Personal Injury: Reasonable Care of Drivers
When going through a personal injury claim the plaintiff must prove that the defendant was negligent. This can be done by showing the following elements:
- The law required the defendant to be reasonably careful
- The defendant was not careful
- The defendant’s conduct caused the plaintiff’s injuries
- The plaintiff suffered losses and/or was injured.
In respect of the defendant he or she must be aware of his or her duty on the road and the basic requirements the driver. Some of these are that the driver must be careful when meeting anyone on the road. This includes other drivers, passengers, pedestrians and other road users. This is the duty of reasonable care that is required of the driver at all times. Therefore, the law basically wants the driver to use reasonable care to avoid injuring anyone on the road.
Duty of Reasonable Care
This entails a number of factors:
- Driving at a reasonable speed – Drivers have the duty of driving at a reasonable prudent speed. A driver who fails to determine the appropriate speed for the existing traffic, road, visibility, weather conditions, etc. may be negligent. Even driving at the speed limit can be considered negligent when for example, visibility is low, the weather is bad or there is need for caution. Furthermore, it must be noted that the speed limit is set for perfect weather and road conditions.
- Vigilance and keeping a proper lookout – Drivers have the duty of being alert and to maintain a careful lookout for other vehicles, pedestrians and road hazards. A failure by the driver to keep a proper lookout can constitute negligence. A driver is expected to see things an ordinary prudent person would see.
- Maintain control of the vehicle – Drivers are expected to keep the vehicle under control at all times, for example being able to stop quickly. A driver is deemed negligent if he or she loses control of the vehicle he or she is driving for no apparent reason.
- Maintain and use the car’s equipment – A driver is expected to maintain his or her vehicle in safe working order. For example, the lights, brakes and hooter must work properly always.
Therefore, above are the expectations of each and every driver and is what a reasonable driver would do.