Death by Dangerous Driving Some Factors

Causing death by dangerous driving carries a heavy burden on a jury to establish if the defendant was driving a vehicle dangerously thereby giving rise to a potential charge for manslaughter.

Most people will consider death by dangerous driving is where (usually a young male driver) driving a highly powerful motor vehicle at speed, losing control and tragically killing another.

This typical profile often results in the passengers in the vehicle being killed or seriously injured and or other drivers or pedestrians.  In such circumstances it is a much clear cut decision that the Court or Jury will have to make to determine if the fatal car accident was as as result of causing death by dangerous driving.

But what of other cases that are not so clear cut.  Here are just two difficult examples.

Car Racing?

Say in this example, there are two motor cars and one is trying to get the other driver to have a race on a public road.  Initially the other driver (driver 2) is reluctant but then his passengers convince him to get involved in the race.  Then they have a race but before the fatal car injury, driver 2 gives up and decides to pull out of the race.  Say 15 seconds or so later, driver 1 continues with his victory race and unfortunately crashes his car killing himself and possibly others.

The question here is whether driver 2 can be convicted of causing driver 1’s death by dangerous driving.  One could argue he has contributed to the death by racing with driver 1 and they were on a joint enterprise.  In driver 2’s defence, however, the solicitor acting for his/her defence could argue that the race was controlled by him and it was driver 1’s fault as just before the fatal car accident there was no race between them and the fault was simply due to driver 1 losing control of his vehicle.  A very difficult question.

Car Accidents

In another example, for instance, what if a motorist dangerously drove his vehicle and caused a collision to the extent that there was extensive damage and debris on the road.  Another vehicle fails to see the debris in time, swerves and crashes his car and subsequently tragically killed.

Can it be said that the motorist who was driving dangerously that caused the other motorist to crash his car be convicted of manslaughter by causing death by dangerous driving?

It will be a matter of the Court/Jury to decide, but as can be seen in these two simple but tragic examples, it is not always the young male driver, dangerously losing control of his vehicle causing the fatal car accident; it can relate to a more complex set of facts which five rise to difficult decisions.


As fatal accident compensation solicitors we offer a wide-ranging legal service to help families who have been affected by the loss of a loved one following a fatal road accident.  We will help you every step, including all the paper-work, advice at the inquest and coroner’s court, assistance with the police concerning the prosecution of the defendant and ultimately compensation that may be due as a result of the tragic fatal car accident.

Contact the fatal accident claim solicitors now.



Posted: May 10, 2016 at 8:54 pm