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Careless Driving (in Inclement Weather)
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 9:53 am 
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Was driving home from work Friday and decided to try a new route. Once I hit the QEW it started to down pour heavily for a few minutes. I was only on the QEW for 3 or 4 exits then went to hop on the 406. When I went to slow down I started sliding and could not control the vehicle and as a result slammed into the guard rail. I am confident I was not speeding and was being very cautious (just moments before I remember noting my speed was 95kph in a 100kph zone). There was little damage and a cop arrived almost immediately. As soon as I rolled down my window he said "You were driving too fast." He ended up charging me with careless driving claiming he had to do it and recommended I speak to a prosecutor to get it dropped, and gave me a lot of info on how to do so. It seems odd that he would charge me with something then tell me how to get out of it.

I'm going to speak to the prosecutor today and will not sign anything he may offer just yet. Still trying to wrap my head around this whole nightmare. I think part of hte reason is when I filled out the paper work it asked what speed I was going, it didn't specify if it meant when I hit the wall, when I entered the off ramp, or when I started to slide. I put down that my best guess was 80 (as I started to slide right after I down shifted to 4th, and that's what speed I'm usually at when I do that shift). He asked me what the caution was and I said I wasn't sure as I don't normally go that route but guessed 70. He laughed and said no caution is any more than 30. This is what I think caused him to go with the careless. He did not give me the opportunity to clarify when I was implying I was going 80. I also noticed on the drive home at least 3 or 4 off ramps with posted limits of 70.

So when I speak to the prosecutor I was going to bring up the rain, maybe this info about the offramps, but was also considering mentioning my tires. I was supposed to have my winter tires put on the next day and my summer tires were done, they are rather bald and I had no intentions of driving with them again after that day. I don't want to bring this up and then find out that knowingly driving with tires that were less than ideal would only make it even more careless or that it'd be a charge of it's own. I also thing it's blindly obvious I did not hit the guard rail at 80 as there is very little damage, based on the damage I'd guess I was going 20-30kph when I made impact, showing that I had managed to slow considerably despite having no traction. I also drive a sports car which everyone knows always seems to make them think you're driving like an idiot.

Anyways, if anyone has any suggestions or whatnot I'd love to hear it. Still debating on if I should hire a paralegal. On top of a $490 ticket I can only imagine my insurance will skyrocket afterwards and I may no longer be able to afford to drive. So spending a few hundred if it means getting it knocked down a little more may be worth while.


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Re: Careless Driving (in Inclement Weather)
PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 10:03 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:49 pm
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Location: Ontario
General consensus on these forums is that for a careless driving charge, legal representation is recommended. It’s considered a major conviction by insurance providers, and you’re rates could double.

The good news is that prosecutors are usually quite willing to offer plea deals with careless driving charges to something much less serious (i.e. leave roadway not in safety). In your case, they may have difficulty even proving the charge since it’s a single motor vehicle accident with no witnesses. It might be best to fight the charge outright rather than even accept a plea deal.


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Re: Careless Driving (in Inclement Weather)
PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 10:54 pm 
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The fact that it was raining isn't going to help you. The typical response from prosecutors when people say they crashed because of the weather is that you should have been going slower if the weather was bad. Prosecutors tend to view the collision in bad weather as evidence of the fact that you weren't driving "with due care and attention" (to the weather/road conditions.

What you told the officer about what you thought about the warning signs and/or your speed is probably not going to be relevant since it is unlikely the crown will seek to have those statements introduced at trial to support the charge.

If you admit to having bad tires that will tend to support a finding of careless driving because, again, the prosecutor will likely say that you should have been driving more carefully if you knew there was a problem with your tires.

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Re: Careless Driving (in Inclement Weather)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 10:44 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2011 9:30 am
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Simon Borys wrote:
The fact that it was raining isn't going to help you. The typical response from prosecutors when people say they crashed because of the weather is that you should have been going slower if the weather was bad. Prosecutors tend to view the collision in bad weather as evidence of the fact that you weren't driving "with due care and attention" (to the weather/road conditions.


The ironic thing is I was going under the speed limit while on the highway. I just have no way of proving that. And I only started sliding when I tried to slow down for the onramp.

Simon Borys wrote:
If you admit to having bad tires that will tend to support a finding of careless driving because, again, the prosecutor will likely say that you should have been driving more carefully if you knew there was a problem with your tires.


Kind of what I figured, hence why I said nothing about it at the time.

Stanton wrote:
General consensus on these forums is that for a careless driving charge, legal representation is recommended. It\u2019s considered a major conviction by insurance providers, and you\u2019re rates could double.


The cop actually said he wouldn't recommend it as I shouldn't even need to take it that far. I did look around and only know of one in my area and since I have had prior business dealings with the owner of the company and found him to be an unreliable person. I may have to pay extra to get someone from toronto to drive in.

Stanton wrote:
The good news is that prosecutors are usually quite willing to offer plea deals with careless driving charges to something much less serious (i.e. leave roadway not in safety). In your case, they may have difficulty even proving the charge since it\u2019s a single motor vehicle accident with no witnesses. It might be best to fight the charge outright rather than even accept a plea deal.


I just spoke to the prosecutor after a week of trying to get ahold of her. The conversation left me with less answers than I had hoped for. The cop made it sound like if I called her she'd offer something on the spot, she said I have to pay it or take it to trial. She said at that point I should get some form to request the prosecutor to review it before hand, so perhaps that's what he was talking about. I think I'm going to email the officer just to get his input again.

And you're right, there are no witnesses. Someone must have called it in though, as the cops were there within 2 minutes. For all I know that could've been the person behind me, though I'm not even sure there was someone behind me that could've seen it.



Thanks for the input :)


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