What Does Driving Too Fast For Conditions Mean?

too fast for conditions lawyerThis week, a 45-year-old woman was killed, and her two passengers injured, when their car rolled on westbound I-90 outside Spokane. The woman was trying to pass another vehicle when it lost control and left the roadway. Washington State Patrol said the woman was going too fast for conditions. Photos from the scene showed a snowy roadway and possible low visibility. 

So, what exactly does “driving too fast for conditions” mean? The definition of this traffic violation is somewhat subjective but is highly important if a driver’s actions caused an accident resulting in injuries.

The following is taken from RCW 46.61.400: “No person shall drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing. In every event speed shall be so controlled as may be necessary to avoid colliding with any person, vehicle or other conveyance on or entering the highway in compliance with legal requirements and the duty of all persons to use due care.”

Operating a vehicle in an unsafe manner is a form of negligent behavior. Even the speed limit, one of the most basic and constant regulations on the road, must be considered from a subjective perspective. This means that the driver does not necessarily have to be exceeding the speed limit to be cited for negligence.

Many scenarios can call for a driver to drive slower than the speed limit to avoid negligence, including:

  • Icy roads
  • Construction
  • Fog
  • Uneven lanes
  • Snow
  • Heavy rain
  • Heavy traffic

Driving too fast for conditions often results in a collision. In Washington state, the offense of negligent driving in the first degree is a misdemeanor with a punishment of up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. Negligent driving in the second degree is a traffic infraction, the only punishment a $250 fine. 

Attorney For Snowy Road Accidents

At Davis Law Group, P.S., we help victims of accidents, especially those caused by drivers who were driving too fast for the conditions. This type of negligence can cause life-threatening injuries. If you have been hurt in a car, truck or motorcycle accident, medical bills can pile up fast. You can count on our team of Washington state accident attorneys to fight to ensure that justice is served in your case.

If you are curious about receiving compensation after a serious accident where another driver was driving too fast, contact us today for a free case evaluation. Call (206) 727-4000, fill out the form on this page or use the chat feature below.

Chris Davis
Award-winning personal injury attorney and founder of Davis Law Group, P.S. in Seattle, Washington.
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