The next time you are speeding through traffic to make it to work on time, stop and ask yourself, “Is this worth a lawsuit?” Although many individuals believe that speeding will result in little more than an expensive ticket, speeding or otherwise driving unsafely can have very serious legal ramifications. California Vehicle Code section 22350 provides, “No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, the traffic on, and the surface and width of, the highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property.” Although speeding itself is unlikely to result in a lawsuit, speeding is often used as evidence of negligent driving. If you are deemed to be driving negligently, you may be held legally responsible for the expenses of another driver injured in an accident.
In addition to legal liability and expensive tickets, speeding and otherwise unsafe driving may also have an effect on your own legal claims against other negligent drivers. If you are injured by another driver who is acting improperly, your legal claims against that driver may be mitigated or extinguished altogether if fault for the accident can be apportioned to your own unsafe driving. Even if you did not cause the accident, you may find yourself without compensation for the injuries that you have sustained.
To avoid legal liability, expensive tickets, and to safeguard your interests, do the right thing and drive according to the posted speed limit. Safe driving will ensure that you are legally protected should an accident occur, and will generally make the roadways safer for yourself and other drivers.