Meirowitz & Wasserberg LLP

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What to know about driving too slowly

In New York, drivers who travel so far below the speed limit that they impede traffic can be pulled over and ticketed. Regardless of why they’re traveling so slow, they are required to follow the posted speed limits. Of course, other drivers have a duty not to be negligent as well, so it’s a bad idea to tailgate or angrily pass on the right.

Safety advocates recommend three steps to those who encounter a slow driver in the left-hand lane of the freeway. First, they should try to be patient and wait up to a minute for the driver to move over on their own accord. If the driver does not, then steps two and three are to flash the headlights and honk the horn; although, not in an obnoxious way.

Many slow drivers simply need their attention to be refocused. Too many motorists are distracted on the road with their cell phones. Phone use is dangerous for drivers as it reduces the activity in the brain’s parietal lobe by 37%, according to the National Safety Council. This means less ability to make judgments based on what the senses perceive.

Some slow drivers are tourists while others may be newly licensed drivers. Seniors can pose a danger, too, as health conditions may prevent them from seeing the speed limits or accelerating.

Both slow and aggressive driving are forms of negligence. When auto accidents involve one or both, they can open the way for innocent victims to file injury claims. Since New York is a no-fault state, there are limits on who can file a personal injury claim, so it may be worthwhile to have a lawyer evaluate the case and determine what options are available. If a victim was partially to blame, the courts will likely determine the percentage of fault.

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