When you hear about the connection between vehicle speed and car accidents, it almost always focuses on drivers who break the speed limit. This is dangerous, as common as it is. Speeding can cause accidents, it increases the severity of injuries in those accidents and it makes it harder for people to control their cars.
All that said, it is important to remember that driving too slowly can also become hazardous. The key is the speed difference between two cars. A driver who stays well under the speed limit may think they are making the safe, responsible choice, when they are really increasing the odds of a crash.
Let’s take a look at some of the specific risks that go along with driving too slowly.
First off, someone who drives well under the speed limit could find themselves hidden by a corner or a sharp curve. When someone else comes around that corner behind them, moving much more quickly, they have to swerve and/or hit the brakes. It’s very dangerous. Technically, yes, drivers behind other cars need to keep enough space to avoid a crash, but it’s hard for them to anticipate this when they can’t see the car and when everyone else is moving at the same average — and much higher — speed.
This type of situation can also lead to chain-reaction crashes. Say that Car A is going too slowly. Car B comes up behind them and slams on the brakes. They manage to stop in time, and so does Car C, but the fourth vehicle — Car D — slams into the back of Car C. While the slow driver is not involved in the wreck, they still caused it.
On the interstate, driving too slowly is sometimes prohibited by law with minimum speed limit signs. If drivers do not feel comfortable going the minimum speed, they need to avoid the interstate and find a different road.
One of the biggest issues is when they not only drive too slowly but also drive in the left lane. This is the passing lane, and they’re not supposed to linger in it. Cars behind them have to hit the brakes, merge to the right, pass on the right, merge back to the left and speed up again. This leads to disorganization and confusion. It can directly cause accidents.
Accidents and injuries
As you can see, drivers who simply differ from the norm in any way — excessive speeding or driving too slowly — can put people in the hospital. If you get injured in an accident caused by someone else, it is crucial that you understand all of the legal options you have.