In  Wisconsin negligent driving is a lack of ordinary care under the circumstances. It is a violation of what a reasonable person would do under the circumstances. The standard of care may rise or fall based on the circumstances. Rain or snow or ice may increase the standard of care such that even going the lawful speed limit is negligent because a reasonable person would have slowed down in a driving rain.

A person is negligent when he or she fails to exercise ordinary care.  Ordinary care is the care which a reasonable person would use in similar circumstances.  A person is not using ordinary care and is negligent, if the person, without intending to do harm, does something (or fails to do something) that a reasonable person would recognize as creating an unreasonable risk of injury or damage to a person or property.

Violation of a safety statute, regulation, or ordinance is negligence. If the jury finds that other driver violated a safety safety statute, regulation, or ordinance, that driver is negligent. For example, if the law says 70 mph and he was going 75 mph at the time of the crash, then he is negligent. The jury would still have to find the negligence caused the damages.

Every user of a highway has the right to assume that every other user of the highway will obey the rules of the road.  However, a person cannot continue to make this assumption if the person becomes aware, or in the exercise of ordinary care ought to be aware, that another user of the highway, by his or her conduct, is creating a dangerous situation.  Under such circumstances, a person using the highway must use ordinary care to avoid the danger.

The jury does not to consider a person’s drinking of intoxicants before the accident unless it determines that the intoxicants consumed affected the person to the extent that the person’s ability to exercise ordinary care in the operation of the vehicle was affected or impaired to an appreciable degree.  A person who voluntarily consumes intoxicants must use the same degree of care in the operation of a vehicle or for his or her self protection as one who has not consumed intoxicants.

McCormick Law Office in Milwaukee, Wisconsin proves negligent driving by showing how the defendant driver broke the rules of the road. It may be speeding, failing to control his or her vehicle, failure to keep a look out, or any other rule of safe driving. Any time a driver chooses a less safe alternative, he is being negligent, if one accepts that the safest option is the reasonable option under the circumstances.