A pickup made an illegal u-turn in middle of a two-lane road, causing the car behind to slam on her brakes. I was about 3 car lengths back and going the speed limit 45mph hit my brakes. My brand new Accord w/ABS vibrated it's way up to her back bumper. Roswell Police show up, give me a ticket, citing it's the way the law is written.
Question: is this worth challenging (either to toss ticket or reduce my culpability before the Judge) noting:
1) the pick-up driver's u-turn, and subsequent fleeing the scene
2) I was following the posted speed, and at a reasonable distance behind the car in front of me.
2) no damage to cars, no injury to any party.
3) 4 witnesses who corroborate the incident, and all agree lame I got a ticket (including the driver of the car I tapped)
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
Being 3 car lengths back at 45 MPH is NOT necessarily, as you found out, enough space to stop for the unexpected. At 50 mph, it can take you about 400 feet to react to something you see and bring your vehicle to a stop. That is about the length of a city block. While it may be hard to create that much separation, three car lengths is too close at that speed.
Having said that, you do have some unusual cicumstances, which, if properly presented, might help in court. And since a ticket does cost you in increased insurance, you may want to retain a lawyer to assist you in a defense. A lawyer may be able to win on the facts or get a reduced disposition that will not go on your history, or otherwise help.
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Personal Injury Lawyer
If your situation was caused by a "sudden emergency" and not by any action or inaction of your own, then that is the defense you should utilize.
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