Our client, Mr M, appeared at Lanark Sheriff Court charged with dangerous driving following an unfortunate road traffic accident on the M74 in December 2017. It was alleged that our client drove his motor vehicle at excessive speed for the weather and road conditions at the time of the accident. Another factor was that the police had discovered that the tyres on our client’s vehicle had insufficient tread which, albeit came as a surprise to our client, was not disputed.
Dangerous driving carries a mandatory disqualification of at least 12 months following conviction as well as a requirement to re-sit an extended driving test before driving. Accordingly, Mr M was extremely concerned that such a lengthy disqualification would have a severe impact on his life including his ability to work and keep in regular contact with his partner who stayed quite some distance away.
Although Mr M accepted that his tyres had insufficient tread when this was pointed out to him by police, he disputed dangerous driving. During his free initial consultation with our specialist road traffic lawyer, Mr Sheridan, he explained that he had been traveling at around 20mph below the speed limit due to the road and weather conditions to ensure the safety of himself and other drivers. However, he described losing control of his vehicle whilst traveling through standing water, in a way similar to hitting a patch of ice, which resulted in his car spinning and colliding with another vehicle and then the barrier at the roadside.
Our specialist road traffic lawyer was able to advise Mr M that the description he had given regarding losing control of his vehicle suggested that his vehicle had aquaplaned and therefore provided a defence to dangerous driving. A lot of drivers are aware of what aquaplaning is but, in a nutshell it is when water builds up in front of a tyre whilst driving to the extent that the depth of the water exceeds the depth of tyre tread meaning the tyre cannot disperse the water resulting in a loss of grip and ultimately control of the vehicle. There are, of course, a number of factors including speed, tyre depth etc which contribute to aquaplaning.
Following receipt of the crown evidence our road traffic lawyer was able to identify evidence in support of Mr M’s defence and together with a meticulous investigation and thorough preparation of the defence case our road traffic lawyer was able to present a compelling case of aquaplaning to the Procurator Fiscal ahead of the intermediate diet.
Following negotiations with the Procurator Fiscal, our road traffic lawyer was successful in persuading the Procurator Fiscal to reduce the charge from dangerous driving to careless driving.
As our client accepted that the insufficient tread on his tyres had contributed to the aquaplaning, he pled guilty to the reduced charge of careless driving and received a much reduced sentence as a result of the relatively early plea of guilty to a reduced charge.
Our client was delighted with the outcome and was very complimentary to our road traffic expert for his handling of the case.
If you need advice or representation for any road traffic offence contact us now on 0141 465 3333