General Question

flo's avatar

Does it make any difference to say "The driver didn't see the person/the pet he/she hit"?

Asked by flo (12901points) July 9th, 2019

Does it make any difference to say “The driver didn’t see the person/the pet he/she hit”?
I hear that in the news. Does that mean they don’t get charged? Where does it happen that if they say “I didn’t see him/ her/it” leads to home free?

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14 Answers

KNOWITALL's avatar

Plausible deniability.

flo's avatar

What if a 15 yr. old said (or an employee) said “I didn’t see…” toddler sibling who she was supposed to watch gets into all kinds of trouble, electrical stuff, poison under the sink…?

Zaku's avatar

It seems somewhat different to me from “the driver saw the person, and then ran them over anyway”.

It is of course not equal to whether the driver was at fault or not. The driver could be at fault or not in various circumstances where either they did or didn’t see the person hit. E.g. If they didn’t see the person because they were texting at the time, or looking at their spedometer to insure they weren’t going over 20 mph in a school zone, which caused them not to be watching the road.

However “the driver didn’t see” is I think often used as a shorthand summary of the gist of a situation. “The news” (aka entertainment industry) in particular tends to favor one-liner sound bites over accurate detailed statements.

And yes, “I didn’t see them” could also be an attempt to avoid responsibility. Or it could be a natural and fair statement about a more or less unavoidable accident by a generally safe driver.

flo's avatar

@Zaku But the thing is (the OP) it’s someone else saying “he/she didn’t see him/her/it.

flo's avatar

@Zaku I see you did respond to it, in your 3rd paragraph though.

Zaku's avatar

I imagine that some newscasters may consider it a feature of their entertainment product that their abbreviated and incomplete reporting leaves people with questions, concern, and/or indignation.

flo's avatar

It’s an inaccurate statement isn’t it? “the driver didn’see…”

Zaku's avatar

Well it’s just one statement, in what was no doubt a much more complex actual situation.

If someone I cared about were run down, I’d want to know a lot more.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

Depends completely on all the circumstances.

kritiper's avatar

No. What’s done is done. And you would get a ticket for inattentive driving.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

Or manslaughter if you were drunk or speeding or texting.

Zaku's avatar

Or not, if it was actually not the driver’s fault because someone ran out from behind a car at just the wrong time in the middle of the block or something.

flutherother's avatar

It makes no difference of itself, after all it is every driver’s responsibility to pay attention to the road and be alert to any issues that might arise. However you have to look at the particular facts of each case. Did the person who was hit take reasonable precautions for their own safety? Did they dash out across the road or did they take due care? Were they wearing visible clothing or were they dressed in black on a dark night. Had either of the parties been drinking?

SQUEEKY2's avatar

It’s not going to get them off the hook type thing, but come on are you going to say yeah I saw them and hit them anyways?
The police will investigate and come up with who was in the wrong, it may be quick it may take awhile.
As distracted driving increases I think you are going to hear “I just didn’t see them” a lot more.
It’s sad in this day and age where everyone claims to be so intelligent, most people can’t even drive properly.It seems the last thing on a person mind while driving ,is driving.

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