A recent appeal case in Wales serves as a reminder that when driving your motor vehicle, even when travelling below the speed limit, should any accident occur you may not escape the consequences of careless driving.
In R v Monington  EWCA Crim 2016 a motorist was travelling on a country road from Cardiff to Llantrisant at 7.40pm. There were two passengers in the car, one in the front passenger seat and another in the rear nearside seat. The road was in good condition and was free from defects, although it was dark and had been raining heavily. The driver passed through a series of bends, and eventually lost control of the vehicle crossing into the opposite lane hitting a number of trees. Sadly, the collision took the life of the passenger in the rear of the vehicle.
The court found that, although the driver was not travelling at the speed limit of 60mph, he had taken the bend at a speed that was ‘substantially too fast for the road conditions.’ The prosecution expert estimated that the car had been travelling between 48.8 and 49.9mph. Although the driver was found to be guilty of causing death by careless driving, the court was of the opinion that this was a case which fell not far short of dangerous driving and sentenced the driver to 2 years imprisonment.
The important point to note here is that driving below the speed limit may still be considered excessive when considered with other factors. These factors can include the weather at the time of the incident, the type of road and even the experience of the driver. When travelling by car, be sure to consider all factors when thinking about what speed is appropriate, this will ensure that you stay safe on the roads. This will be all the more pertinent with difficult winter conditions to navigate over the coming months.