Eric Brown: Driving must be seen as an enormous accountability

I do not drive as a lot as I used to. Earlier than the pandemic, I repeatedly put 30,000 miles on my automotive every year. Since March 2020, I put perhaps 10,000 miles on the automotive’s whole. I favored to drive. Now that I do not do it as a lot as I used to, I do not miss it anymore.

It appears to me that once I drive, persons are extra aggressive than earlier than. Possibly I am getting older and slowing down, however I discover myself way more defensive than earlier than. Cruise management has develop into my fixed companion.

I had a brand new case on my desk final week. It made me way more conscious of my driving and the implications of constructing a mistake when driving a automotive.

Everyone knows that driving beneath the affect of medication or alcohol is completely out of the query. For those who drive and are beneath the affect of medication or alcohol, you may be arrested and charged with a criminal offense. In case your operation of a automobile beneath the affect leads to the demise of one other individual, you’ll clearly face a major jail sentence.

However what for those who drive your automobile carelessly with none involvement of medication or alcohol? In case your operation leads to the demise of one other individual, you continue to danger as much as three years in jail.

This could give meals for thought. As a result of a negligent transaction can embody a lot of actions. Dashing, for instance, can be a negligent, even reckless operation. Fumbling round with the dial of the radio can be negligent. Actually, any type of distracted driving can be thought of careless driving if it wasn’t grossly negligent or reckless. The identical applies to driving a automobile with an improperly secured load.

The very fact is, if you get behind the wheel, you’re solely answerable for the protected operation of that automobile, and for those who do not drive fastidiously and trigger critical harm or demise to others, your world will probably be turned the other way up on account of tragedy. . The regulation has little sympathy for a negligent driver who causes the demise of one other.

And the implications aren’t simply the potential of incarceration or heavy fines. Your license is prone to be suspended or revoked, which might seemingly end result within the lack of your job. You’ll lose buddies and be rejected by your neighbors. You’ll be financially exhausted – first defending your self, then paying for the losses suffered by your victims. With out insurance coverage approaching $2,000,000 to $5,000,000 in legal responsibility protection, for those who kill somebody, you are prone to lose your own home and most of your possessions.

As soon as you’re convicted of the crime, you’ll carry that conviction with you want a scarlet letter for the remainder of your life. This implies your credit standing will drop and getting a mortgage will probably be costly, if not unattainable. Employers will hesitate to rent you as a result of even when the tragedy was a easy accident, your judgment will nonetheless be questioned. Life will simply be robust.

I write all this as a result of the case that fell on my desk final week scared me and made me really feel sorry for the sufferer and his household. And all of this might have been prevented if extra precautions had been taken. Driving a automotive is a large accountability. This week, as you head to work, attempt to do not forget that. I do know I’ll.

Eric Brown, who writes a weekly column, is an legal professional with places of work in Connecticut. He may be reached at 888-579-4222 or on-line at

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