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What is the speed limit law for "sever weather conditions"?
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What is the speed limit law for "sever weather conditions"?

I received a RECKLESS Driving ticket when I was driving 65MPH on a 65MPH zone on the highway during heavy rain.
A truck slid into my lane and so i slammed on my breaks and slid off the highway thus totaling my car. When I called 911 the officer gave me a Reckless Driving ticket because I was going too fast for "severe weather". My question is, what is the law on that, I've never heard before that I you have to LEGALLY go slower if it is raining.. I know that you use your judgment if its dangerous but what is the law. I'm going to court tomorrow and I'd like to be informed. Thank you!
Additional Details
just a quick response, I've been driving for 9 years and don't have one speeding ticket. I use my cruise control to make sure I am not speeding and I am very safe and cautious. I am not a reckless driver at all and the rain was not bad to the point where I can't see the road or there is a flood of some sort. It was not the first time I have driven in the rain and AGAIN I was going fine until the 18 wheeler truck slid into my lane and was going to hit my car if i didn't slam my breaks and swerve to the left god knows where I'd be right now.


Well I do not agree with what everybody else is saying. If the truck slid into your lane and to avoid him, you slid off the road, then the ticket should be dropped. The law says something like you must drive at a safe speed at all times. There is no legal "number" that you must slow down to. If I was you I would go to court and plea my case to the judge, saying "I was driving the speed limit and was being safe and watching the road; some truck slid over into my lane, and to avoid an accident i had to slam the brakes and turn the wheel sharply. My car slidding off of the road was not a result of me driving out of control (recklessly) rather a guy forcing me off the road"

I hope this helps, but whatever you choose to do; I wouldn't just accept it without any fight, it sounds like a weak ticket to me.

Speed limit laws are prima facia. that means they are a guideline. If the weather conditions or traffic deam that a reasonable person would drive slower and the officer can show that you were recklass in that regaurd, he can cite you for a speed violation.

Amy S
I believe all states have laws that amount to a Basic Speed Law (as it's called in California.) That is... the posted speed is the speed LIMIT... which means, in the best of conditions that is the fastest that you can legally drive on that road. If the conditions are less than ideal, you need to adjust your speed accordingly. Had you been driving a speed that was safe for the conditions, you would likely have been able to avoid totalling your car.

I don't know what it takes to be considered "reckless driving" and it probably depends on the area, but you obviously were driving faster than what would be safe. If you totalled your car from going off the road, you were going too fast for your breaks to do their job. Most people probably do simply out of habit... drive around the speed limit even during poor conditions. It's one of those things you just do and don't get caught doing for such a long time that you don't typically think about it.

Shane P
First, I am not an attorney and can only tell you based off the facts given here you did not exercise due care while driving your vehicle, for you to total your car and slid as you did, you, yourself have just admitted you did not have control of your vehicle and did put everyone on the road in extreme danger due to your lack of experience and poor judgment while driving in the rain and weather..

That is why the officer cited you accordingly, i am sure there must have been a witness or two watching you drive and lose control of your vehicle, your lucky you did not kill any one or yourself...

It is called too fast for conditions. Most states suggest some require you go 10 mph lower than the posted speed limit. Should you become involved in an accident you will be held liable if you are going the posted speed limit in poor road conditions.
For example the road is dry you are going 55 in a 55 and a car swerves in your lane. With dry roads you are more likely to avoid the collision maintaining control of your vehicle than you would if road conditions are poor i.e. Driving on or snow and trying to control your vehicle.

I hope that helps.

Well unfortunately the cop is correct. I have seen it called driving to fast for the conditions not reckless driving but its the same thing.

I know the law in NY reads something like , your speed must be reasonable to the conditions but may not exceed the posted speed limit.

So yes they can ticket you for going the speed limit in heavy rain or snow. You could say that you were traveling a reasonable speed but were cut off. As the officer did not actually see the accident

nature lover
If your judgement puts other people in danger then yet you can get a ticket. it's only common sense to slow down because of limited visability, slippery roads and hydroplaning.

The most important thing about driving is maintaining control of your car. If you're in conditions where the posted speed limit makes that impossible (ice, snow, heavy rain, fog), then you're required to slow down to a "safe" speed.

"Safe" is subjective, however...but yeah, like someone above me said, if you slammed on your brakes and slid off the road, you're going too fast.

In Texas, the charge would be 'Unsafe Speed for Conditions".

You could be driving at 20 in a 70 and if the conditions or situation require so, you could get a citation for failing to control speed for conditions.

If you were unable to control your vehicle to avoid collision, you were driving too fast for the condtions.(Rain).

There is no exact speed limit. Basically, if you hit the brakes and you skid off the road, you are going too fast.

All that speed limit sign states is that it is the maximum legal speed you can drive on that road. It doesn't mean you can drive that fast in bad conditions. Almost every state that has a driver's handbook to study for you drivers test does state that you are to adjust your speed to the conditions around you, whether it be heavy traffic, fog, rain, snow or ice. There is no "set" speed to go in bad weather, that is discretionary. In my case, since I have additional training for emergency vehicles, I may feel safe to go 45-55 in the same conditions you were in. But my wife on the other hand, may only go 40-50 in the same conditions.

Add'l Info to your update:
What people should be trained to do is called defensive driving. You should have a way out for just about any situation you encounter on the road. By losing control of your vehicle, as wrong as this may sound, you failed to drive defensively causing you to lose control of your vehicle. And that can get you a ticket

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