When a rear end accident occurs, a police officer gives careless driving ticket.
When attending an accident scene, the police have an obligation to investigate why the accident happened.
Where the police officer believes that a driver has broken a driving law under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act, the officer may issue a ticket to the offending driver.
A rear end accident may have occurred because;
- The driver made a driving mistake.
- The driver in front stopped quickly without notice.
- The driver was following too closely to stop in time.
- The driver was going to fast to stop without hitting the traffic in front.
- The driver was unable to stop when they saw traffic ahead was stopped.
- The driver wasn’t paying attention or was distracted just prior to the accident.
Police officers issue careless driving tickets when the definition of the charge fits the situation, such as the driver was driving without due care and attention.
For a careless driving charge, the officer and the court do not have to prove that you intended to drive carelessly, only that you did the act.
In legal terms, this is sometimes called “mens rea” the act of having a guilty mind, or intending on doing something wrong.
Therefore, in a rear end accident, drivers may say that they didn’t see the vehicle stopping or in the situation they where unable to stop and therefore hit the other vehicle.
The traffic law states that if you are driving your vehicle and you hit another vehicle, you are responsible.
As a driver, the law says that you are responsible to ensure that if a hazard presents itself, that you are reasonably able to react appropriately.
In some rear end accidents, the officer attends the accident scene and begins their investigation. Their main goal is to determine how/why the accident happened. If the officer believes that a driver was not driving with due care and attention, they may issue a careless driving ticket.
The officer does not have to prove that you were driving dangerously or that you planned to rear end the vehicle, only that you were not driving careful enough.