If you get involved in a car accident in Florida, you may think it’s just that: an accident. It’s just an unfortunate thing that happened to you and another driver, and it’s something that happens to many people every day.
However, the police may not see it so simply. They may claim that the accident is entirely your fault because you were driving carelessly. They can cite you for careless driving with an accident under Florida law. It’s important to understand how this works if you’re facing a serious ticket for an offense like this.
What is careless driving?
First and foremost, you need to understand what legally constitutes careless driving, as it may be different than what you would assume. Essentially, the law says that you need to be prudent and careful, that you need to regard the various aspects of the road – such as corners, curves, lane width and even the grade of the road – and that you need to drive in such a way that you do not put anyone else’s property or life in danger. You must do what you can not to cause physical harm. If you don’t do this, it can be a violation of Florida Statute 316.1925.
If you do get a ticket like this, it could be up to $500, so you certainly want to think about the options that you have.
An open-ended definition
As you might have seen by reading through that definition, it’s fairly open-ended and it can be interpreted in different ways. If you’ve caused an accident, some police officers may just use this as something of an umbrella term to say that it’s your fault.
But does that really mean that you weren’t driving cautiously? Does it mean you were unaware of the different factors in play and the design of the road? Or were you actually being as careful as you could, and something outside of your control caused the crash? You may even claim that you were driving carefully and you were still involved in the accident, which you don’t deny causing, but you still don’t think that you were being careless or reckless while doing so.
Adding hundreds of dollars to the cost of that crash is something you must take seriously. Be sure you know what options you have to contest this type of ticket and tell your side of the story.