To think that this woman might want to consider backing into her drive...

(50 Posts)
AmberNectarine Tue 16-Jun-15 15:48:32

...rather than mouthing off at me?

Walking home with the DCs from school, pushing DD (3) on her smart trike with DS (5) walking about 3ft ahead (no more than this, which is important). The street is a pedestrian thoroughfare, lots of parents and children walking down it at this time of day, unsurprisingly.

A woman suddenly reverses out of her high fenced front garden (so we couldn't see the car) at some speed, right into our path. I grab DS' arm and stop him from being knocked down.

Woman then proceeds to get out of car and shout at me about kids getting in her way. Needless to say she used extremely vulgar language. I pointed out perhaps it might be an idea to check the path is clear before getting into the car, especially at this time of day - it's a long street and her house is in the middle of it so she would have ample time to complete her manoeuvre, or better still, back onto the drive so that she was facing forward when pulling out. Needless to say I got further abuse so walked away because I'm not in the habit of banging my head against brick walls.

I don't see what more I could have done as the high fence prevented us seeing her pulling out until it was almost too late, except possibly gluing DS to my side. It's not like he was racing ahead of us.

So, AIBU?

IssyStark Tue 16-Jun-15 15:53:39

If you couldn't see her, she couldn't see you. YANBU.

swashbucklecheer Tue 16-Jun-15 15:54:00

Nope she was. I nearly got run over by someone doing the same thing while i was walking past. I thumped the back of his car with my fist and that soon made him notice me. She should have reversed more slowly

steppedonlego Tue 16-Jun-15 15:54:40

Hmm. Personally I would keep my child by my side if I was walking down a street where I couldn't see possible vehicle movement, however the onus is on the driver, she's using a pedestrian area to access the road, and therefore should be inching out very slowly, which judging by her behaviour she already knew and was embarrassed.

SistersofPercy Tue 16-Jun-15 15:57:42

If she reversed in she'd still be unable to see for the length of her bonnet and would still have to come out some distance to see past the high fence.

She should however have been inching out slowly as stepped says.

AmberNectarine Tue 16-Jun-15 15:57:49

I agree stepped and I will be keeping him close to me, especially when we pass that particular house, but he was close enough to grab so I don't think I was too negligent!

Most of the houses on that stretch have open driveways so loads of visibility but for whatever reason they have a high fence around theirs.

wonkylegs Tue 16-Jun-15 16:00:13

Highway Code says you should reverse into a driveway and emerge forwards wherever possible. You must check for pedestrians and complete the manoeuvre slowly.
Therefore she was clearly in the wrong.

carolinecupcake Tue 16-Jun-15 16:00:27

She should have been more careful reversing over the pavement especially at that time of day which you say has a lot of pedestrians with young children. Unfortunately you just can't get through to some people and it seems like she was one of them! It must have been a shock for you cos we generally consider the pavement to be safe.As your children get older and start to walk alone you could just make them aware of the dangers of stupid people like this!

PurpleCrazyHorse Tue 16-Jun-15 16:02:40

I might get flamed for this but I think it's 50/50. She shouldn't have been driving fast down her drive and clearly a high fence isn't helpful, especially if it's higher than adult height. However you should have had DS walking next to you past driveways, especially as 5yos are short and therefore not easily seen by reversing cars.

I let DD walk ahead on the part of our walk to school that doesn't have driveways. She's 1.2m tall, so not massive and isn't listening or looking out for cars in driveways, just skipping along oblivious. When we get to the bit with driveways, she walks next to me and I'm watchful for cars who might be reversing. At least if she's next to me (usually holding my hand), my height will hopefully mean the drivers see me walking along or I'm right next to her to grab her if I need to. DD knows that's why she walks next to me and I encourage her to watch for cars (so listen for engines, look for reversing lights etc)

It's my responsibility to do what I can to keep DD safe from drivers who aren't looking or simply don't see her. That's not to guarantee we won't be hit by a car reversing, but if DD is right next to me, then I'd say it's fully the driver's fault.

AmberNectarine Tue 16-Jun-15 16:07:15

Purple good point. To be honest, because of the fence I hadn't even considered that there might be a danger and that is my fault. I will be much more aware going forwards and will ensure the DCs are too. There will come a time, far, far into the future, when they will walk this route together without me (ironically it is actually really safe, this issue notwithstanding, because there are no roads to cross at all).

AmberNectarine Tue 16-Jun-15 16:08:13

That's interesting about the Highway Code wonkylegs - if I ever see her again, I'll be an arsehole and quote that wink

Scholes34 Tue 16-Jun-15 16:12:44

I reverse out of my drive. I always look up and down the street before doing so, and always reverse out slowly.

However, when the children were younger, I was always conscious of cars coming out of drives (every house on the street has a drive), so kept the children close to me.

Whoever is right or wrong, you don't want your child to be injured.

Stokes Tue 16-Jun-15 16:16:48

Not sure reversing is the answer - I was nearly hit by someone coming out of their driveway bonnet first. They couldn't see me as the sun was in their eyes. So of course the answer was to fly out at speed rather than inch forward. :/

PurpleCrazyHorse Tue 16-Jun-15 16:21:41

Thanks Amber, it's really frightening especially for you and it's possible the driver was just as shocked and that's why they shouted at you, I know someone who gets very defensive when they're in the wrong, even though they know they're wrong. It's not great but it's now they react to those situations outwardly, even if inwardly they feel awful about it. Still doesn't excuse the fast speed, that's stupid of them.

I'd love for DD to skip all the way to school without a care in the world, but the route is busy with traffic, kids, scooters, buggies and I just know that drivers late for work might just miss spotting her in their haste.

DH reverses into our drive precisely because of this. Even with reversing sensors, ours beep because of the fence along the boundary, so we wouldn't know it had picked up a small child. Of course we drive out slowly and carefully though. Only recently there was a news article about a mum reversing (I think) into their child. Little children are short, difficult to spot and not looking for moving cars. Car parks are my fear too, I'm really anal about DD holding my hand there too.

OnlyHereForTheCamping Tue 16-Jun-15 16:22:47

What's a smart trike?

PacificDogwood Tue 16-Jun-15 16:25:53

YANBU in that this was entirely her responsibility to leave her driveway responsibly.

I have no idea whether YABU about the reversing in - our driveway is uphill and around a bed and much harder to reverse up than reverse down. I do creep out of our driveway at snail's speed because our road is a popular thoroughfare for school kids and commuters to the station.

AmberNectarine Tue 16-Jun-15 16:25:54

This is a smart trike.

whatsthatcomingoverthehill Tue 16-Jun-15 16:30:05

From the highway code:

^201
Do not reverse from a side road into a main road. When using a driveway, reverse in and drive out if you can.

202
Look carefully before you start reversing. You should:

Use all your mirrors.
Check the ‘blind spot’ behind you (the part of the road you cannot see easily in the mirrors).
Check there are no pedestrians (particularly children), cyclists, other road users or obstructions in the road behind you.
Reverse slowly while checking all around looking mainly through the rear window being aware that the front of your vehicle will swing out as you turn.
Get someone to guide you if you cannot see clearly.^

Doesn't sound like she did much of that, so YANBU.

hedwig2001 Tue 16-Jun-15 16:37:45

We had the same thing happen when my son was about 4. No fence to impede the view. My son and his bike were actually wedged under the car. Woman admitted she only looked in her mirrors, but did not look over her shoulder.
Silly bitch later presented my son with a bike bell!

MsPerfect Tue 16-Jun-15 17:24:40

One of the first things I learnt when I first started learning to drive was that you always reserve from a major road to a more minor road when possible. So you don't end up reversing out of a side road onto an A road and you don't reverse from your drive on to the busier road.

She was in the wrong, but she won't have learned from it so keep your DS right by your side when you walk past her house again!!

70isaLimitNotaTarget Tue 16-Jun-15 18:51:05

I usually reverse into my drive but if I need to get something large out of the boot, I drive straight in otherwise I can't get the boot open.

There are cars either side of me (on offstreet) , cars on the road (so blocking my view into the road) and a very large van parked opposite (so I have very limited room to make a 90 turn)
Add to that, there are childminders in our street, so potentially small children.

So I carefully, slowly edged out.
Car coming along blasted the horn and driver swore. They were not there when I got in the car, excessive speed.

High fenced drive, she could get a mirror , lots of houses near me do

Yarp Tue 16-Jun-15 19:10:11

You have to be so careful across driveways - I was always taught to view a driveway as, essentially a road, for my own protections

HOWEVER, that is not the same as saying what happened is your fault. It is her fault, it is your right of way. I once had to bang on the back of a car when it nearly reversed out onto a toddler on a scooter, (and grab the toddler).

Here, there's a driveway which is en route to 2 schools, into a small car par area, where several cars reverse out every day because they are too lazy or inept to reverse in

Methe Tue 16-Jun-15 19:21:18

I couldn't reverse in to my drive if I wanted to as my neighbours visitors insist on parking in front of it. I've had words about but they're just arseholes. If I run over my neighbours it'll be their fault.

maddening Tue 16-Jun-15 19:23:55

actually I would ask the community police officer if they would have a word with her - either she needs to address her visibility when exiting her drive and/or reverse in.

I always think badly when I have to stop for someone backing out of a drive - reverse in or create a turning space in your drive.

lljkk Tue 16-Jun-15 19:24:31

In USA it's the driver's responsibility to give way to any pedestrians when crossing the pavement to access a drive. So legally always the driver's responsibility. Always amazes me that not like that in Britain. Drivers really can go wherever they damn well please.

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