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Potential Careless Driving Case - Pls Advise
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 11:02 am 
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Location: Toronto
I was driving down a country road during the afternoon following a sedan in front of me at a safe distance. I was going the speed limit. As I go over a blind hill, the car in front of me slammed on the brakes for no apparent reason. I tried my best to brake in time and barely nudged the car causing minor damage to the cars rear bumper (no damage to my car). The car in front of me apparently stopped for a dog crossing the road. I could not swerve to avoid the collision because of an on-coming van in the other lane. There was also no space to use the shoulder (narrow country roads). The driver admitted that the brakes were applied so hard that the cars ABS was activated. Is there any law that dictates coming to an abrupt stop for small animals is legal/illegal depending upon the context of the situation? Also, with the other driver knowing that I was coming up over a hill and that there was a van in the on-coming lane, does this "situational context" qualify as careless driving as the car did not have to stop? Any input/feedback would be greatly appreciated.

F.


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Re: Potential Careless Driving Case - Pls Advise
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 12:10 pm 
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polter_9 wrote:
Is there any law that dictates coming to an abrupt stop for small animals is legal/illegal depending upon the context of the situation?

No, the onus is on the driver of the following vehicle to maintain a safe distance, sufficient to allow them to respond even to an abrupt or unanticipated action.

polter_9 wrote:
Also, with the other driver knowing that I was coming up over a hill and that there was a van in the on-coming lane, does this "situational context" qualify as careless driving as the car did not have to stop?

Irrelevant. That being said, it sounds like this might be more a case of Follow to Close than Careless.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 12:52 pm 
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Agree with "follow too closely." It doesn't sound like a case of careless driving.

polter_9 wrote:
Is there any law that dictates coming to an abrupt stop for small animals is legal/illegal depending upon the context of the situation?


As Simon said, no. There is nothing that specifically addresses this in Ontario. It is (more or less) the driver's discretion as to how they will handle the situation when an animal runs out in front of them.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2010 11:31 am 
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Quote:
Is there any law that dictates coming to an abrupt stop for small animals is legal/illegal depending upon the context of the situation?


Yes, there is. "Drivers of the vehicles cannot be required to regulate their driving as if in constant fear that other drivers who are under observation, and apparently acting reasonably and properly, may possibly act at a critical moment in disregard of the safety of themselves and other users of the road."


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