The Aftermath of a Serious Traffic Accident

Posted on 22 September 2011

You don’t necessarily think of what happens to a driver who causes a serious traffic accident. The initial focus is on injuries to the drivers and passengers of the vehicles involved. However, after the accident, dependent upon the reasons behind the accident, drivers often have to face court to answer charges and, if the accident involves a fatality, the driver at fault can be facing a custodial sentence.

Contributing factors to accidents involving fatalities in NSW to the year end July 2011 were as follows:

Excessive Speed – 135 fatalities
Fatigue – 60 fatalities
Alcohol Involvement – 61 fatalities

According to RTA research, the following indicates the evolving trend behind serious accidents - “In the 1970s and early 1980s, drink driving was Australia's biggest road safety challenge. Since random breath testing was introduced in 1982 there’s been a change in community opinion - drink driving is not acceptable. As a result, there are far less alcohol-related road deaths. With the decrease in drink driving, speed has become the biggest road safety challenge for the RTA.”

If you are involved in and charged with a serious driving offence for any of the following reasons, Police may immediately suspend and / or confiscate a driver’s licence:

  • you are speeding in excess of 45 km/p over the designated limit;
  • you return a middle or high range prescribed concentration of alcohol or commit other alcohol-related offences;
  • you were street racing;
  • if you are a provisional licence holder, and are caught speeding 30 km/h over the limit; or
  • you are on a learner’s licence and are caught driving unaccompanied.

Lack of a licence can impact heavily on your employment but if the crash you are deemed to have been responsible for has resulted in someone being killed or seriously injured, you may face severe penalties including time behind bars.

In addition to the legal consequences to the at fault driver, the emotional and financial suffering of the victims of motor vehicle accidents and their family is immense.

The cost to the community for fatal and serious crashes as estimated by the RTA in 2010 was $3.7 billion each year.

We often think that our jails are the place for criminals and people unfit to live in mainstream society. However, a driver convicted of having been responsible for the death or serious injury of someone can see them jailed for long periods of time.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a serious traffic offence you can contact us to assist you with the matter.