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Curious - highway code related - who would be at fault?

(8 Posts)
oopslateagain Mon 12-Nov-12 19:31:40

I drop DD off at cadets once a week, the driveway to the hut is on the left, off a fairly busy A-road, about 200 yards past a large roundabout (i.e. just when people are starting to pick up speed to the 60mph limit). It is out in the country, not in a town.

Quite often, I'm indicating to turn left into the drive but a car is coming out, turning right, so I have to stop in the main road. Several times while I have been stopped and nothing is coming from the other direction, the car begins to pull out to turn right but then a car coming up behind me overtakes me. There have been a couple of near misses, fortunately no accidents yet.

Tonight was just ridiculous, I was stationary, the car had pulled halfway out of the drive, and the driver behind me - who had already come to a halt - indicated and pulled out and overtook.

If there was a collision, who would be at fault? The overtaking car, for an unsafe overtake? Or the car pulling out, because he should give way to traffic on the main road?

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 12-Nov-12 22:07:50

I always thought all three are at fault you should not pause to let them out, a car should not overtake you in this position and a car should not turnout because another car has paused to let it out.

Collaborate Mon 12-Nov-12 23:12:52

Wouldn't agree that you would be at fault. Probably a mixture of the other 2.

oopslateagain Tue 13-Nov-12 16:18:18

I can't be at fault - I can't avoid pausing to let them out. I want to turn into the driveway that they are in; they can't reverse as there are several cars behind them. So the car on the main road (me) has no option but to stop, with the left indicator on, just before the driveway.

I'm wondering who's at fault because there is a good chance at some point I am going to need to pull out of the driveway onto this road and some idiot will overtake while I'm doing it.

Collaborate Tue 13-Nov-12 16:37:10

You need, as the driver pulling out, to leave enough room for a car turning in to pass you. If you don't, you have to be extremely careful to avoid pulling out into the path of an overtaking car. The overtaking car also has to watch out for you, but I'd suspect that the car pulling out would be more at fault.

Eddings Tue 13-Nov-12 16:57:46

I used to work in Motor Claims... it would be the person who pulled out that would be classed at fault although these claims frequently end up 50/50.. the reason for fault is based on the fact they are joining the road & while you allowed them to do so, it is still their responsibility to ensure it is safe to do so... hope that makes sense

cumfy Thu 15-Nov-12 12:59:43

Eddings sounds exactly right.

It sounds a very dangerous set-up and it might be advisable to actually pull-in shortly before the drive if there are cars coming out.

Avuncular Sun 30-Dec-12 19:56:14

Sounds nasty - full marks to have put so much thought into this.

I'd be interested to have a location so I can look at it on Google Earth - I'm a driving instructor.

For me the primary issue would not be who is at fault but the SAFETY of all concerned. Yes some 'idiot' WILL try the overtake some time - no if's about it!

Arguing about liability after the fact does not 'undo' an injury - and certainly not a death.

Short of having the junction altered, here are a couple of suggestions I'd invite my learners to consider:

1) Depends on age of DD, but as a cadet she should be capable of it: Stop WELL SHORT of the turning and as close to the edge as possible. Let her get out on the left (of course) and observe while she walks along & goes into hut.

2) Ditto, but drive past the junction before letting her get out. This means that approaching vehicles will see the emerging cars more easily, and see your vehicle beyond the junction as a separate hazard. (Not inappropriate to put your hazard lights on). This arrangement will give the maximum 'wake up' call to other drivers approaching, and the best visibility for cars waiting to emerge. Of course, it would be harder for you to observe DD's safe passage into hut.

In both the above cases, you would need to drive on to another turning (left or right) to turn the car round to go home.

All the above is in accordance with my philosophy for dangerous junctions:"Sometimes the safest way to negotiate a hazard is to find a route that avoids it completely"

Also, a quiet word with other parents etc using the road to the hut might mean that emerging drivers looked earlier up the main road for other users indicating left to turn in, and waited short of the main road to allow others to turn in first. But I don't know the geometry or access road width/length ........

Your call.

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