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New Jersey highway is no place to stop and smell the roses

In past generations, the term Sunday driver referred to someone who walked during the week and only used the car for leisurely Sunday drives. Because of the person's lack of experience behind the wheel, he or she typically drove very slowly. Between gas prices and the hectic pace of traffic these days, you may not be able to imagine taking a drive just for the fun of it, and if you have a crazy commute to work, the last thing you may want to do on your day off is get in the car and drive.

Nevertheless, you may meet Sunday drivers any day of the week because the term has come to mean any driver who pokes along holding up the normal flow of traffic. If you take your life in your hands each day by driving among speed demons, you may think that driving too slowly is not a bad idea. However, Sunday driving has its own dangers.

Who is that ahead of you?

In New Jersey and many states, driving too slowly may result in a traffic citation and points on your driving record. Additionally, if your slow speed causes an accident, you may have even more trouble to deal with. If you are going considerably slower than the traffic flow or the posted minimum speed, you may impede traffic behind you, causing other drivers to pass you unsafely or risking a rear-end collision. While anyone can be a tortoise behind the wheel, most commonly, slow drivers fall into the following categories:

  • New drivers: Contrary to popular belief, many newly licensed drivers are not confident enough to speed. Instead, they may be reluctant to accelerate or unsure of where they are going.
  • Older drivers: Seniors may have aching joints, poor vision and slower reaction time, which may result in them taking a slower pace behind the wheel.
  • Sightseers: The textbook Sunday driver may be a visitor traveling too slowly through New Jersey because of unfamiliarity with the area and attempts to take in the interesting sights they pass.
  • Distracted drivers: Many drivers unintentionally lift their feet from the accelerator as they read or send a text, which is another reason why it is always best to pull over before texting.

You may get a ticket for driving too slowly, but you also risk legal concerns if you use aggressive or risky actions when you find yourself behind a slow driver. Tailgating, making an unsafe lane change, passing illegally or committing an act of road rage could result in serious consequences. Patience and understanding are the best reactions to a too-slow driver.

However, if you should find yourself facing legal problems because of a traffic citation, be careful about assuming it is no big deal. Points on your license add up quickly and may result in the loss of driving privileges. Having professional advice before going to court is advisable.

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