Can You Be Responsible for an Accident if You Weren’t Involved in a Collision?
The short answer is ‘yes’, even if you were not involved in a collision. Depending on the circumstances, you could be charged with careless or dangerous driving without there having been any kind of impact.
When are you guilty of causing an accident?
When you hear that someone has caused a road traffic accident, you might presume that their vehicle has sustained some form of damage. Typically, it will have crashed into another vehicle, road user or object, such as a tree or central reservation.
However, this is not always the case. In Scotland, a driver can be responsible for causing a road traffic accident, even if he/she has not been involved in a collision. A driver (and their vehicle) may not have suffered a scratch, yet can still be considered at fault.
In addition, it is possible to be convicted of careless driving and dangerous driving without there having been an impact whatsoever.
For example, imagine that you are weaving in and out of traffic. You get home, park the car and have no reason to believe that anything is amiss. You then receive a visit from the police. Unbeknownst to you, another driver had to take evasive action while you were weaving in and out of traffic, causing him to crash into a wall.
In this situation, you could be charged with careless driving. Even if the other driver had not collided with the wall, you could still be charged with careless driving.
Failure to stop
Furthermore, you could actually be charged with failing to stop after an accident. By law, you must stop when a road traffic accident occurs owing to the presence of your vehicle on the road. This gives the other driver the opportunity to obtain your details, providing the information needed to report the incident to their insurers as well as the police.
Road traffic solicitors
Lots of people are extremely surprised to learn the facts outlined above. Clients often come to us, completely unaware that they can be guilty of causing an accident, without actually being involved in a collision themselves. They are also confused about being charged with failing to stop after an accident – especially if they did not realise that an accident had occurred.
At Donnachie Law, we understand that when you are charged with a road traffic offence, it might come as a complete shock. You may not have realised that you were breaking the law, or that the consequences could be so severe.
We offer you friendly legal advice during this troubling time, helping you understand the ins and outs of road traffic law in Scotland. We can also represent you throughout legal proceedings, working to limit the effect on you of the motoring charge(s) you face.
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