Most of us who live in rural areas are aware of the sort of care that needs to be taken on our roads.  But if you do happen to be involved in crash, what does this mean for you as far as the law is concerned?

Sometimes the issue is obvious – one party failed to give way or simply took a corner too fast and drove off the road.  In these cases the driver is likely to face a charge of careless driving.  Careless driving does not mean that you have done anything deliberate.  It can just be a momentary lapse of attention. 

What about sunstrike?  Believe it or not, that is not a defence.  If you are faced with sunstrike, or cannot see for any reason, the law says you must pull over to the side of the road until you are able to see again.  You can’t just keep driving- even if you think you are being careful. 

Likewise, falling asleep at the wheel.  There are usually signs a driver should listen to, such as extreme tiredness, yawning and nodding off, before he or she actually falls asleep.  When faced with these signs, a driver needs to stop and rest.

But what if you are faced with an emergency, such as an obstacle on the road?  These sorts of incidents usually involve split second decisions.  When faced with an ”agony of the moment” decision, the law will not judge you even if you make the wrong decision.  For example, if you are faced with a sudden obstacle (such as a tractor around a blind corner), and you swerve to avoid a collision but end up crashing into a power pole, the law says that this is not your fault.  You did your best.

If you have any concerns about any traffic matter, we would be happy to discuss it with you.