelihood that an accident may occur.
Slowing Down the Left Lane
Wherever you are in the United States, local legislations will find some way to address slow-moving vehicles that block traffic. Some states also specifically address rules for driving in the left lane.
A law against driving too slow in Indiana makes it a punishable offense to impede any faster traffic in the left lane on the highway. Authorities want drivers to use the left lane only for passing other slower cars.
Even driving precisely at the speed limit could get you in trouble if you’re in the left lane. The “normal flow of traffic” might be faster than the legal speed for the road, so you need to get over to one of the lanes on the right to let faster drivers get around you.
The Consequences of Driving Too Slow
Specific penalties for driving too slowly and slowing down traffic will vary by state. Generally, however, you may have to pay a fine that could be up to several hundred dollars. You might also get a driver’s license points that will create more consequences for you if you get enough points.
Your primary goal should always be to stay safe on the road. That means watching other cars and driving in a standard, predictable way. If it’s not safe to drive faster because of weather or something wrong with your vehicle, you have to make sure you get out of other drivers’ way.