Normally when we think of negligence we might think “neglect.” The boy neglected to feed his goldfish and the goldfish died. The teenager neglected to study for her final exam and as a result she failed the exam. “Neglect” essentially means failing to do something. Let us assume a driver ran a red light and hit you. We would say that the other driver was negligent in the operation of his vehicle. He failed to do something; he failed to stop at a red light. That failure caused him to hit your car.
What did he fail to do? The driver who hit you failed to act as a reasonable person would in the same or similar circumstances. You’re now asking, what is a reasonable person and what does that have to do with this situation? A reasonable person is a made up, theoretical, imaginary person. He’s like that dependable, nerdy, middle-of-the-road guy that we all know.