Failure To Reduce Speed To Avoid An Accident
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Failure To Reduce Speed is probably the most common ticket given after a traffic accident. This ticket is often confused with a speeding ticket. But it is not a speeding ticket.
Instead, this ticket is given because the officer believes that the accident could have been avoided if you had done more to slow or stop your vehicle.
Specifically, the law (625 ILCS 5/11-601(a)) states that you may not drive “at a speed which is greater than is reasonable and proper with regard to traffic conditions and the use of the highway, or endangers the safety of any person or property.”
So what are the conditions that require you to slow your vehicle? A driver must decrease speed:
- When approaching and crossing an intersection;
- When approaching and going around a curve;
- When approaching a hill crest;
- When traveling upon a narrow or winding roadway;
- When special hazards exist with respect to pedestrians or other traffic;
- When other weather or highway conditions exist;
- When necessary to avoid colliding with any person or vehicle on or entering the highway.
As you can see, the law states some specific situations such as when you’re driving around a curve or up a hill. But it also lists some very generic conditions such as, when necessary to avoid colliding.
So, just by the mere fact that you colliding with another vehicle, the officer on scene is going to make some assumptions and issue the ticket. It’s quite rare for there to be an accident and the officer issues no traffic tickets at all. So, he’s going to give a ticket to someone and it’s usually the driver that he/she thinks could have slowed down.
But getting a ticket for Failure To Reduce Speed To Avoid An Accident does not have to be detrimental. This ticket, in particular, has a right way and a wrong way to handle it. Be sure to do your research and get it handled the right way.
A traffic ticket that is the result of a collision or accident is unique. This is because it may be used against you in a civil suit. In other words, if the “victim” in the accident were to sue you for their personal injury or property damages, the outcome of this ticket may be used against you in that lawsuit.
This is why we never recommend just paying this ticket. That is almost always the wrong way to handle this ticket.
Instead, you always want to go to court. In court, it may be possible to get your ticket dismissed outright. That is a very common outcome. If that happens, you will not owe any fines or fees to the court and this will not go on your driving record. Additionally, the ticket cannot be used against you in a civil lawsuit.
Even if the ticket cannot be dismissed in court, a skilled traffic lawyer can often handle the ticket in a way that protects your driver’s license and does not admit any liability or fault. Then, the ticket cannot be used again you in a civil lawsuit.
The problem is, people typically have two years to file that civil lawsuit. So, you need to take care of your ticket long before that lawsuit may even be filed. So err on the side of caution and get your ticket handled the right way.
The lawyers at Driver Defense Team handle hundreds of accident tickets, including Failure To Reduce Speed To Avoid An Accident, every year. We have a very specific set of procedures and protocols that we follow to eliminate or minimize the impact of this ticket. Sometimes this includes reaching an agreement in court. Other times this means going to trial and demonstrating that you did not commit the violation. In either case, we’d do everything possible to try and accomplish the following:
- Protect your driving record so no convictions or points go on your license;
- Prevent your insurance rates from increasing;
- Prevent a suspension of your driver’s license (depends on your driving history);
- Reduce or eliminate fees and court costs.
- Eliminate the possibility of this ticket being used against you in a civil lawsuit.
Of course, it is not possible to do this in every case. But you should have a skilled traffic attorney on your side to make sure you achieve the best outcome possible. If you wish to discuss your particular situation, please contact us.