Home > It's A Legal Matter > Driving in snow

Driving in snow

By Jeff Terrill

Fort Wayne Reader

2014-02-11


Meet Joe. Joe is a twenty-three year old owner of a snowmobile, pick-up truck and a pet snake named Boiler. Joe is not a real person. Last night, Joe and his buddies had a blast riding their snowmobiles during the snowstorm.

Joe was dragging today because he didnít get a lot of sleep. On his way home from work, Joe became frustrated with the stop and go traffic caused by the weather. Joe felt his truck was well equipped to handle the conditions better than the others on the roads. Driving on the snow-covered roads reminded him of the previous night on his snowmobile. Joe increased his speed. He wanted to get home in time for the Purdue game.

While driving through some congested areas of his town, Joe had to slam his brakes a few times to avoid striking cars in front of him. He noticed his truck sliding on the ice when he did that.

Eventually, Joe got to an area where there were two lanes of travel in the same direction. Most of the traffic was in the right lane. Joe traveled in the left lane at the posted speed limit of 45. A few times, Joe felt his vehicle drifting on the snow. Joe couldnít believe how slow the other cars were moving. He really loved his truck. He wondered what was wrong with everyone else.

As Joe approached an intersection close to his home, a Jeep from the right lane pulled out in front of Joe. Joe swerved his truck to the left to avoid a collision and ended up sideways in the median.

Joe noticed a police car pull in behind him with lights activated. Joe explained to the officer what happened. Joe thought the officer would be more interested in getting a description of the car that pulled out in front of Joe. Instead, the officer explained to Joe that 45 mph was way too fast in the snow.

In Indiana, a person who recklessly drives his vehicle at such an unreasonably high rate of speed under the circumstances that it endangers the safety or property of others commits the offense of reckless driving, a Class B misdemeanor. The offense can be charged as a Class A misdemeanor and punishable up to one year in jail if the driving results in damage to property or injury to another person.

Even though Joe didnít exceed the speed limit, the officer determined that Joeís snow speeding unreasonably endangered everyone else on the road.




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Jeff Terrill is a partner/shareholder with the law firm of Arnold Terrill Anzini, P.C. Mr. Terrill represents clients accused of crimes throughout northeast Indiana. You can contact Mr. Terrill with any questions or comments at his office at 260.420.7777 or via email at jterrill@fortwaynedefense.com. Learn more about his firm at www.fortwaynedefense.com. This article expressed opinions and observations of the author, is not intended as legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship between the author and the reader. Please consult a qualified attorney with any legal questions or issues you might have. Thank you.

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