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I've just hit someone with my car. He's ok, but was I at fault?

(322 Posts)
LimeLeaf Mon 25-Apr-16 16:52:51

Just to say first that I was going less than 5mph and he walked away relatively(?) unhurt but I'm very upset about it and wondering if I was at fault.

I was at the bottom of a road which is very steep, at the junction where it meets a very busy main road. I was turning left onto the main road and looking right for a gap in the traffic. I'd been waiting a minute or so.

A car appeared on the main road and stopped, waiting to turn right onto the road I was on. A lorry to my right then stopped on the main road and gave way to allow me to turn left in front of him and the car on the main road to turn right past him onto the road I was on.

I started to release my foot from the brake as its a very steep road so I could roll forward before putting my foot on the gas. The car started moving forward and the man was right in front of my car and it hit him. He must have been on the pavement to the left of me and had tried to cross in front of my car but I didn't see him because I was looking right. He must have been walking quickly because he was already half way across the front of my car and I was already looking forward when I began to take my foot off the brake. As soon as I saw him I put my foot back down on the brake hard. I had moved maybe 3-5 inches but as he was walking so close to my car, it hit him.

He stumbled but kept walking across and then looked back at me and started shouting whilst I sat there in complete shock. The lorry waited for me to set off again even though I was shocked and nervous to drive immediately. He then turned around and kept walking.

I'm so upset about this. I've never hit anyone with my car before and feel very bad about it. Was I at fault do you think or was the man? Is there anything I need to do now?

araiba Mon 25-Apr-16 16:54:57

you hit a pedestrian because you werent looking- your fault

misspym Mon 25-Apr-16 16:55:07

Did you not glance back left at all once you made sure it was clear on your right?

I think you are at fault. Sorry.

FelicityR313 Mon 25-Apr-16 16:55:13

You were at fault I'm afraid.

NoCapes Mon 25-Apr-16 16:56:28

Yep you should always check in both directions before setting off

Backingvocals Mon 25-Apr-16 16:57:23

I think this was officially your fault but it is the sort of accident that can happen without you having done anything terrible iyswim.

Pedestrians aren't terribly good at reading what you are looking at iyswim. And nor should they have to be. They might not be drivers themselves. They might be children. They shouldn't have to think for you, see that you are watching for a safe gap in the traffic and are not simultaneously able to look left and right.

I'm afraid though, you have to glance both ways before you do anything. Sorry though. I know it give syou a shock.

Euphemia Mon 25-Apr-16 16:57:49

You were at fault. You started to move without looking.

FlyingElbows Mon 25-Apr-16 16:58:10

Technically yes you are at fault because you didn't check but he was a bit of a twit to walk infront of a car clearly trying to get out of a junction. No real harm done though.

LimeLeaf Mon 25-Apr-16 16:58:18

I didn't look left because I was so close to the junction already so wasn't expecting anyone to cross at that point. The junction is by my DC's school and people usually cross behind the cars. If he'd walked across further away from my car, I'd have been able to stop in time but he was crossing so close that even rolling a little meant my car hit him. If he'd crossed any further away though, he's have been in the main road.

ShootTheMoon Mon 25-Apr-16 16:58:46

Yes, you are at fault because you have the responsibility to check and re check in each direction. It must have been a shock, though.

For what it is worth, as a pedestrian, I would have been paying attention to the traffic and certainly wouldn't have crossed if I saw vehicles stop to let you out. Still the driver's responsibility, though.

PseudoBadger Mon 25-Apr-16 16:58:58

Your fault I'm afraid

PortiaCastis Mon 25-Apr-16 16:59:14

You were at fault did the man take your reg number?

araiba Mon 25-Apr-16 16:59:31

expect a letter from his solicitor in the post soon

HirplesWithHaggis Mon 25-Apr-16 16:59:35

I agree with others that this was your fault, but no harm done and a lesson learned, eh? Have a brew and let it go.

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 25-Apr-16 16:59:49

The Highway Code requires you to look both ways before pulling out so yes you were at fault. Potentially driving without due care and attention.

TheWildRumpyPumpus Mon 25-Apr-16 17:00:41

You ought to have looked both ways before pulling out. Never know if there may be a pedestrian, cyclist, random animal in the road.

Catfartstink Mon 25-Apr-16 17:01:12

I hit a car in the same situation. He'd stopped after passing me to let a pedestrian cross.
Entirely my fault for not checking my road was clear. I'd been waiting to turn left for so long the first gap I got a bit giddy and went without doing the double check. I triple check now
Accidents are horrible flowers at least he was ok

Queenbean Mon 25-Apr-16 17:01:16

You were at fault I'm afraid

However, you still sound really shaken up and as the man wasn't hurt, let this just be a lesson to be more careful in the future. Now have a cup of tea and breath a bit.

YorkieDorkie Mon 25-Apr-16 17:01:53

I'm going to side with the OP on this one and say it's 50:50, yes you should have looked both ways but what kind of muppet crosses in front of a car on a busy junction like that?

MetallicBeige Mon 25-Apr-16 17:02:15

I was always taught look ahead at pavement and road for potential hazards, when at a junction before moving - look right, left, then right again. When turning left always check left mirror for cyclists etc.

It sounds like you were concentrating on the vehicles rather than who was around on the pavement. I'm sure you won't forget next time. Have a nice strong cup of tea and try to calm down.

Backingvocals Mon 25-Apr-16 17:02:26

I do think this is quite a common sort of thing to happen. There are lots of situations where pedestrians "shouldn't" be. That doesn't mean it's not your responsibility to check that things haven't changed since you last looked.

I have to navigate a junction like this too. I have to be half way out into the road, looking right, as there is a huge telephone junction box on the pavement that blocks the view. And although I am clearly looking right, trying to find a moment to dart across the road, pedestrians will walk out into the road to get round the front of my car, from the left. I hate it as the onus is all on me to be careful and make sure I am conscious of them even though they are completely oblivious to what I am doing - but that's the way it works.

whois Mon 25-Apr-16 17:02:29

I think this was officially your fault but it is the sort of accident that can happen without you having done anything terrible iyswim.


TheDuchessOfArbroathsHat Mon 25-Apr-16 17:02:50

I'm sure this was very shocking for you and more so for him but it's important to remember that driving is not about what you expect or do not expect - if it was it would be bedlam out there. It's a good thing to believe that everyone around you, either in a car or not, will do something unexpected and dangerous and that way you can be ready for anything.

LimeLeaf Mon 25-Apr-16 17:03:20

I don't think he took my reg as he was clearly in a hurry with him walking so fast. I was looking forward but didn't see him in my peripheral vision which in theory I should have done. He was just walking so fast though.

mogloveseggs Mon 25-Apr-16 17:03:36

Technically it was your fault but what a prat! I would never cross unless a driver waved me across. Hope you're OK

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