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Ontario Highway Traffic Act

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residential zone crash, careless?
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 11:14 pm 
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Hi all, this is my situation:

i was driving in a residential street (2 way) (50km limit), there is a small turn i'd say about 75 degrees to the right. as im approaching the turn i lost control of the vehicle. i believe someting happened with the front left tire because the car just drifted to the left and i had the steering wheel turned to the right, the vehicle when almost in a straight line to a parked vehicle in a driveway in one of the houses on the other side of the street. now, this happened so fast that i just tried to correct the vehicle direction without actually having time fro braking. the officer didnt give me a hard time at all, however she gave me a ticket for careless driving and told me right away that i had the option to plead guilty with an explanation which would get it down to just 2 demerit points, or to fight if in court, BUT that IN HER OPINION i tried to ""avoid"" another vehicle somehow and lost control of mine and i should "think" about that. i really dont know what to make out of that statement, i gave her my statement clearly saying there were no other vehicles, animals, or people on the road at the time of the accident.

i am really confused as of what to do, i dont think is fair for me to get any of the options given by the officer since i will either lose 6 point and my insurance company will cancel my policy. or lose 2 points ans see my insurance sky rocket. please give me some advice
Thanks


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 11:30 pm 
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Whatever you were told by the cop, "Plead guilty with an explanation" is still "Plead guilty". You do that you will get a Careless on your record, 100%. Put up a fight and you might get better chances. If you do it right, just by standing up to fight and showing up, the prosecutor might give you a lower charge. So, before you do anything else, send in that ticket to fight it! Then give us some more details, we will help you deal with it one way or another.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 11:46 pm 
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What you have to do as well is to write down what had happened while the events of the day are still fresh in your memory. If possible, travel back to the scene and try to take some pictures - if the tire had truly busted, then you should observe some marks to indicate. Needless to say, take a digital camera, with date stamp. When you get the court date, you should (rather must) file for disclosure - whatever the officer wrote about your ticket, basically any and all evidence the crown has against you.

How old is your car? How old were the tires? Could it be that the steering wheel shaft broke? Could it be that the tire broke? How fast were you going? 50? 55? 60? 90?

This is a very serious charge. You might also want to consult a paralegal.

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"The more laws, the less justice" - Marcus Tullius Cicero
"The hardest thing to explain is the obvious"

www.OHTA.ca & www.OntarioHighwayTrafficAct.com


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 12:55 am 
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Quote:
You might also want to consult a paralegal.


like he said

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 7:13 am 
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racer thank you for your answers.
first of all, i wasn't speeding, at most the vehicle was traveling at 40-50 when this happened. when the cop asked me for approx speed thats exaclty what i said. now, both front tires were busted when i got out of the car, im definately going to take pictures of the car/scene before it rains today. i have to check the steering shaft. thanks for that one. shoud i make an ammendment to the statement to the police with my now well writen story of what happened?. About plead guilty with an explanation, she said shes sure the prosecutor/peace officer will lower the charge to something else (she said what but i really didnt understand it, something about leave the road? and that charge is 2 demerit points rather than one)
thanks for your advice


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 8:20 am 
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Have you driven long enough to encounter understeer? That's what this sounds like - either through excessive speed or "black" ice.

If it is a mechanical failure, look at the tie rods and ball joints. The steering shaft pretty much never breaks.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 8:25 am 
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thanks for the reply, i havent look closely at my car yet, it was towed away after the accident, today i will take pictures. the road was clear, no ice, or rain. so im leaning toward mechanical failure. we have had some pretty nasty roads here in (london,on) the last few weeks, lots of rain with deep puddles and big and deep pot holes all over the city. if there is mechanical failure, how can i follow this? should the insurance investigate or should i take pictures etc? thanks


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 8:26 am 
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and im absolutely sure there was no excessive speed, i had just turned from a main road and was accelrating at about 40-50kms tops. thanks


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 12:06 pm 
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Do not even bother "Pleading guilty with explanation". It is still pleading guilty as charged. The judge might lower your fine, but you will still be charged with "Careless driving". Let someone else confirm this, I'm sure any regular here will tell you the exact same thing.

The fine is fairly low, at $110, but your insurance policy will likely double (or go up by over $1000 per year). To have the charge reduced you must attempt to fight it 1-st, then the prosecutor will do something. On the side note, have you had any tickets you were convicted of lately (in the past 3-5 years?). If not, then a 2-point charge ("Improper right turn"?) will likely increase your insurance premiums by about $200 per year, for the next 3-5 years. If you had other tickets, that might be a different story.

Just because the steering shaft is improbable problem does not mean that it is an impossible one. However, busted tire seems more reasonable.

Fighting this will cost you less than $600 with a paralegal, which is less than a single-year "Guilty as charged" insurance increase, and still less or about same as the mild insurance from a 2-point charge. As well you get a clean record as an added bonus. You can contact a paralegal through the form on the bottom of the page.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 12:30 pm 
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Thanks for the advice, i went to a paralegal here in my city. she says it doesnt look too bad to put up a fight. unfortunately the weather didnt help me at all today, it had started rainin already when i went out this morning, so most likely all marks will be gone by now (i hope not, i will go check back on that later) i do have one ticket in the last 3 years, is about to go off my record in 6 months, it was for speeding in a hw 25 kms over the limit, other than that i do have other speeding ticket but it is well over 3 years old and didnt appear on my insurance application last october. i went to look at the car, both front tires are busted, it ""looks"" like the steering shaft/ti rod end, are attached, so its likely the tire blew on me. wow its really impressive that after an accident like this every single detail is so important. i really appreciate if you guys keep on giving me your insights about this. i will let you know of the outcome. thanks


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 1:10 pm 
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andrexxxo wrote:
i went to look at the car, both front tires are busted, it ""looks"" like the steering shaft/ti rod end, are attached, so its likely the tire blew on me.


I think you are confusing your terms. The outer tie rod end, which attaches to the steering knuckle at the wheel, is connected to the tie rod - which then connects to the inner tie rod end and the steering rack. The steering shaft/column is what you turn with the steering wheel, which gives input to the rack and power steering. On some cars you can't even see the steering shaft as it is buried below the vacuum booster and ABS lines. What you see when you look behind the wheel is just the tie rod. Did you check the ball joint along with the tie rod? Sometimes those will pop out but you will have months of clunking before that.

If you think the tire blew, you should find out why it blew. Not to help your case, but to prevent it from happening in the future. How old were the tires? What pressure were they set at? Winter tires, all-seasons, or summer tires?

If you want to just fight your ticket and be done with it, then feel free to ignore my posts. 8)

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Last edited by Squishy on Tue Mar 10, 2009 1:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 1:29 pm 
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Squishy wrote:
If you think the tire blew, you should find out why it blew. Not to help your case, but to prevent it from happening in the future. How old were the tires? What pressure were they set at? Winter tires, all-seasons, or summer tires?


To check the age of your tires....
http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techid=11

of course if the tires being used incorrectly by low pressure, low tread depth and what was the rate of yaw are all factors.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 1:36 pm 
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Blown tire(s). Case dismissed.

The Crown will never be able to prove (conclusively) that the tires blew as a result of the accident. It's quite reasonable to believe the blown tires CAUSED the accident. Kids dropping spikes on the road could have caused the blowouts.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 2:22 pm 
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Bookm wrote:
Blown tire(s). Case dismissed..


Blown tire with a yaw = conviction

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 2:25 pm 
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Yaw?
Oh.. you mean bent from hitting curb? Would require evidence to that effect. Get Disclosure.


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