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Careless Driving Collision
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 2:00 pm 
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I got a careless driving ticket the other day when I rear-ended a Honda Pilot at a yield sign. I was heading down a 60km road behind the SUV and noticed that they were driving as though they were on the phone...slowing down, not driving to straight, braking for no reason as there were no vehicles in front of them...so they got to a yield sign to make a right turn and merge onto another road and it was clear for them to go but they decided to make a complete stop...at this point I was becoming more and more close to their vehicle from all their constant braking. So I stopped behind them and they were still clear to go so they moved up a bit and suddenly braked again. Then they accelerated hard as though they were taking off so i began to hit my gas but as I looked away for 1 sec to see if traffic was still not coming they hit their brakes hard once more and I hit the rear. Not much damage seemed to be done to their SUV as my car went under it and hit the exhaust pipe but my car was unable to drive because the hood was bent pretty bad and the radiator was broken and leaking. Both vehicles ended up being towed although I'm sure the SUV was fine to drive. Now I'm wondering If I should get a paralegal or go to court myself? I know that the ticket was too severe a punishment and don't believe that It will stick...What are my odds? Would the woman that I hit even show up, why would she?

Thanks for your time


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 4:05 pm 
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She will likely show up because she'll be subpoenaed and it's an offence to fail to respond to a subpoena.

Careless driving seems a little harsh for the situation you described and they would have to prove that you were driving with undue care and attention in order to convict you of it. Usually in rear end collisions where people are charged with careless they plea to follow too close. That might be an option for you to consider. You wouldn't need to hire anyone to assist you with that.

If you are going to contest the careless ticket however, you might want to consider hiring a professional because the consequences for a careless conviction are severe in terms of dollars, demerit points, and insurance rates.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 4:10 pm 
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Based on your story it does not add up to driving with reasonable consideration to others using the highway. You have a mountain to climb. I would not be so sure that it is an easy case. At the end of the day you had other alternatives, especially, after you had an opportunity to observe unusual driving before the collision.

Would a reasonable and prudent driver keep greater distance or pay additional attention for the vehicle that is clearly not safe? That is the question you have to answer. I suggest you retain some help.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 7:36 pm 
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I've said this many times before: Some charges are no problem fighting on your own, if you do your homework, but in my opinion careless driving is NOT one of them. If I got charged with careless driving, I'd be talking to a paralegal or a lawyer. It's a very serious HTA charge.

In legalese, careless driving shows a departure from the standard of care of a reasonable and prudent driver. It does not require you to be perfect. In some cases, a reasonable and prudent driver may become involved in a collision. Clearly, the driver in front of you was a moron. While it may not have been a good idea to get close to her, given her erratic driving, the main instance that led to the collision was that she started accelerating, you started moving and checked for traffic, and suddenly, she had stopped. That's similar to what happened in this case:

R. v. Morgan, 2008

(Minus erratic driving beforehand.) Basically the driver was in a line of cars that started to move, he looked down the railway tracks for an approaching train, as he did that the line stopped and he rear-ended the vehicle in front of him. He was charged with careless, but found not guilty. So, there's some hope here, depending on how your defence is articulated.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 7:38 pm 
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Thanks for the replies. Simon borys your saying that the best I could do is plead guilty to the lesser charge of driving too close which would be 4 points? Traffic Law, i understand that I ended up too close to the other driver but I don't feel that I was "driving carelessly" I'm a pretty cautious driver and have nothing on my records I just looked away for a split second when it happened. I don't believe that such a ticket was nessecary. What are the chances that my case would be thrown out and If following to close is the best I can do then why hire a paralegal?


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 7:54 pm 
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Thanks for the reply and case link Radar Identified. After reading it, it looks like the charge was dismissed and it wasn't reduced to a lower one...I think I might just get a paralegal to be on the safe side...


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 10:46 am 
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Quote:
i understand that I ended up too close to the other driver


I am not suggesting that you were following too close. In light of that vehicles behavior "resanoable and prudent driver" would have taken some precautions to avoid being involved in this situation. You certainly have a defence but the question is will it be accepted in light of the situation.

Resolution to a Follow too close is not something that I would consider in this case. Maybe Fail to turn out to avoid collision? Start from stop not in safety?


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 11:06 am 
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Gunsalves wrote:
Simon borys your saying that the best I could do is plead guilty to the lesser charge of driving too close which would be 4 points?


No, not at all. I was just saying that follow to close is a charge which people often plea to in rear end cases where they are charged with careless. There may be another more appropriate charge to plea to in your case, or you may wish to fight the careless if you believe they can't prove it.

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Re: Careless Driving Collision
PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2010 12:19 am 
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Gunsalves wrote:
I got a careless driving ticket the other day when I rear-ended a Honda Pilot at a yield sign. I was heading down a 60km road behind the SUV and noticed that they were driving as though they were on the phone...slowing down, not driving to straight, braking for no reason as there were no vehicles in front of them...so they got to a yield sign to make a right turn and merge onto another road and it was clear for them to go but they decided to make a complete stop...at this point I was becoming more and more close to their vehicle from all their constant braking. So I stopped behind them and they were still clear to go so they moved up a bit and suddenly braked again. Then they accelerated hard as though they were taking off so i began to hit my gas but as I looked away for 1 sec to see if traffic was still not coming they hit their brakes hard once more and I hit the rear. Not much damage seemed to be done to their SUV as my car went under it and hit the exhaust pipe but my car was unable to drive because the hood was bent pretty bad and the radiator was broken and leaking. Both vehicles ended up being towed although I'm sure the SUV was fine to drive. Now I'm wondering If I should get a paralegal or go to court myself? I know that the ticket was too severe a punishment and don't believe that It will stick...What are my odds? Would the woman that I hit even show up, why would she?

Thanks for your time


It sounds to me like you learned your lesson by random chance.

You must see the vehicle in front of you?

I would suggest that you need a lawyer.

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Stripe

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