What ‘Unsafe Speed for Road Conditions’ Means and the Impact a Citation Can Have on Your California Injury Lawsuit?

What ‘Unsafe Speed for Road Conditions’ Means and the Impact a Citation Can Have on Your California Injury Lawsuit?

Here in Santa Barbara, drivers face many challenges, from road construction to traffic congestion to accident-induced backups to bad weather. Any of these may be something that will trigger reasonable drivers to slow down behind the wheel. When someone fails to adjust their speed to accommodate the conditions of the road and they crash into (and injure) you, then you owe it to yourself to contact a knowledgeable Santa Barbara car accident lawyer to discuss your legal options. 

Unsafe speed allegedly was an issue in a recent injury crash south of Buellton.    

According to news reports, a single-vehicle rollover accident triggered a response from both the CHP and the Santa Barbara County Fire Department. As those responders attended to that scene, a woman behind the wheel of a Nissan minivan lost control of her vehicle and, in an effort to regain control, overcorrected and spun into Highway 101's right-hand shoulder... right where the previous accident had occurred. 

Lawyer for Car Accident in Santa Barbara

The minivan struck two firefighters and one CHP officer. The incident resulted in those three -- plus the minivan driver and her three passengers -- requiring medical attention at area hospitals. The two firefighters' injuries were described as "moderate to major," according to the Independent.

The CHP said the minivan driver was traveling at an "unsafe speed for road conditions" in the moments leading up to her crash.

Here in California, Vehicle Code Section 22350 says that no driver may "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." When road conditions, traffic conditions, and weather conditions are ideal, the posted speed limit is generally going to represent a reasonably prudent maximum speed.

Of course, the occasions when road conditions, weather conditions, and traffic conditions are all ideal in Southern California are limited. Problems ranging from road construction to heavy traffic to heavy rain to dense fog to dust or smoke to ice or snow can increase the treacherousness of the road and dictate that the maximum safe speed under those conditions is something less than the posted limit.

Why a Citation Matters

If the person who struck and injured you received a citation for violating Section 22350, that citation can play a very important role in your injury lawsuit. The law of negligence in California places on the injured plaintiff the burden of proving, in an ordinary negligence case, that the other driver owed you a duty of care, then they breached that duty, and that the resulting breach caused the harm you suffered.        

However, if there's a citation, you can advance the legal theory of "negligence per se." Under this legal theory, the law generally will presume that the cited driver failed to drive with reasonable care based on proof of the citation's existence. 

 John N. Frye, Car Accident Attorney near Santa Barbara, CA area
John N. Frye, Car Accident Lawyer in Santa Barbara

Whether your auto accident is an ordinary negligence matter or a negligence per se case, it's something where the right legal advocate can be critical to success. The experienced personal injury lawyer in Santa Barbara at the law firm of Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos, LLP have the high degree of knowledge and skill you and your case deserve. 

Contact one of our helpful attorneys at 805-617-1365 or through our website to get a free case consultation today.


Address: 411 Borel Ave #500, San Mateo, CA 94402
Phone: (650) 419-0473
Fax: (805)-617-1365


Thank you so much for all of your legal help on my case. I’ve really enjoyed working with you and your professional team including Lisa and Mavis. I also appreciate your efforts in reaching a settlement on my behalf. I will definitely refer my clients and friends to your firm they are in need of legal representation in the future. Regards.



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