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buttonman
Hello. The other day my son was in an accident and will apparently be getting a summons for driving without due care and attention. He was coming to visit us, driving along a road he has used frequently, when the next thing he remembers is spinning round and going off the road. According to the police he hit another car coming the other way,unfortunately causing a broken leg to the driver. He may have been a bit too quick in a bend, overcorrected and swung out to hit the other car.
A lady at the insurance company's helpline says just to plead guilty by post and he will perhaps get credit for not caausing a fuss, but would it be better to get a solicitor to speak for him in court, I mean after all, they are used to this sort of thing and hopefully know how to minimise the damage? I would appreciate any words of wisdom.
roadrunner 163
With such a vague account it is almost impossible to offer any words of wisdom other than for your son to post the question himself. Much more detail needed, was he interviewed, was a driver awareness course offered or discussed, does he admit carelessness. these are just the surface questions depending on the full factual account.

But yes normally a 1/3 off the fine for an early plea, theoretically the points remain the same though base on mags guidelines.
buttonman
The account of the accident is of necessity quite vague, simply because my son says he really cannot remember anything other than just driving normally and then finding himself off the road. All we know is what the witnesses have stated. My son was interviewed under caution and that is when he was told he was being summoned. They breathalysed him and checked his phone and he was clear on both of those, so I think it can only have been a momentary lapse of concentration or misjudgement of the road conditions. I can't see as he can argue the case in any way which is why I asked the question as to whether it is worth engaging a solicitor.
jobo
it may well be, the prosicutions case will be that he was driving a silly speed round a bend over cooked it lost control and injured another motorist quite badly and as such he can expect a penalty at the top end ie 6 to 9 points, you dont say if he is new driver or already has points ?

presenting this as slight miscalculation that could have happened to anyone to keep the points down is quite a skilled job

as a general rule, claiming no memory rather than presenting another explanation is a bad idea

roadrunner 163
QUOTE (buttonman @ Sun, 26 Feb 2012 - 15:09) *
The account of the accident is of necessity quite vague, simply because my son says he really cannot remember anything other than just driving normally and then finding himself off the road. All we know is what the witnesses have stated. My son was interviewed under caution and that is when he was told he was being summoned. They breathalysed him and checked his phone and he was clear on both of those, so I think it can only have been a momentary lapse of concentration or misjudgement of the road conditions. I can't see as he can argue the case in any way which is why I asked the question as to whether it is worth engaging a solicitor.



Sadly, if its a vague account due to memory or any other reason, few police forces will recommend a driver awareness course and will rely on the evidence at the scene and witness accounts, (details of the accounts if he has any would also help).

If he is looking to hold his hands up to a careless charge then IMHO no point in paying hundreds more to a solicitor that could "possibly" negotiate the fine down by less that your son will be paying them. If he wishes to contest the charge it will depend on the severity of the act not the level of injury the other party received so details from the witness accounts are important to consider as with no memory he has little defence.
Logician
QUOTE (buttonman @ Sun, 26 Feb 2012 - 15:09) *
The account of the accident is of necessity quite vague, simply because my son says he really cannot remember anything other than just driving normally and then finding himself off the road. All we know is what the witnesses have stated.



Are these independent witnesses or just occupants of the other car? Was the scene examined by police?

If there are independent witnesses or debris indicating your son was on the wrong side of the road, then these may be indications that your son was at fault, but if these do not exist, then for all he knows it might be the fault of the other driver. It may be your son's memory will start to come back, I do not think he should be too hasty in accepting guilt without evidence.
surfbuck
I currently have a court summons pending for driving with out due care and attention. I have a couple of friends in the Police who have offered me advice.... Basically if your son hasn't attended a driving awareness course, you should ask the question why this wasn't offered as for a first time traffic accident or offence that is your own fault, this is usually the proceedure. Ask why this wasn't offered and state you would be happy to attend such a course in exchange for a fine or points on his licence.

Unfortunatley for me, I attended such a course 2 years and 5 months ago. If it had been over 3 years my police friends said this would have been offered again instead of a summons. So in my case the best proceedure they said is to plead guilty, plea early, be remorseful, and give a good character reference of yourself eg. no criminal record, law abiding, first driving offence, hard working tax payer etc etc. Pleading in writting or in person makes little difference.
Hope this may help.
buttonman
We had another visit from the police today and my son was informed that his driver's side rear tyre was only inflated to 2psi and it did not have any leaks, so they will be saying the accident was due to poor maintenance. I really don't see how he would not have noticed a tyre as flat as this either when getting in or when driving but that seems to be the case. Do you think that having a probable cause like this could get him fewer points than just saying he did not know what happened at all?
jobo
who has got the car, when was this inspection carried out by who ?

2 psi is flat, it might explain it spinning off, but its hard to drive any distance and not know and the Tyre would be buggered and quite obviously ran flat

poor maintenance is not a charge, under inflated tyre is, as is dangerous condition both sound possible,,, but neither mean careless driving,, we need to see the summons, its defence to dc if you couldnt be expected to know of the defect
Mattexmo
If you son really cannot remember driving he should be tested for epilepsy. A similar accident happened to a friend of mine. It was that that lead to him being diagnosed as epileptic.

What were the conditions? If bright and sunny, could a strobing effect (fencing, etc) have caused him to black out?
buttonman
QUOTE (jobo @ Sun, 4 Mar 2012 - 03:06) *
who has got the car, when was this inspection carried out by who ?

2 psi is flat, it might explain it spinning off, but its hard to drive any distance and not know and the Tyre would be buggered and quite obviously ran flat

poor maintenance is not a charge, under inflated tyre is, as is dangerous condition both sound possible,,, but neither mean careless driving,, we need to see the summons, its defence to dc if you couldnt be expected to know of the defect


The car is still at the garage it was first taken to and it was an inspection by the police vehicle examiner as far as we know.
They say that the tyre has no leaks but as you say, if he had been running with it so underinflated there should be damage to it. The polce say it will probably be a few weeks until he gets a summons.
paulajayne
In a spin it is possible for a tyre bead to break its seal, expel air and then reseat itself. So the 2 PSI can be argued.


Paula
sgtdixie
QUOTE (paulajayne @ Sun, 4 Mar 2012 - 11:38) *
In a spin it is possible for a tyre bead to break its seal, expel air and then reseat itself. So the 2 PSI can be argued.


Paula


Paula

Sorry but it isn't. A correctly inflated and defect free tubeless tyre will not become detached from the bead, deflate and reseal just on the lateral forces in a spin. Should the tyre strike an object, such as a kerb etc it can happen but this would leave marks.

An under-inflated tyre will have marks on the treaded area showing if it has been run under inflated. If the vehicle examiner has not found these marks the defence can argue the loss of air was coincident with the collision and may not have been causational. If the marks are found it is pretty much game over.

Bear in mind the vehicle examiner should also be a qualified tyre technician,(I did the Michelin course a long while ago which was the approved course for examiners back then, perhaps someone knows which course they usually do now) so in order to counter their expert evidence you would need your own expert as courts put great weight on such evidence.

The OP's problem will be that if the vehicle was run with an (effectively) flat tyre there is the possibility that the offence summonsed could be dangerous driving by virtue of dangerous parts. I am afraid however hard to believe it is drivers running around on a flat tyre and not knowing it happens regularly. Mrs Dixie was given some strong advice from me for doing just this.

Loss of memory post collision is normally not medical at all but just a way of avoiding admitting the truth I am afraid. Unless he suffered a head injury which knocked him out or has an underlying medical condition such as epilepsy he has no reason not to remember what was happening.

jobo
agree with sd, if thats the way its going then, get your own inspection done of the tyre/car, before someone drives it changes it
roadrunner 163
Going down the medical / memory failure could also get the DVLA involved,

If someone fails to recall the incident but can offer no sensible explanation then the OIC might just refer them onto the DVLA suggesting a medical examination is needed as a matter of urgency.

These can often as not result in a revocation of the licence pending the medical or proof that a medical complaint has been safely managed. Often 12 months off the road, same as a basic Dangerous driving conviction.. This could also cost ALOT more in the long run rather than admitting dropping a clanger. Severe memory loss or Blackouts are medical complaint that need declaring to the DVLA and relevant information for insurance companies possibly for life... £0,00 over a life time of driving these days... All for a more likely 3-9 points and a few hundred + 3-5 years on the insurance.

jimster
Not saying he does not have a medical condition but it would be understandable if a lad involved in an accident told his parents he can't remember .... rather than saying he took his eye off the road, or he was changing the radio etc.
buttonman
My son is a doctor so I hope he has thought about epilepsy or some other kind of passing out condition.
The Rookie
It's easy for inexperienced drivers to get into an adverse situation and 'panic' such that afterwards they have no real memory of what happened, not saying it's a blank to them, but often just a blur of images...

Simon
sgtdixie
QUOTE (buttonman @ Sun, 4 Mar 2012 - 23:59) *
My son is a doctor so I hope he has thought about epilepsy or some other kind of passing out condition.


As a doctor what does he say has caused his memory loss?

As I understand it he has been interviewed and said he doesn't know what happened and has been reported. Whilst an actual summons is the most likely outcome it will only be when he gets it and the evidence package he knows exactly what evidence is being relied upon. There is case law (something like Mann v Carter 1959 or similar, but I can't find it) that says that a vehicle leaving the road where the driver cannot give an explanation provided prina facia evidence of careless driving. Given this he will face an uphill struggle to be found NG.
Logician
QUOTE (sgtdixie @ Mon, 5 Mar 2012 - 10:52) *
There is case law (something like Mann v Carter 1959 or similar, but I can't find it) that says that a vehicle leaving the road where the driver cannot give an explanation provided prina facia evidence of careless driving. Given this he will face an uphill struggle to be found NG.


Possibly Watts v Carter [1971]RTR 232 where the defendant's car was found to have hit a pole nearly 3 feet from the edge of the road and his suggestion that there was something wrong with the steering was shown to be incorrect. There are other similar cases. If the defendant gives a reasonable explanation then it is up to the prosecution to disprove it and unless they can he is entitles to the benefit of the doubt. However if he gives no explanation then if the only conclusion which it is possible to draw is that the defendant was negligent or drove carelessly, then a court should convict.
buttonman
As a doctor what does he say has caused his memory loss?


I don't think it is memory loss as such, it is more just everything being a blur, which I suppose rather suggests an overcorrection on a bend or suchlike, and having an underinflated tyre would have contributed to spinning out of control.
sgtdixie
QUOTE (Logician @ Mon, 5 Mar 2012 - 12:49) *
QUOTE (sgtdixie @ Mon, 5 Mar 2012 - 10:52) *
There is case law (something like Mann v Carter 1959 or similar, but I can't find it) that says that a vehicle leaving the road where the driver cannot give an explanation provided prina facia evidence of careless driving. Given this he will face an uphill struggle to be found NG.


Possibly Watts v Carter [1971]RTR 232 where the defendant's car was found to have hit a pole nearly 3 feet from the edge of the road and his suggestion that there was something wrong with the steering was shown to be incorrect. There are other similar cases. If the defendant gives a reasonable explanation then it is up to the prosecution to disprove it and unless they can he is entitles to the benefit of the doubt. However if he gives no explanation then if the only conclusion which it is possible to draw is that the defendant was negligent or drove carelessly, then a court should convict.


Thanks for this, I was close albeit the memory cells get dodgy with age.
Logician
The memory cells and all the rest in my case!
The Rookie
That's what Viagra is for Log'......

Simon
Logician
If only I could remember why I wanted the effect produced.........................
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