Should You Drive The Flow Of Traffic Or The Speed Limit? – Explained
Speeding is the second most common cause of car accidents in the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are about 40,000 car accident-related fatalities in the United States every year. In 2018, speeding alone caused 9,378 fatal accidents.
That’s 25% of all traffic deaths! Most of us can agree that a car racing down the highway is dangerous. But what if they’re just traveling 5 or 6 miles per hour above the speed limit? What if the driver is simply going with the flow of traffic? Maybe you’ve been that person driving a few miles per hour above the legal speed limit. Did you consider yourself speeding? Do you think you were being dangerous? We break down the flow of traffic vs speed limit so that you can stay safe on the roads and keep others safe, too.
What is the Flow of Traffic?
According to the Urban Dictionary, the flow of traffic is “the speed that traffic is going at any given time.” It’s a term we hear a lot in reference to the general rules of the road. Sometimes the flow of traffic is below the speed limit. But more often than not, the flow of traffic is above the posted speed limit. Typically, the prevailing speed is what traffic engineers use to determine what the official speed limit should be on any given road. Speed limits are set using the speed of which 85% of traffic flows. Studies show that this 85th percentile is the safest speed level. Motorists consider the driving environment more than the posted speed limit. But is driving the flow of traffic legal?
Whether you’re driving above or significantly below the speed limit, you are at a higher risk for a car accident and a traffic violation. There is a common misconception that you can’t get a ticket for driving the flow of traffic. This is a myth. In Nevada, the fine for speeding is calculated by how many miles per hour above the speed limit you were driving. According to law AB 434 Section 28, the fine is capped at $20 per mph above the speed limit.
What is the Speed Limit?
By definition, the speed limit is the maximum or minimum speed legally permitted in a given area under specified circumstances. Each state or territory determines their own speed limits. Some counties and municipalities can set lower limits.
Speed limits can range from 10 miles per hour through a parking lot or 85 miles per hour on a highway. Sometimes temporary speed limits will be posted in work zones or construction zones.
It is your responsibility to understand the speed limit wherever you are driving. You can’t assume that the flow of traffic and the speed limit are the same. The speed limit on any given road, whether or not there is a posted sign, is a set number.
Flow of Traffic vs Speed Limit Dangers
Many believe the myth that as long as we’re going with the flow of traffic, we’re not doing anything wrong. It makes sense– everyone else is going the same speed, so why shouldn’t you? There’s no way a cop could pull you over if you’re just going with the speed of traffic. Wrong.
If you argue that you were just driving with the flow of traffic, then you are essentially admitting to speeding. Other people breaking the law does not justify you breaking the law. Usually, speeding offenses are considered an infraction and you are given a fine. However, in more extreme cases they can be considered misdemeanors.
Consequences of Speeding
Whether you are speeding 15 miles per hour above the speed limit, or going with the flow of traffic, speeding is dangerous. Speeding also doesn’t get you where you need to go much faster. The difference between driving 35mph and 25mph is just two minutes. And yet driving just 3 miles per hour over the speed limit doubles the risk of an injury-causing accident.
- You’re more likely to lose control of your vehicle.
- Speeding reduces the effectiveness of your occupant-protection features, like airbags and seatbelts.
- During poor weather conditions, speeding affects your ability to maneuver the road.
- Speeding can reduce the amount of time you have to react to an unexpected obstacle. It decreases your ability to adjust to curves and turns in the road.
- You increase the chance of a more severe crash and therefore more severe injuries and damages to your vehicle.
- Speeding increases the environmental impact. Speeding reduces your fuel economy. You burn more fuel, release more emissions, produce more sound pollution.
- You have a higher chance of a rollover accident, especially if you’re in a truck or SUV.
- Cyclists, pedestrians and others can misjudge your speed and turn into your lane or enter an intersection too soon.
- The faster you go, the more stop time you need. But by the time you see a slower-moving car, it is too late to hit the brakes.
- Speeding also has financial consequences. If you get pulled over, it can increase your insurance rates.
As we move into our discussion on how to avoid speeding, we’d like to let you know that Anthem Injury Lawyers offers the experience you need when you’re looking for a top car accident lawyer in Las Vegas. Schedule a free case analysis with us by calling (702) 857-6000. We can help you receive the just compensation you deserve as an accident victim. Some people think they can handle dealing with insurance companies – there’s no reason to take chances. Anthem Injury Lawyers knows how to deal with insurance so you’ll have the best opportunity to receive maximum compensation.
Tips to Avoid Speeding
Even if you consider yourself a good driver, it’s never a bad idea to review these simple tips to avoid speeding.
- Give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination. Check the route and traffic ahead of time. Leave early.
- Make it a habit to check your speedometer.
- Use cruise control for longer drives.
- Pay attention. When we are distracted by loud music, a phone call, or the radio, we are more likely to speed.
- Look for signs. Keep your eyes peeled for new speed limit signs. You might think you’re going the speed limit but speed limits change from road to road.
- Don’t care what other drivers think. Other drivers might honk or express their impatience in other ways. That’s their problem, not yours. You are the one abiding by the law.
- Stay in the slow lane. If you stay to the right, other drivers can pass you while you maintain the legal speed limit.
- Play relaxing music. If you feel relaxed in your car, you might be less tempted to speed.
Experienced Las Vegas Personal Injury Lawyers
If you or a loved one has been in a car accident that was caused by a speeding motorist, you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. A professional personal injury lawyer can help you protect your rights. Our car accident lawyers are experienced at handling all types of car accidents, including accidents with large trucks or SUVs, accidents involving motorcyclists and bicyclists, and accidents where there was a driver who was driving under the influence/with an elevated blood alcohol concentration (BAC).
If you are looking for a law firm with experienced car accident attorneys, contact Anthem Injury Lawyers today. Not only do we have extensive car accident case experience, we are up to date on current legal challenges. This includes the latest events surrounding COVID-19, and will work aggressively to protect your rights and help you receive maximum compensation. While it’s okay to look up information on the Internet, or to get advice from well-meaning friends, when it comes to receiving the compensation you should get as an accident victim, you need a lawyer who can fight for you. Our phone number is (702) 857-6000. We offer Free Consultations. Our law office is located in Henderson, but we work with clients all over the Las Vegas Valley.