Car Accident - Who Is at Fault? (Turning Right into Driveway - Uninsured)

Hi Ozbargain,

Just got into a car accident and thought I'd ask the experts

I was turning right into my driveway with blinker on. A car gave way, and I proceeded to turn. As I was turning, a car came from the parking lane (to overtake the two cars that were giving way) crossing a solid line. I managed to brake but she did not. The right corner of her car collided with the front-right side of my car. My car had a scratch but the entire front-right corner of her car was damaged.

Since we do not have any witnesses who will most likely be determined at fault here? (i.e. what will the damage show in this case)

Thanks.

edit: Diagram requested by Spackbace (our competition overlord)

Edit 2: The spot right past the shoulder lane solid line marking is a bus stop (until driveway 2) to which it then dotted lines start after that

Comments

    • +67 votes

      OP failed to give way whilst turning across lanes and so is at fault.

      This is typically known as a "Wave of Death" accident. Drivers stop short out of courtesy to leave a gap for a driver who wants to turn. Sometimes they make eye contact, smile and wave which exerts a lot of social pressure on a grateful driver waiting to turn. But it is the driver's responsibility to positively confirm that the way is clear before turning. Often the stopped vehicles obscure the vision of the driver waiting to turn. If the driver can not see that all lanes are clear, they must not proceed.

      • +41 votes

        There is a life skill to learn here too: Be wary of doing what someone else wants you to do when it conflicts with your own judgement. Other people often have less information than you about your decision and the best decisions are made with the most information.

      • +28 votes

        Often the stopped vehicles obscure the vision of the driver waiting to turn.

        Especially if it's a SUV. Thankfully, these never give way though.

      • +1 vote

        Not getting a witness, and not having insurance, OP isn’t getting out of this.

      •  

        Yep (although I didn't know it as a wave of death) - happened on Pascoe Vale Rd in Glenroy last month. The driver doing the wave died as a result of massive head injuries.

        Be patient, people.

      • +1 vote

        +1 - these type of accidents are the most common on dashcam facebook page. If you can't see, don't turn!

      •  

        My first car was write off 10 years ago by a similar scenario accident where right land car gave way and i turned without making sure the left lane traffic was safe to turn. A very expensive lession

      •  

        I would dispute this. I'm assuming this was in VIC, and according to the RACV website the Victorian road rules state that -

        "A driver must not overtake, or do a U-turn across a single continuous centre line, or a single continuous line to the left of a broken line. A driver may only cross the above line markings to enter or leave the road (for example turning into a side street or driveway), or to avoid an obstruction, provided the driver has a clear view of approaching traffic, it is necessary, reasonable and safe to do so.", and,

        "You must not overtake a vehicle on the left, unless you are on a multi-lane road and the vehicle can be safely overtaken in a marked lane, or the vehicle you wish to overtake is turning right or making a u-turn from the centre of the road and is giving a right change of direction signal."

      • +1 vote

        Lol I love that you have a name for this. This is totally the case, we knew someone who fell into the same trap. Having heard their story I ALWAYS sneak into the first lane then head check again and inch out into the second lane just in case.

      • +1 vote

        On point. It's like 10% of OzBargainers literally got their license from a Weetbix packet and come here after causing an accident.

        We all took the same test, read the same rulebook.

        Heck throw the two above out the window and apply common sense would be any vehicle turning over another cars lane has to ensire it's clear. Why would anyone even consider that the fault would be with the car literally driving in a straight line.

  • +6 votes

    Go and take pictures of any braking rubber.

    Who is at fault? Turning vehicle should give way to oncoming traffic, so you have to prove she was not in a valid lane driving unreasonably. A car pulling out from a parking spot gives way to everything.

  • +27 votes

    You said that two cars were giving way; aren't these witnesses?

    •  

      Since it was a very low speed crash and no one was injured why would anyone bother to stay and waste their time to deal with ops insurance claim ?

      • +12 votes

        If I witnessed a low-speed crash due to someone else's stupidity, I'd definitely stay and offer to be a witness to the innocent party.

        I'd like to think most people would do the same.

        • +4 votes

          Exactly, how can you tell if someone needs some help if you don't stop?
          It is not a waste of time, it is showing some empathy and kindness.

          •  

            @GG57:

            SpottyMoose and GG57 do you ever get home at night?
            
            • +1 vote

              @coin saver: Not sure where you're driving but it's not exactly a destruction derby out there.

              I've offered witness statements maybe 2 or 3 times and I've been driving for over 20 years.

              ** I don't bother stopping for little nose to tails and stuff like that, because they're pretty clear cut. I'm talking about real acts of stupidity that you could see the offender try to weasel out of.

    • +1 vote

      Yep, low speed crash so no one stopped.

  • +19 votes

    Needs MS Paint diagram

  • +12 votes

    The other driver was a moron - either 1) she was driving in the parking lane, i.e. doing the wrong thing, or 2) she was pulling out of the parking lane and would have to give way to everyone. Another idiot driver we need off the road.

    She's completely at fault, so take it up with your insurance and let them deal with it - if you don't have any dashcam footage, then get yourself one ASAP, but make sure to make it absolutely clear that she was going straight in a parking lane.

    • +1 vote

      Thanks, yes I would estimate she was going 30-40 in the parking lane. I know she was at least 2 cars (or more) behind as I did not see the traffic move.

      Unfortunately, long story but the car is uninsured (the person who thought there was insurance on the car actually did not renew it). So, I am not sure what to do in this situation or whether I will get pinned with the blame by their insurance (and what to do in this scenario)

      I will make it clear that she was going in the parking lane now. Just very worried that I will be unable to prove anything.

      •  

        I will make it clear that she was going in the parking lane now. Just very worried that I will be unable to prove anything.

        This is your best bet - if she admits to using the parking lane, you may be in with a chance.

        •  

          Doesn't matter, op still should have given way

          • +1 vote

            @supasaiyan: Why is that. There is only so much you could do right.

            oP Stopped and others gave way. OP then proceeded carefully and managed to brake upon sighting a car but the other driver who ignored the potential reason for the two cars in the proper lane to have stopped tried to overtake from the parking lane and failed to stop when noticing a car crossing lane. I mean logically it’s the female driver’s fault. As to how to prove or contest it that’s a different story.

            • +1 vote

              @legendary-noob: I think still OP's fault legally, not morally. They have to have a clear view to confirm no traffic before proceeding, if not, then don't go. Saw a similar thing with police driving on a parked car lane and heavy traffic in normal lane, a car turned across in front of them causing Collison, they were charged. This was reality tv. My favorite kind of cop show.

              •  

                @wozz: You have to make an effort to avoid a collision. Like if someone pulls out infront of you, even if you have right of way, if you have time to brake safely but don't then it is your fault.

            •  

              @legendary-noob: “OP then proceeded carefully”

              They crossed into another lane without clear vision and collided with another vehicle, doesn’t sound like they “proceeded carefully”.

    •  

      Yeah, you've got a case here man. Hope the OP took pics of the cars post-coitum, in situ…

      Additionally, the other prick may have dashcam footage; confirm with her nicely, before disclosing to your insurer.

  • +3 votes

    You can only overtake to the left of a vehicle if it is safe to do so and:

    you are driving on a multi-lane road and the vehicle can be overtaken in a marked lane to the left of the vehicle

    the vehicle is turning right or making a U-turn from the centre of the road and is indicating right

    the vehicle is stationary
    you are lane filtering on a motorcycle

    •  

      In QLD at least, you can drive there for up to 50 meters (It might be less) under some circumstances when a new lane is opening up.

      I'm sure there are other circumstances where it's also allowed.

      This is why it's important to have insurance. Let the insurance companies deal with it.

      Though if I were to throw my 2 cents in, both parties are in the wrong.

      • +1 vote

        Yep, in my case, i wouldn't be taking any risk until i see no cars and can turn right safely. The first thing to remember when you're driving is it's the other people you've gotta worry about :D

  • +3 votes

    You're turning across the other vehicle's path so you are at fault.

    This happens a lot on multi lane roads. The cars who are "giving way" (or not queuing across an intersection) often gives turning vehicles a false sense of the security. It is the driver of the turning vehicle's responsibility to ensure that ALL lanes are clear before they turn cross those lanes.

    • +4 votes

      The lane she was in is a parking lane, not a multi lane road. There is only one lane each way (this becomes a multilane road but further down)

      • +13 votes

        The parking lane is still counted as a lane. Even if she pulled out of a parking spot, she would still have right of way to move forward.

        If you're turning, you need to give way to everyone on the road you're turning across, unless there's traffic control signs or markings indicating otherwise.

      • +2 votes

        Can you prove that she was travelling down the parking lane?

        No proof, no insurance, bend over.

        •  

          That's why I am asking

          • -7 votes

            @takutox: I know and that's why I'm answering.

            The answer is there - you're at fault unless you can prove otherwise. I'm not saying you're a bad driver, I'm saying you're screwed.

            • -1 vote

              @tshow: Well its not as simple as that is it? Since my car was not damaged and hers was, would that be some sort of proof she was speeding in that lane? I don't know much about physics but asking ozbargains for advice on what to say/do rather than 'you're screwed'. There's always something that can be done in every situation to improve it, even if it ends up having to pay. Since I don't know as much as other ozbers I need some actual advice on what to do even if its only a slight advantage.

              • +10 votes

                @takutox:

                Since my car was not damaged and hers was, would that be some sort of proof she was speeding in that lane?

                No

                There's always something that can be done in every situation to improve it

                Yes. It's called being insured.

              • +3 votes

                @takutox: Perhaps you can provide a Google Map. I am wondering what is a "parking lane" is.

              •  

                @takutox:

                Since my car was not damaged and hers was, would that be some sort of proof she was speeding in that lane?

                I think the damage is more about the direction you were driving. Her car had a collision head on, while yours was turning.

            •  

              @tshow: Not sure why you got negged

        • +1 vote

          No proof, no insurance, bend over.

          Guess a bottle of lube is cheaper than a dashcam…

  • +4 votes

    From your diagram the parking lane ended at driveway 1 and wasnt a parking lane anymore so it looks like your fault with the other driver traveling straight and you crossing in front of her

    • +1 vote

      I was under the impression the parking lane ends starts when the dotted lines start again (indication that you are allowed to turn into that lane)

  •  

    i think it is your fault as you are the one turning. unless you can prove the other side is speeding.

    Driving on the parking lane is not illegal if it is low speed like you when you are stopping on the kerb.

    So the best is to let insurance to deal with this and you will need to pay your excess.

    • +1 vote

      What about crashing into a stationary car in the parking lane? Even if the stationary car only just arrived…

      •  

        Dont understand what do you mean

      •  

        If you hit a stationary car parked in the middle of a road facing the wrong way, you'd still be at fault.

        • -1 vote

          No, this would likely be a case where both parties were awarded a share of the damages. Parking facing the wrong way is illegal, so is parking in the middle of the road. Those illegal actions contributed to the accident and therefore are relevant when apportioning fault.

    •  

      From reading it seems you can drive recklessly going straight. If I wanted to write off an old car just don't brake as hard as normal when a car does a quick to close merge into my lane

      •  

        your tyre break trail can prove your speed.

        Also under no witness the one who is turning will most likely to be at fault.

  • +49 votes

    I have noticed a few OZBargainers are confused because of lack of an MS Paint. I have Windows 10 and have used MS Paint 3D to make the evidence clearer.

    link: https://imgur.com/a/624WGKK

    • +8 votes

      The evidence shows no damage to either vehicle so case closed!

    • +11 votes

      was the dog injured?

    • +9 votes

      That diagram raises more questions than it answers.

      Why couldn't the dog in driveway 2 act as an independent witness?

      Why did the white car have two different size front tyres?

      Why was OP carrying a dead body with no lower legs on the roof of their car?

      • +4 votes

        There is no proof (there were no witnesses) that the ‘body’ on top of the car is in fact dead. But I am curious to know why the ‘body’ is clutching a red lunch box.
        More importantly, none of the vehicles have windows - could they all in fact be driverless cars and the so-called drivers actually just be passengers? In which case, can a passenger in a driverless car be held responsible for an accident?
        This has me thinking. The era of the driverless car will soon be upon us. I’m wondering who will then be held responsible in an accident? The car’s owner? The manufacturer/supplier of the collision prevention instruments? I guess all driverless cars will at least have 360 degree dash cams, so needing witnesses may be a thing of the past.
        Getting back to the OP’s concern:
        No 3rd party insurance = no sympathy.
        Why 3rd party insurance is not compulsory for all registered vehicles beats me. It’s not that expensive.

  • +9 votes

    A lot of accidents are caused by cars voluntarily giving way in situations they really shouldn't. Creating spaces in traffic might be polite but it causes a lot of confusion in road rules and quite a few accidents.

    • +7 votes

      This happened to me at a keep clear last week. 3 lanes…. a lady turning right across the 3 lanes. 2 lanes stopped for her but I never saw her coming, I was in the left most lane. T-Bone crash.

      Insurance company said its 100% her fault for turning right across oncoming traffic. (Same as OP).

      • +4 votes

        Not aiming this at you specifically, but a good rule to follow is to not go above a speed differential of approx 20kph to other traffic.

        I once saw this exact situation of a T-bone 2 days in a row; a right turn across 3 Lanes, with the 2 right most Lanes congested with the courtious drivers allowing the right turn (on to a ramp off the road), only to find the left most lane drivers flying down the road at close to the speed limit. For me, that is not driving to conditions.

        • +3 votes

          I sort of agree but disagree at the same time. I was doing about 40-45 in the left lane and the speed limit is 60. I was going slow for the exact reason you highlighted. But the lady just came flying out and I had no chance. So sure I could crawl along but reality is this is not how our road rules are designed. They are designed so that the person turning right has to give way, otherwise there would be anarchy.

          •  

            @Skramit: If you are driving and see cars to the right stopped you should have enough sense to think that they are giving way to traffic and someone might be coming through.

            Still its the other parties fault but its really hard for them to see.

            •  

              @mokr: I did notice the other two lanes were stopped but it was a red light a bit further up. So it didnt strike me as unusual.

              In hindsight in a pefect world I would have looked for a right turner at the keep clear but I just didnt :( Everythings obvious in hindsight.

    • +17 votes

      Agree! This exact situation happened when I was doing my final Learners practical test. I was turning right on a multi-lane road and traffic was banked up in the lane closest to me, a driver in that lane stopped to 'voluntarily' give way and was vigorously waving me through. I did not go because the other lane was not clear. I waited until both lanes were clear then I turned right by which time the 'helpful' driver was long gone. Later the instructor brought up the scenario and said that if I had proceeded there it would have been an instant failure on my driving test. That lesson has always stuck with me.

    • +1 vote

      This. People trying to be “polite” rather than following the rules just confuses the heck out of a lot of situations.

      There is an intersection near my place that has a left turn with no light, and no zebras or pedestrian crossing signals, yet people will randomly jump on their brakes and stop to let people cross. Has almost caused several accidents that I’ve seen because they shouldn’t be stopping there.

      I’m not talking about stopping to avoid fools that have walked into the street either, they’re stopping for people standing on the footpath to start crossing.

  • +3 votes

    IMO you're both at fault. She's overtaking on the left illegally, and you've failed to give way when turning right and failed to give way when entering/exiting the road.

    It's completely possible for more than one party to be at fault and that is probably the case here. The best outcome is for both drivers to pay for their own repairs, but I would fully expect her insurance to twist the screws on you to pay for both. You need to make certain you keep stating that she was overtaking illegally.

    Also make sure you file a police report stating what happened. In QLD you can submit a report online in certain circumstances, which should be fine for this scenario. Make sure to keep the reference for it and give it to her insurance company when they come chasing you for the money. Make sure you state in the report that we was overtaking on the left illegally and try and find the relevant law in your state that describes this.

    • -4 votes

      It is not illegal to overtake a stationary car on the left.."You must overtake on the right unless a vehicle is waiting to turn right, is stationary, or if you and the other vehicle are travelling in marked lanes. In these instances you may overtake on the left side if it is safe."

      • +1 vote

        OP drawing implies to me there is a solid white line for the parking lane. It is illegal to cross the solid white line on the shoulder to overtake, unless the car is turning right. There is no allowance for a stationary vehicle in that scenario.

        See the Continuous edge lines section here

        If I have misinterpreted the diagram and there was no line, then you are correct though.

        •  

          Yep is exactly as I drew. I might be able to provide photo soon. The person 100% illegally crossed the parking solid line in order to overtake. The speed at which they are moving shows in the damage.

          Now what she was doing was definitely illegal. The question is, how do I go about proving that or defending myself. And other question even if its not legally right what she did am I still in the wrong in terms of financial obligations? Although I've picked up few tips and ideas from this thread for a start.

          •  

            @takutox: "The question is, how do I go about proving that or defending myself" a better drawing would help your picture clearly shows that the parking lane has finished.

        •  

          OP is in NSW and the parking lane ends back further at driveway 1. https://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/roads/safety-rules/road-rules/ove...

          •  

            @coin saver: She crossed the line before driveway 1 though. Her speed was 30-40, as damage on her car would not be that much if slower.

            Now I know what she was doing was 100% illegal. But now I'm stuck in scenario with no dashcam and have to try defend myself.

            I was also under the impression you need broken lines to go there if not parking?

            • +3 votes

              @takutox: "She crossed the line before driveway 1 though"she may have but good luck proving it ( how is it you know that she did that and still managed to have a collision?).She may also have been parked a little further up and chose to re enter the road at this point.

            •  

              @takutox: To play devil's advocate here, the other driver's lawyer maybe, the drivers giving you way didn't need to stop where they did and created a traffic hazard that she was avoiding. They were stopped unnaturally so she took the next best option. I would say that area is grey and not quite the 100% illegal case you state. Unfortunately you, as the right turning vehicle, need to give way to oncoming traffic of all kinds. If she even had a 1% reasonable reason for being there, you pretty much need to accommodate that and give way.

              Also think very carefully whether you would volunteer being waved through in court. If that turns out to be illegal you are just self incriminating.

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