There are many reasons why all Providence drivers should accept personal responsibility for enacting safe driving habits. In the most drastic cases, it can help drivers avoid criminal charges for traffic-related deaths, impaired driving, and other vehicular crimes. It can also help drivers avoid administrative consequences, such as points added their insurance policies or fines and fees. Finally, safe driving habits can help drivers avoid civil liability in a lawsuit by an injury victim.
All of these consequences are designed to deter unsafe driving habits and make the roads of Providence safer for all road users, including motorists, passengers, bikers and pedestrians.
Drivers’ Legal Obligations Under Rhode Island Law
The State of Rhode Island General Laws make many provisions for traffic regulation. Drivers are given clear guidelines for many different aspects of driving. For example, Section 31-14-1 prohibits driving at a speed that is greater than reasonable and prudent for current conditions. Weather, nighttime driving, uneven roadway surfaces and other conditions can make it unsafe to drive at posted speed limits. Thus, even traveling under the posted speed limit can be a violation of this section. Chapters 31-15 and 31-17 create a series of rules that govern the right of way in various traffic conditions.
These rules are often used by insurance companies in order to determine which driver was at fault for causing an accident. They can also be used by law enforcement officers to determine which driver should receive a ticket or citation for the accident. The General Laws also make provisions for pedestrians (Chapter 31-18), bicyclists (Chapter 31-19), and motorized bicycles (Chapter 31-19.1).
In addition to specific statutory requirements, drivers also have a general duty of care to other road users. This is the obligation to drive as a reasonably prudent driver would in a given traffic situation. Violations of traffic statutes can be used as evidence that the driver was not reasonably prudent. This allows an injury victim to file a personal injury claim with the defendant driver’s insurance company, or even file a lawsuit against the driver directly.
It is important for drivers to make regular, honest assessments of their driving skills. Over years of regular commuting and driving, it can be easy to fall into bad driving habits without noticing it. This is exactly what can lead to a finding of negligence. Drivers should pay careful attention to the manner in which they brake, change lanes, signal, and perform other critical driving tasks.
After years of driving, it can be easy to develop careless habits. That's why drivers should reevaluate their driving skills from time to time. This can be done by taking another driver training course, checking your distance between yourself and other vehicles, being aware of what's going on in every direction, and taking a vision test.
By being mindful of driving behaviors, drivers can save themselves the consequences of criminal charges, administrative consequences, or civil lawsuits. They can also prevent unnecessary harm to accident victims. When collisions do occur, a Providence car accident attorney can help victims hold negligent drivers accountable for the injuries they cause.