Who's Fault – Rider/Car Interface

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  • This topic has 52 replies, 21 voices, and was last updated 8 years ago by  barca.
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  • Who's Fault – Rider/Car Interface
  • barca
    Member

    I've asked in the office this morning (I'm the only cyclist) and the answers surprised me greatly.
    Traveling along a busy road (A6 as it happens), two lanes of traffic going north, no vehicles at the time going south, approaching traffic lights that have just changed form red to green and traffic at the front is moving off. just before the traffic lights on the left is a street the T-junctions with the A6. It has keep clear markings in front of it telling vehicles on the A6 not to block the entrance/exit to the side street but the side street obviously has give way markings to vehicles joining the A6.
    Cyclist is on the outside of the outer vehicle – straddling or even maybe just on the right of the white ( effectively but only just on the wrong side of the road, it's borderline). Car pulls out of side street across the two stopped vehicles obeying the "Keep Clear" instruction painted in the road and tried to turn right to go south on the A6.
    Cyclist going north on the outside of the two still stationary rows of traffic going south hits the wing of the car pulling out.
    Bikes fine, rider has hurt wrist and painful chest. Driver swore lots and drove off.
    Two front vehicles were arctic lorries. Rider deduces overtaking arctics in this fashion is not the best manouver ever as it's impossible to see if something is coming out of side road.
    Who's fault was the accident?

    AndyP
    Member

    an arctic lorry, yesterday.

    barca
    Member

    Not on the A6 in Stockport this morning.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    Cyclist I'd say, if only for this:

    effectively but only just on the wrong side of the road

    Doesn't really matter how far, he's on the wrong side of the road.

    therealhoops
    Member

    sorry Steve, I'd say that's the riders fault. I believe the correct name for riding up the outside is filtering and it's perfectly legal. If I was coming up behind two big vehicles then I'd tip toe round like a seal in a shark tank, especially if I couldn't see what was infront of them.
    I have a similar problem coming down Greek St of a morn. I filter down the outside so I can turn right onto the A6. There's a keep clear junction just before the bus stop and I always approach with caution.

    I can recommend Elixir R brakes, by christ they're good.

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    Doesn't really matter how far, he's on the wrong side of the road.

    You do that when overtaking…

    The car driver should only have proceeded after making sure the road was clear.

    The cyclist shouldn't have been overtaking when there was a side road without making sure nothing was coming out of the side road.

    I ride down the wrong side of Haughton Road in Darlington every morning on my way to work. I do it damn carefully.

    stumpy01
    Member

    Not sure who's at fault by law, but I would have thought common sense would dictate that any drivers trying to turn out of the side road would find it nigh on impossible to see a cyclist coming down the outside of two HGVs?
    And that if the 2 HGVs are stationary at the keep clear area, there's a good chance that a car will be attempting to turn out of the side road.

    I'd like to say in this situtation I would have used caution and also stopped at the keep clear sign – at least to give me time to see past the HGVs and confirm if there was indeed a driver turning out. Hard to know without being there, though.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    You do that when overtaking…

    Yes, but you generally don't hit oncoming cars, and if you do then you don't protest your innocence by saying 'I was only JUST on the wrong side of the road'.

    The driver did nothing wrong, he was on the right side of the ride, using the 'keep clear' area as it was intended. A cyclist who overtakes lorries in that situation is slightly daft, it's not an accident, it's natural selection!

    headfirst
    Member

    I agree with others, common sense would dictate cyclist slows to an 'emergency stop/have a look before you go' speed. Given the traffic was queuing/ stationary the motorist wouldn't have expected anyone to be overtaking in those circumstances…my mantra when commuting is to 'think like the enemy' 😉

    barca
    Member

    njee – at no point did I protest nor infere that the cyclist was innocent, just describing the scene as best I can.
    I have my own theory of fault and when I asked in this room – everyone of them a car driver, I was very surprised by the answers.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    They presumably said the car driver as they were empathising with you as a cyclist.

    My comment was aimed at mike BTW, who implied that he was on the wrong side of the road was irrelevant.

    antigee
    Member

    if hadn't actually hit something i'd have laughed at the

    Two front vehicles were arctic lorries

    you were overtaking vehicles on the wrong side of the road – "filtering" it maybe but it is pretty predictable that something coming out of a side turning can't see f'all through a truck and may well miss you past a car –

    legally may have a case irrespective of common sense – that the traffic joining a main road failed to give way to you – but i wouldn't push the point

    incidentally mother in law sort of similar accident on A6102 into sheffield last week – she driving in outside lane, inside lane stopped at keep clear – car pulls out as she enters keep clear box – impact pushed engine 2ft back into bulkhead – in a car she walked away – car a right off

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Subscriber

    I'm always very careful filtering down the outside of traffic queues for that very reason – it's almost impossible to see a vehicle pulling out through the traffic.
    The other issue (one which saw me knocked off by a car a couple of weeks ago) is that a driver in a queue of traffic will flash their lights to let a car pull out or turn and the manoeuvring vehicle will wave thanks and floor it through the gap – very dangerous for anyone else in any other lane.

    Very difficult to apportion blame without seeing what happened but (personally) I'd say it's partly cyclist and partly motorist for the same reason: not proceeding with care. And the driver left the scene of an accident. The police take a very dim view of that kind of thing, in fact it's probably more serious than the actual accident.

    antigee
    Member

    is that a driver in a queue of traffic will flash their lights to let a car pull out or turn and the manoeuvring vehicle will wave thanks and floor it through the gap

    a litle old lady was insistently flashing her lights and pointing her finger at me to turn right across a queue in front of her in my 2 tonne people carrier the other day – i was ignoring her because a teenager on a scooter was filtering fast down the outside and wasn't going to stop

    Junkyard
    Member

    I almost never overtake a arctic[sic] lorry for this reason.
    I would assume 50/50
    I cant fully tell from your description but I assume the car had to give way to the road it was crossing [was it jumping a red light even?] in order to turn right but it cant really be expected to see through a truck to the cyclist [legally] overtaking the truck.
    Just an accident IMHO no blame but both should have been more careful/cautious.

    glenp
    Member

    I've had this accident, but 25 years ago on a motorbike. Only years later did I fully realise how stupid it is to overtake (filter) over a junction that you cannot see. If you can't see the car, they certainly cannot see you.

    It doesn't really matter about being on the wrong side of the road, but if you are going to go there then you may as well get well over to the right and be a little more seen. Tucked away in the shadow of a lorry is an insane place to put yourself.

    Olly
    Member

    strictly speaking they should have looked for you, whatever you were doing, but we all know what cars SHOULD do and what cars actually do is never going to change, so i would enter that box (in the bikes situation) with caution too.

    its 50:50, and tbh, i think this is a genuine accident.
    neither of the parties are being saints, neither made any excessive or overly dangerous errors.

    bumps happen.

    glenp
    Member

    Sorry, but I can't see any 50/50 – overtaking over a box junction is a black and white situation. (My own accident was not a box junction, plus an oncoming car flashed the car out into my path – and I still think (now) that I was at fault.)

    barca
    Member

    Not a box junction – KEEP CLEAR painted in the road.

    The cyclist (good looking guy, stylish, ace bike, lovely legs, fast as….obviously me) at the scene (but sadly after the event) assumed he had been a pratt for overtaking the lorries and for being (possibly) on the wrong side of the road but a few miles up the road began to wonder who the law would say the blame lies with.
    Every single driver in here has said the driver is at fault – he should have been looking left to see traffic coming from the south (direction the driver was trying to take) and to see what was coming heading north (direction I was and lorries soon to be, travelling).

    I now have a very sore and swollen wrist to ensure my lesson is learnt. I probably won't be riding home unless it improves quickly and I have a bashed in chest which also hurts. I do however have loads of sympathy from the ladies in the office and I've not got up to make a coffee all morning.
    It's not all bad 🙂

    glenp
    Member

    Well, any junction is not the place to overtake. Glad you're ok, ish. At least it won't happen again.

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    My comment was aimed at mike BTW, who implied that he was on the wrong side of the road was irrelevant.

    The side of the road is irrelevant.

    I now think it was the driver's fault, but the cyclist should have anticipated driver stupidity.

    I do 0.3 miles on the 'wrong' side of the road each morning, past a queue of stationary traffic. There are 4 side roads on that stretch, and I'm dead careful passing each.

    grumm
    Member

    Has no-one mentioned that regardless of blame, the driver committed a crime by driving off from the scene of an accident? I also would have thought you have right of way if they were turning out of a side road.

    headfirst
    Member

    I now think it was the driver's fault, but the cyclist should have anticipated driver stupidity.

    grumm
    Member

    Yup I'd agree with that too. I constantly assume people will pull out of side roads without warning, since someone did that to me when I was driving.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    The side of the road is irrelevant.

    So why do we have 'sides' of the road if it's irrelevant? I'm not being facetious, genuinely curious. If you were riding along a straight road on the 'wrong' side (I also do it for a lot more than 0.3 miles every morning/evening), and a car came the other way, didn't move all the way to the curb, and hit you, would it be the cars fault for not moving over, or the cyclists fault for being on the 'wrong' side of the road?

    I'm glad the OP is alright-ish, but I don't really see how you can apportion blame to the driver for his inability to be able to see through lorries and driving on the 'right' side of the road.

    joemarshall
    Member

    I've known a motorbiker who had this happen and got paid for the damage off the other driver's insurance (they should have been looking).

    But regardless of legal stuff, overtaking when you can't see past the thing you're overtaking is asking for trouble if there's a side road.

    Joe

    grumm
    Member

    So why do we have 'sides' of the road if it's irrelevant? I'm not being facetious, genuinely curious. If you were riding along a straight road on the 'wrong' side (I also do it for a lot more than 0.3 miles every morning/evening), and a car came the other way, didn't move all the way to the curb, and hit you, would it be the cars fault for not moving over, or the cyclists fault for being on the 'wrong' side of the road?

    That's a completely different scenario though.

    I'm glad the OP is alright-ish, but I don't really see how you can apportion blame to the driver for his inability to be able to see through lorries and driving on the 'right' side of the road.

    Because he was pulling out of a side road and therefore doesn't have right of way surely (though I would agree that the OP was being a bit of a numpty 😉 )

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    But if the cyclist only appears whilst he's carrying out the manouvre, then surely the crash is unavoidable from the point of view of the driver?

    If the cyclist hits the wing of the car it's possible that the first the driver sees is as he rides into the side of the car, even if he's inching forward at 1mph.

    If it was the rear door or something, ie the car had clearly made reasonable progress across the road then I'd accept he was more liable, but the only person who could've averted the situation is the cyclist.

    And don't say 'the car should've waited until there was no traffic' as I assume that's just not practical on an A-road in rush-hour, hence the 'keep clear' markings.

    Perhaps I'm misunderstanding, or just wrong, but that's my interpretation.

    Either way, if he didn't leave his details he's a cock and I hope you did some damage to his car.

    glenp
    Member

    The driver can only see what is in front of him and available to see. And not in an instant – he needs to be able to make a reasonable prediction of what is going on. If the driver had sufficient time to avoid the cyclist then how come the cyclist didn't use the same time to stop and avoid the car? The answer is obviously that there was not enough time to stop – the Highway Code is quite clear (as is common sense) that you must always be able to stop and avoid collision.

    Junkyard
    Member

    so to conclude then
    We are all glad you are ok
    We all think you were ill advised [ is that too polite for STW?] to ovetake the trucks
    The motorist broke the law driving off
    The car was probably more to blame than you
    You wont do it again.
    You cant ride and you need to swap w@nking hands tonight 😉

    mk1fan
    Member

    I now think it was the driver's fault, but the cyclist should have anticipated driver stupidity.

    I'd have to agree with that. I'd be willing to bet that the car driver saw that the two lorries had stopped and thought 'It's now clear as they've stopped so I'll go.'

    It's like flashing people out of junctions. I've had incidents where a driver behind has flashed 'out' another car waiting at a junction ahead of me and they've pulled straight out in front of me.

    Colin-T
    Member

    Technically it has to be the driver's fault – if he couldn't see that the manouver was safe then he shouldn't have made it.

    However, its a dangerous situation for the cyclist to put themselves in, given the risk and consequences.

    barca
    Member

    I agree with every point being made by junkyard apart from the last one…..possibly
    I've just realised what andyp was doing with that photo, well funny! Artic. Arctic. I've been a baffoon twice in one day. Sadly, not a first for me.
    I was sent to A&E amidst mentions of RIDOR (happily not rigor), my wife was summonsed, A&E said MTFU – nowt much up with you, I've failed to disclose this to my wife and boss and I'm now sat on my sofa, feet up, bacon on toast and coffee served.
    I have no shame.
    The Police are coming round this evening as I reported the incident when I arrived at work. I'll soon know if I'm in bother or not.

    bigyinn
    Member

    Barca, the fact that your first post suggests that you were not the cyclist and only later do you reveal that you were indeed the cyclist suggests that you knew you had been a bit silly going round the outside of the trucks, but you wanted to gauge the STW hive mind's reaction before revealing the full truth.
    FWIW I think you were a bit silly, but equally the car driver should still have looked south before pulling out, EVEN THOUGH NOTHING SHOULD BE EXPECTED TO BE MOVING NORTH.
    At least you're not badly hurt bar a sore body and damaged pride.

    Its not the drivers fault.

    You shouldn't overtake near a junction as the vehicle you are overtaking blocks the line of sight of bwetween you and anyone waiting at the junction. This is true whether driving or cycling.

    Slightly different in stationary traffic but i'd have thought the same principle applies.

    Not sure if this is mentioned in the highway code, but its certainly in RoadCraft.

    The Highway Code
    Overtaking (162-169)
    162

    Before overtaking you should make sure

    * the road is sufficiently clear ahead
    * road users are not beginning to overtake you
    * there is a suitable gap in front of the road user you plan to overtake

    163

    Overtake only when it is safe and legal to do so. You should

    * not get too close to the vehicle you intend to overtake
    * use your mirrors, signal when it is safe to do so, take a quick sideways glance if necessary into the blind spot area and then start to move out
    * not assume that you can simply follow a vehicle ahead which is overtaking; there may only be enough room for one vehicle
    * move quickly past the vehicle you are overtaking, once you have started to overtake. Allow plenty of room. Move back to the left as soon as you can but do not cut in

    Give vulnerable road users at least as much space as you would a car

    * take extra care at night and in poor visibility when it is harder to judge speed and distance
    * give way to oncoming vehicles before passing parked vehicles or other obstructions on your side of the road
    * only overtake on the left if the vehicle in front is signalling to turn right, and there is room to do so
    * stay in your lane if traffic is moving slowly in queues. If the queue on your right is moving more slowly than you are, you may pass on the left
    * give motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders at least as much room as you would when overtaking a car (see Rules 211-215)

    Remember: Mirrors – Signal – Manoeuvre

    * Road users requiring extra care (204-225)

    164

    Large vehicles. Overtaking these is more difficult. You should

    * drop back. This will increase your ability to see ahead and should allow the driver of the large vehicle to see you in their mirrors. Getting too close to large vehicles, including agricultural vehicles such as a tractor with a trailer or other fixed equipment, will obscure your view of the road ahead and there may be another slow-moving vehicle in front

    Do not cut in too quickly

    * make sure that you have enough room to complete your overtaking manoeuvre before committing yourself. It takes longer to pass a large vehicle. If in doubt do not overtake
    * not assume you can follow a vehicle ahead which is overtaking a long vehicle. If a problem develops, they may abort overtaking and pull back in

    165

    You MUST NOT overtake

    * if you would have to cross or straddle double white lines with a solid line nearest to you (but see Rule 129)
    * if you would have to enter an area designed to divide traffic, if it is surrounded by a solid white line
    * the nearest vehicle to a pedestrian crossing, especially when it has stopped to let pedestrians cross
    * if you would have to enter a lane reserved for buses, trams or cycles during its hours of operation
    * after a ‘No Overtaking’ sign and until you pass a sign cancelling the restriction

    [Laws RTA 1988 sect 36, TSRGD regs 10, 22, 23 & 24, ZPPPCRGD reg 24]

    * Lines and lane markings on the road (127-132)

    166

    DO NOT overtake if there is any doubt, or where you cannot see far enough ahead to be sure it is safe. For example, when you are approaching

    * a corner or bend
    * a hump bridge
    * the brow of a hill

    167

    DO NOT overtake where you might come into conflict with other road users. For example

    * approaching or at a road junction on either side of the road
    * where the road narrows
    * when approaching a school crossing patrol
    * between the kerb and a bus or tram when it is at a stop
    * where traffic is queuing at junctions or road works
    * when you would force another road user to swerve or slow down
    * at a level crossing
    * when a road user is indicating right, even if you believe the signal should have been cancelled. Do not take a risk; wait for the signal to be cancelled
    * stay behind if you are following a cyclist approaching a roundabout or junction, and you intend to turn left
    * when a tram is standing at a kerbside tram stop and there is no clearly marked passing lane for other traffic

    oops, i didn't mean to do that…

    TandemJeremy
    Member

    We had this one the other day – If you are filtering and a car turns across you and hits you it has been considered 50 / 50 in the past – however there is a recent court case where the driver was found 100% at fault and this has set precedent.

    So legally the driver is at fault now but arguable in court. morally the cyclist should have anticipated however and not been in that situation. Rider wider out so you can see more – look over / thru / between the vehicles to see if someone is pulling out – basic defensive riding

    http://www.motorbikestoday.com/news/Articles/filtering_law.htm

    barca
    Member

    Excellent Horatio – that made me guffaw.

    Bigyin – within a second of realising I was yet to remain within this mortal coil I concluded that I had "..just been a right plank". I've not tried to hide it but I did wonder later on who the law would have said is at fault.
    I waited at the side of the road for the driver to come back and I'm pretty sure there was quite a crease in the wing of the car. I'm glad I was on my hardtail and not my road bike.
    I have another confesison to make which kind of lays lame completely n one pary but where's te discussion in that. **takes deep breath** I was absolutely hooning it as I wanted to not only get in front of the artics but also the vehicles that were just beginning to move off again on the other side of the KEEP CLEAR area!
    It was a full on head low arse high hoon. I can also vouch for Oro K18 brakes but not Continental Speed Kings on wet tarmac. Cranks stopped turning, brakes applied. bike kept going for quite a few meters in a full on straight line skid. wing hit and rider dumped on bonnet.
    I shall say the same to the Police. I reckon it could have been somewhere close to if not nudging slightly over 30mph so I might have been speeding although I think it might be a 40mph section along there?
    Although you can't all see it, I am holding my hand up but it will be interesting to see what the Police make of it.

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    Although you can't all see it, I am holding my hand up but it will be interesting to see what the Police make of it.

    Probably 50/50 on fault, but as soon as the driver left the scene…

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