Will a Dangerous Driving Conviction Impact my Insurance?
A dangerous driving conviction will almost always impact an offender’s coverage. The conviction could make it more difficult for an offender to purchase a new insurance policy. For an individual who is already insured, it is likely that their insurance will increase, in many cases significantly.
In general, an offender should be aware that their insurance company has access to their driving record, which will disclose any driving violations a person has committed under the Code or the Highway Traffic Act. It is important to note that a driver convicted under the Code for dangerous driving may also be subject to penalties under the HTA for the same incident. These consequences might be accompanied by a driving prohibition, which is an order made in addition to a main sentence that will prevent an offender from driving for a specified amount of time.
What are Some Possible Defences to Dangerous Driving?
There are several possible defences to a dangerous driving charge. The most common would be a finding that the accused driver did not operate their vehicle in a way that was dangerous to the public. This type of defence may be used where a driver can prove through dashcam footage or other means, that they either obeyed the rules of the road, or acted reasonably given the circumstances at the time. Similarly to how the dangerous driving offences requires dangerous driving, the offence also requires the accused person to be operating a vehicle that is mentioned under the definition of conveyance within the Code. A conveyance includes motor vehicles, boats and other vessels, aircraft, or railway equipment. So, if an accused person is not operating one of those categories of vehicle, they have not committed the offence.
A final defence revolves around the concept of a lawful excuse. This means that an accused can drive a vehicle in a manner that would otherwise be considered dangerous if they have a legitimate reason to do so. Examples of a lawful excuse have been known to include responding to a medical emergency or a threat to life. This means that if a person is driving and their passenger experiences a health emergency like a heart attack that requires immediate medical attention, they may not be convicted for any dangerous driving that occurs on route to the hospital.