Page 1 of 3 123 Last
  1. #1
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    21

    Question Inattentive Driving Ticket advice

    Hi everyone,

    I'm new to this and I've never been in an accident or gotten a ticket before and I'm 33 years old so I'm a little naive in how this all works. I live in Delaware and a few weeks ago I was driving down a busy road around rush hour doing about 40-45mph which was below the speed limit (couldn't go any faster due to traffic). Anyways, I was traveling pretty far behind the car in front of me when it changed lanes quickly to avoid a car that was stopped under a traffic light. The car under the light didn't have any brake lights lit like they were braking and there weren't any flashing hazard lights but the car wasn't moving so I thought it was disabled. The traffic light was green and all the cars around me were going and since I was traveling pretty far back from the disabled car I put my blinker on to move over to the right and looked in my mirrors but there was another car coming up beside me so I wasn't able to change lanes and I ended up rear ending the car anyways.

    When I spoke to the police officer I told him that the light was green and I couldn't understand why the car wasn't going. He told me that they said the light was red which was why they were stopped. But no other cars were involved and I didn't push them into any other cars or crossing traffic that would have been going if the light was red. Since no witnesses stopped and I hit them, I was the one that ended up with the ticket.

    After getting out of the hospital and speaking with my insurance lady, I found out that all the people in the car had several warrants out for their arrest but were never taken into custody. The person driving had a suspended license and they were hotwiring their car to get it started.

    I went to court and asked for a trial hearing on my case because I'm having trouble pleading guilty to this. I know it's just a stupid inattentive driving ticket with a pretty small fine but I really felt like I did everything that I could do to avoid the accident. I'm a nurse and I'm not a suicide mission to hurt myself or someone else. I wasn't speeding, I was traveling at a safe distance, I wasn't driving recklessly, I wasn't on a cell phone or texting or distracted in any other way; I saw the car and tried to get over. "Inattentive driving" to me says that I wasn't paying attention but I was.

    My point in coming here was I guess just to ask for some advice. I would kinda like to hear what other people think. Was this just standard procedure to give a ticket because I rear ended someone and do I have any chance to plead my case when I go to trial? I've never been to court before and I don't have a lawyer since I figured this was just a stupid traffic ticket. Can someone tell me what to expect that day?

    Sorry for the long post! Any info or advice would be appreciated

  2. #2
    Registered User

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    IL
    Posts
    3,442
    You rear ended a car when, by your own admission, you had time to stop. Just because you can't merge, you can't run into the other car. Sucks, but it is what it is. The warrant issue is irrelevant in relation to the crash. Good luck.
    For the cops out there: You are an adult. If you want to write someone, write them. If you don't want to write someone, then don't write them.

    "Jeff, you are the best cop on this board"-Anonymous Post

  3. #3
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    21
    That was a quick response
    I slowed down and tried to get over but couldn't get over in time because the other car was coming up beside me. I completely understand that I shouldn't have hit them. Just as a question, does it matter why they were stopped under a green light, not moving with no hazards or is it irrelevant?

  4. #4
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Gilbert Arizona
    Posts
    2,134
    I would have given you a ticket for speed not reasonable and prudent...you hit the car in front of you...you had time to stop...you should have been slowing down to begin with then trying to merge....doesn't matter that the car was having mechanical difficulties you're still required to drive safely and not hit the vehicle in front of you...I understand you were trying to merge but you should alo have been slowing down and preparing to stop in case you couldn't merge which you didn't.

    I don't know how your insurance agent would know anything about any of the passengers inside the vehicle...we don't release information other then what's relavant to the accident and your insurance agent doesn't have the means to check anyone for warrants and we aren't going to list something like that in the accident report or tell her about it...the driver is a whole other story...it will go in the report if he recieved any tickets and I would have given him one for driving on a suspended licnese and towed his vehicle...that's how it's done here in Phoenix....but again regardless of what the other driver did you still ran into the back end of his vehicle and you'd still have gotten a ticket.

  5. #5
    It's Complicated
    Iowa #1603's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    16,418
    Quote Originally Posted by Happyshannon View Post
    That was a quick response
    I slowed down and tried to get over but couldn't get over in time because the other car was coming up beside me. I completely understand that I shouldn't have hit them. Just as a question, does it matter why they were stopped under a green light, not moving with no hazards or is it irrelevant?


    Nope


    In Iowa there is a charge called "Failure to stop in an assured clear distance". That particular statute is in the "speeding section" of the code

    In other words you have to drive at a speed in which you can stop for any obstacle that pops up in front of you.
    "Arguing with idiots is like playing chess with a pigeon - no matter how good you are, the pigeon will still crap all over the board and strut around like it won anyway."



    I don't know it all, I know a little about a lot and a lot about a little---slamdunc


    I have discussed religion and politics over morning coffee with men who have killed people, you don't scare me.

  6. #6
    (--GOD--)
    Buffaloboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    In a House
    Posts
    914
    Plain and simple... Something was in-front of you on the road and you hit it. Be it that you were speeding or not paying attention, you are guilty of careless driving and deserve the ticket.
    Ignore List : Bearcat357, Blackavar

  7. #7
    Barefoot Ninja
    SRT936's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    6,607
    Inattentive driving is exactly what I would have written you too. Might have even thrown in a Failure to Maintain Control.

    The other car could have been stopped sideways in traffic and it wouldn't have mattered. You even said that you saw the vehicle was there and that it was stopped. There was absolutely NO reason why you couldn't stop prior to hitting it. The simple fact is that you were so pre-occupied with trying to change lanes that you failed to realize how close you were getting to the traffic hazard. That is the very definition of inattentive driving.
    Quote Originally Posted by kontemplerande View Post
    Without Germany, you would not have won World War 2.
    Strong is what's left when you've used up all your weak.

  8. #8
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    917
    Yes, it's standard for at-fault drivers to be cited for crashes. In MD, you'd get a ticket for Failure to control vehicle speed to avoid collision.

    In DE, trial will be before a Justice of the Peace, unless you elect to have the case transfered to the Court of Common Pleas. It's a very informal hearing in a small, most-likely empty courtroom. You'll be asked how you plea. Guilty: you'll have a chance to explain your story and ask for leniency. Not Guilty: the officer will testify about what happened, then you'll have your chance to present your defense/questions of the officer. JP decides.

    With your lack of record, even if you plead guilty (which you are by your own admission) or are found guilty, you will almost certainly get probation before judgement, which means no points and a small fine. Don't hit vehicles stopped in front of you

  9. #9
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    182
    Drive at a speed at which you can stop safely on your own side of the road in the distance you can see to be clear.

  10. #10
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    21
    I wouldn't exactly say that I was "pre-occupied with changing lanes". I was trying to avoid an accident. Inattentive to me sounds like I wasn't paying attention, but I was. I knew what was happening with this situation and I was trying my best to avoid an accident.

    I think one of the reasons why I'm having a hard time understanding this is because I've replayed this whole incident a hundred times and I can't think of anything else I could have done different to avoid this accident from happening.

  11. #11
    It's Complicated
    Iowa #1603's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    16,418
    Quote Originally Posted by Happyshannon View Post
    I think one of the reasons why I'm having a hard time understanding this is because I've replayed this whole incident a hundred times and I can't think of anything else I could have done different to avoid this accident from happening.
    If you had been driving slower------you would have had more time to react and stop without striking the object in your way..
    "Arguing with idiots is like playing chess with a pigeon - no matter how good you are, the pigeon will still crap all over the board and strut around like it won anyway."



    I don't know it all, I know a little about a lot and a lot about a little---slamdunc


    I have discussed religion and politics over morning coffee with men who have killed people, you don't scare me.

  12. #12
    Barefoot Ninja
    SRT936's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    6,607
    Quote Originally Posted by Happyshannon View Post
    I wouldn't exactly say that I was "pre-occupied with changing lanes". I was trying to avoid an accident. Inattentive to me sounds like I wasn't paying attention, but I was. I knew what was happening with this situation and I was trying my best to avoid an accident.
    If you were actually doing everything you could to avoid an accident, a crash would not have happened. Period. End of story.

    Quote Originally Posted by Happyshannon View Post
    I think one of the reasons why I'm having a hard time understanding this is because I've replayed this whole incident a hundred times and I can't think of anything else I could have done different to avoid this accident from happening.
    Let me help you. You could have STOPPED your car BEFORE it struck a stopped vehicle. It's really that simple. Since you couldn't merge over, you should have STOPPED your car until you could safely move over.
    Quote Originally Posted by kontemplerande View Post
    Without Germany, you would not have won World War 2.
    Strong is what's left when you've used up all your weak.

  13. #13
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    21
    I think it would have been easier to accept a ticket that says Failure to control vehicle rather than the
    inattentive driving ticket. I don't know if they essentially mean the same thing in Delaware or the officer was just trying to be easy on me with one ticket.

    My hearing will be in the Court of Common Pleas. I don't have a "defense" really. I guess I just have my side of the story. I never really felt like I got to explain myself very well that day and I hope that I get a chance to tell the judge how the accident happened. It sounds like everyone here would have given me some type of ticket. I know I probably sound like I'm making something out of nothing but I really feel like I couldn't have done anything different that day to avoid this accident.

    For the future, what could I have done? I wasn't speeding and the car in front of me quickly got over to avoid this disabled car. I couldn't get over because there was a car coming up beside me. I couldn't speed up because there wasn't enough space between the car beside me and in front of that car. I slowed down and put my blinker on to get over hoping the car beside me would pass me and I could fall in behind it. But I kept getting closer and closer to the disabled car. By then it was too late to come to a complete stop so I hit them. I know I may sound stupid but I just want to know what was the right thing to do. When I saw the disabled car should I just slowed to a stop at that moment instead of trying to get over?

    Thanks for letting me know what to expect that day in court. I'm wicked nervous about going and having to talk to the judge. I'll post an update after I go to court. I'm sure everyone is on the edge of their seats wondering what's going to happen next week in court


    Quote Originally Posted by flash40 View Post
    Yes, it's standard for at-fault drivers to be cited for crashes. In MD, you'd get a ticket for Failure to control vehicle speed to avoid collision.

    In DE, trial will be before a Justice of the Peace, unless you elect to have the case transfered to the Court of Common Pleas. It's a very informal hearing in a small, most-likely empty courtroom. You'll be asked how you plea. Guilty: you'll have a chance to explain your story and ask for leniency. Not Guilty: the officer will testify about what happened, then you'll have your chance to present your defense/questions of the officer. JP decides.

    With your lack of record, even if you plead guilty (which you are by your own admission) or are found guilty, you will almost certainly get probation before judgement, which means no points and a small fine. Don't hit vehicles stopped in front of you

  14. #14
    Registered User

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    IL
    Posts
    3,442
    You could have stopped in your lane. You need to leave enough room that oh can stop.
    For the cops out there: You are an adult. If you want to write someone, write them. If you don't want to write someone, then don't write them.

    "Jeff, you are the best cop on this board"-Anonymous Post

  15. #15
    (--GOD--)
    Buffaloboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    In a House
    Posts
    914
    Quote Originally Posted by Happyshannon View Post
    I think it would have been easier to accept a ticket that says Failure to control vehicle rather than the
    inattentive driving ticket.but you were inattentive I don't know if they essentially mean the same thing in Delaware or the officer was just trying to be easy on me with one ticket.

    My hearing will be in the Court of Common Pleas. I don't have a "defense" really. I guess I just have my side of the story. I never really felt like I got to explain myself very well that day and I hope that I get a chance to tell the judge how the accident happened. It sounds like everyone here would have given me some type of ticket. I know I probably sound like I'm making something out of nothing but I really feel like I couldn't have done anything different that day to avoid this accident.

    For the future, what could I have done?the pedal directly left of the gas...push it harder and pay attention to what you are doing when driving! I wasn't speeding and the car in front of me quickly got over to avoid this disabled car. I couldn't get over because there was a car coming up beside me.you were "inattentive" and did not brake in time... I couldn't speed up because there wasn't enough space between the car beside me and in front of that car. I slowed down and put my blinker on to get over hoping the car beside me would pass me and I could fall in behind it. But I kept getting closer and closer to the disabled car.that's because you weren't braking... By then it was too late to come to a complete stop so I hit them. I know I may sound stupid but I just want to know what was the right thing to do.use your brakes When I saw the disabled car should I just slowed to a stop at that moment instead of trying to get over? no you should have sped up

    Thanks for letting me know what to expect that day in court. I'm wicked nervous about going and having to talk to the judge. I'll post an update after I go to court. I'm sure everyone is on the edge of their seats wondering what's going to happen next week in court
    you will be found guilty and have to pay a fine and then worry about the people in the other car that you rear-ended suing you.
    Ignore List : Bearcat357, Blackavar

  16. #16
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    21
    I didn't come to this forum to be talked to like I'm an idiot and in a condescending tone. I came here to ask
    questions to professionals about the ticket itself, the court process and what to expect that day. I've obviously been navigating the roads successfully for almost 18 years and I've NEVER had a ticket or been in an accident. I lived in Boston for 4 years and I'm used to traffic.

    Quote Originally Posted by SRT936 View Post
    If you were actually doing everything you could to avoid an accident, a crash would not have happened. Period. End of story.

    It's not "end of story". At the time of the accident I THOUGHT I was doing the right thing by trying to get over. This was a very busy road around rush hour and I didn't want to come to a complete stop and have someone hit me (like I hit someone). I thought I was doing the right thing. Was it the wrong thing to do? Probably. But like I said, I've never been in this situation before which was why I came here seeking information on what to do the next time this happens.



    Let me help you. You could have STOPPED your car BEFORE it struck a stopped vehicle. It's really that simple. Since you couldn't merge over, you should have STOPPED your car until you could safely move over.

  17. #17
    Band-aid jockey
    mikeymedic's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Colorado Mountains
    Posts
    4,164
    If your courts are anything like mine the DA will offer a plea of a lesser charge and you will get a reduced violation and fine.


    The point others are trying to make is this: if you hit a car from behind, no matter what, you are at fault; PERIOD. If a car cut you off and then preformed a "break check," and you rear-ended them, you would still be at fault. Remember the All State commercial?

  18. #18
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    21
    Just as an FYI, I did push the brakes. I pushed them so hard that rolled my ankle, broke my knee and distal femur. All the felon drug addicts in the other car had no injuries. And I hope they show their faces in court, maybe then they'll finally be arrested for all their outstanding warrants.


    Again, I don't appreciate the condescending tone.

  19. #19
    Band-aid jockey
    mikeymedic's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Colorado Mountains
    Posts
    4,164
    your welcome

  20. #20
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    21
    Quote Originally Posted by mikeymedic View Post
    If your courts are anything like mine the DA will offer a plea of a lesser charge and you will get a reduced violation and fine.


    The point others are trying to make is this: if you hit a car from behind, no matter what, you are at fault; PERIOD. If a car cut you off and then preformed a "break check," and you rear-ended them, you would still be at fault. Remember the All State commercial?
    Finally! Thank you! So regardless of how or why the car was stopped in front of me, since I hit them from behind it's automatically my fault?

  21. #21
    Haterade Distributor
    USMARINE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Boonies, OH
    Posts
    1,078
    Quote Originally Posted by Happyshannon View Post
    I didn't come to this forum to be talked to like I'm an idiot and in a condescending tone. I came here to ask
    questions to professionals about the ticket itself, the court process and what to expect that day. I've obviously been navigating the roads successfully for almost 18 years and I've NEVER had a ticket or been in an accident. I lived in Boston for 4 years and I'm used to traffic.
    Unfortunately you don't get to dictate how others answer your questions. Remember we answer people's questions and the like in our off duty time and aren't necessarily apologetic for the forthright and in your face way we answer them. This is our tree-house, you're just visiting.

  22. #22
    (--GOD--)
    Buffaloboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    In a House
    Posts
    914
    Quote Originally Posted by Happyshannon View Post
    I didn't come to this forum to be talked to like I'm an idiot and in a condescending tone. you don't get to dictate how we answer your questions PEROD I came here to ask questions to professionals about the ticket itself, the court process and what to expect that day.and you have been advised of that and why you are in this predicament in the first place I've obviously been navigating the roads successfully for almost 18 years and I've NEVER had a ticket or been in an accident. I lived in Boston for 4 years and I'm used to traffic. none of that means squat
    Quote Originally Posted by Happyshannon View Post
    Just as an FYI, I did push the brakes. I pushed them so hard that rolled my ankle, broke my knee and distal femur.good one, next time try walking if your inept at controlling a automobile! All the felon drug addicts in the other car had no injuries.it doesn't matter who they were it matters that there was an object in the road that your inattentive driving caused you to rear-end. YOUR AT FAULT NOT THEM, you are also on the hook civilly, pray they don't sue you And I hope they show their faces in court, maybe then they'll finally be arrested for all their outstanding warrants.


    Again, I don't appreciate the condescending tone. again, you don't get to dictate how we answer posts here.
    Ignore List : Bearcat357, Blackavar

  23. #23
    Band-aid jockey
    mikeymedic's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Colorado Mountains
    Posts
    4,164
    Quote Originally Posted by Happyshannon View Post
    Finally! Thank you! So regardless of how or why the car was stopped in front of me, since I hit them from behind it's automatically my fault?
    Exactly, same rule applies for everyone including emergency vehicles.

  24. #24
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    21
    Quote Originally Posted by USMARINE View Post
    Unfortunately you don't get to dictate how others answer your questions. Remember we answer people's questions and the like in our off duty time and aren't necessarily apologetic for the forthright and in your face way we answer them. This is our tree-house, you're just visiting.
    I appreciate everyone's honest opinions, answers and advice. And I realize I'm a so-called visitor and everyone is doing this on their own time, but that isn't an excuse to be rude to someone. If that is the way visitors are treated I would hate to be invited over for dinner at your home. My first post wasn't hateful, angry or inflammatory and I didn't expect to be addressed like I was a jerkoff. A little respect goes a long way. I guess it's just the caring nurse side in me coming out.

    Anyways, thanks to everyone who took the time to respond and explain the reasoning behind the ticket and what to expect in court.

  25. #25
    (--GOD--)
    Buffaloboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    In a House
    Posts
    914
    Quote Originally Posted by Happyshannon View Post
    I appreciate everyone's honest opinions, answers and advice. And I realize I'm a so-called visitor and everyone is doing this on their own time, but that isn't an excuse to be rude to someone. If that is the way visitors are treated I would hate to be invited over for dinner at your home. My first post wasn't hateful, angry or inflammatory and I didn't expect to be addressed like I was a jerkoff. A little respect goes a long way. but you disrespect us with your omitting of crucial information like... You found out months after the accident that you are legally blind in one eye and that you also need to wear contacts (as in your other eye is bad also) so you were actually driving...blind! So when we call you out on your issue to control your vehicle properly so that you would not have rear-ended another vehicle you lash out at us and the passengers in the other car, when you only have yourself to blame. I guess it's just the caring nurse side in me coming out.

    Anyways, thanks to everyone who took the time to respond and explain the reasoning behind the ticket and what to expect in court.
    Ignore List : Bearcat357, Blackavar

Page 1 of 3 123 Last

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Log in

Click here to log in or register