I Nearly Hit a Car; Need Advice on Right of Way

Hi all,

I'm a first time poster here in OzBargain.

I wasn't sure exactly where I could find the correct answer to my query so I decided to take advice from the community here.

I came across a near hit accident with my car on my way home.

Link to the dashcam video

Link to Google map

I was taking a right from Blaxland road to the Anzac Ave from the location shown in the Google Maps and in the video.

I was under the impression that the blue car would give me the way as it's trying to merge into the main road from the 7-Eleven petrol station.

As I was trying to take right and understand that I need to give way to any oncoming traffic across the opposite side of the road, I couldn't decide now if I was in the wrong (or have been wrong all along in situations like this).

If only, I could get some idea or advice on this, I could avoid such near hit accidents in future.

Edit: Just as @esty highlighted (and to deny that), I'm still here…lol. Thank you all fellow OzBargainers for your advice and opinions. I am highly grateful for them. I just didn't think it was right to reply as it may look as if I'm arguing or trying to deny my mistakes.

Poll Options

  • 395
    Blue Car was Correct.
  • 298
    Blue Car was Wrong.
  • 15
    Nevertheless, I was wrong.

Comments

  • +31

    I would think the Blue car is correct.

    If I was in the blue car, my attention would be on the traffic coming from my right on the main road and ensuring the path was clear for me to enter that road. I would not be looking left to see someone further ahead turning right into me.

    Whereas you as the car turning right have a clear view of both the blue car and the road; so are best placed to avoid any collisions.

    • +13

      I see where you are coming from and I like that you correctly note OP car needs to be aware of blue cars intent, blue car should have been more contextually aware. Similar to how it's good to look left to right more than once when crossing the road because what you saw a few seconds ago can be out of date very quickly with everything at 40-60kms.
      @abb post of the regs doesnt specifically address this exact type of situation but I think it does suggest entering traffic gives right of way to those on the road
      http://www5.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_reg/rr2014104...

      • +75

        It's scary how many people are arguing/voting that Blue did the right thing, despite the law being clear:

        A driver entering a road […] must give way to—
        any vehicle travelling on the road

        • +6

          Many of them are arguing it from the POV that blue car was further up the road and could enter sooner once the last car had passed than OP could start to move and I can see that argument. But IMO, they pretty much moved at the same time and I can't be bothered doing a frame by frame analysis. Assuming they did move at the same time then I still believe the blue car would've been at fault as it was the vehicle entering the road. I also still believe OP needs to be more defensive as they should've predicted this scenario.

          • @apsilon: Agreed on all points.

          • +7

            @apsilon:

            Many of them are arguing it from the POV that blue car was further up the road and could enter sooner once the last car had passed than OP could start to move and I can see that argument.

            I would agree with that argument if the blue car was much further up the road, like where the 7-Eleven price pillar is.

            But being on the exit driveway, I would say it's the blue car's reponsibility to be aware of all road traffic and not just those to their right, as per abb's quote.

            I would also add that they didn't perform the proper checks or aren't driving responsibility if they a) didn't see the OP intending to turn right, b) did but didn't foresee that the OP would do so when the opposite lanes were clear or c) did foresee that but still entered the road in the manner that they did anyway, believing they had the right of way.

        • +1

          I think both cars need to be more careful
          Its normal for drivers to make mistake and hence no point trying to say who is right or wrong after the fact, especially if it could be fatal.
          For OP, the best thing OP could have done is to be aware of the blue cars intent to turn left and assess whether he'd pause a while to monitor

        • -2

          I'm not sure, but I feel like your quote only applies exactly as it reads - vehicle travelling on the road. OP wasn't travelling on the road, he was turning across the road.

          • +8

            @trankillity: ??? The OP was travelling on the road. Granted he was on the far side, but it's still the same road? Blue car was exiting a petrol station and NOT on the road?!

            • -2

              @lainey13: The vid shows that both vehicles are fully on the road at the point of the near contract.

              • @whooah1979: The point of contact is not the point at which to notice other vehicles around you. The OP was most likely indicating and slowing down to turn, which the blue car should have noticed if they were paying even an ounce of attention.

          • +2

            @trankillity: If you click the prior link to Reg. 74, you will see that I truncated my quote before the bit the specifically included turning vehicles.

            But unfortunately travelling is not defined in the road rules dictionary. However within the definition of line of traffic it is made clear that it includes stopped vehicles, so I think it's fair to include stopped (but not parked) and turning cars within travelling.

            "line of traffic" means—
            (a) 2 or more vehicles travelling in line along a road (whether or not the vehicles are actually moving, but not including vehicles in a marked lane), or
            (b) a single vehicle, other than a vehicle that is part of a line of traffic under paragraph (a), that is travelling along a road (whether or not the vehicle is actually moving, but not including a vehicle in a marked lane).

            http://www5.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_reg/rr2014104...

        • +2

          Exactly, it's scary, there should be no argument.

        • +7

          I agree, Blue car was wrong. OP did the right thing and the blue car should give-way, as it is not currently on the road. But please note that it is better to be cautious than be in an accident.

        • Agree with you abb however… the road design is terrible. Intersecting paths with entry points directly across from each other… that's asking for trouble. Easily prevented by the Blue car lane having an explicit yield, rather than implicit yield.

      • +23

        Yep, blue car is definitely at fault for failing to give way to traffic already on the road. Also, I haven't read all the comments to see if this was already mentioned, but blue car also crossed a solid painted traffic island in order to enter the road before OP's car, putting them further at fault.

        • +6

          I'm very surprised peeps said OP wrong.
          A minor addition to all above, there's a No Entry sign to that driveway.

          Blue needs to give way to (main) road users first.

        • +2

          100% blue is at fault.

          You have to give way to traffic already on the road. Including traffic on the other side, or in the median strip, waiting to turn.

      • Who was meant to give way to who tho.

    • -2

      The Blue car is correct because it is on the main road and OP has to give it a way.

  • +1

    I'm actually not sure, but I feel like this is one of those "always give way to your right". To your right, was the blue car. To their right, was the road they were trying to merge onto. So judging by that rule, you should have given way to the blue car. Blue car was also merging into traffic, whereas you were turning across it. I certainly know which one is more dangerous…

    • +2

      am i having a stroke or do you have your left and rights around the wrong way?

      • +1

        I think 'To their right' should be 'To their left' and we're good. Or maybe I am having a stroke, also. Either way… help me.

    • +7

      That's not even a rule…

      • +3

        I think they meant heuristic rather than rule.

    • The rule is to oncoming traffic but you are on the right track.

  • +96

    I think the blue car needs to give way as it is entering the road and need to give way to traffic on the road

    • +14

      This is my thinking as well. A vehicle entering the road needs to give way to vehicles already on the road. At the same time it's common sense that they would've been looking to their right and not have seen OP to their left and OP should expect them to be looking for a gap to pull out and not be looking in their direction.

      • +7

        I agree with defensive driving. It’s better to be safe. Op did have good visibility of the other car could have anticipated a dangerous situation.

        • +3

          OP did stop without hitting them so they did discharge a duty to avoid the accident… different story had they ploughed on in

    • +29

      I think so too. Here's the law:
      http://www5.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_reg/rr2014104...

      (1) A driver entering a road from a road related area, or adjacent land, without traffic lights or a stop sign, stop line, give way sign or give way line must give way to—
      (a) any vehicle travelling on the road

    • +10

      This!! Blue car was probably just looking at the right for oncoming cars thinking "I only have to worry about one direction" but they needed to be more situationally aware.
      OP wasnt at fault, I appreciate their humble tone in asking whether they were at fault though.

    • +9

      The blue car should give way to all vehicles already on the road.

    • +2

      Yep this, OP is on the roadway and blue is entering a roadway from private property - makes it pretty clear legally.

      I blame the road layout for this confusion, I think there needs to be some signage to help drivers determine the right of way with no ambiguity.

      • That driveway is really confusing, it looks almost like a street, but then it looks like the blue car is on the wrong side of the road.

    • -10

      Hmm, but the blue car is on the road, not on the driveway.

      • +45

        The blue car is NOT on the road.
        It is in the driveway/exit of the petrol station.

        The one breaking the law is the Blue Car.

        • -1

          Fair enough - looking again, the blue car is still on the driveway. But what if it had moved out onto the bitumen part of the road while waiting for traffic to its right to clear - would OP need to give way then?

          • +2

            @ShortyX: I don't think they could without obstructing traffic which would again put them in the wrong.

            • @apsilon: Obligatory paint diagram… would waiting on the yellow section block oncoming traffic to its right?

              • @ShortyX: I think that still qualifies as the driveway.
                If the petrol station wasn't there, that spot would be the pedestrian walkway, which is definitely not "on-road". You can see that part was constructed specifically to service the driveway.

                However, arguing at this level of detail only makes sense in a severe situation with allowed long discussion (ie Court). I don't think the short-hand dialogue with say the other driver, or the insurance guys will be fruitful. Insurance guys will fall on the side of lazy, and simply call an accident a 50/50 fault from both parties.

              • @ShortyX: I think it would, yes. If I was driving along there and the blue car started moving out of the driveway I'd assume they were going regardless of traffic and hit the horn and brakes.

      • Blue car is still attempting to enter the road, thank you.

      • Lulzzzzzzz

      • I'll give you a plus , because the blue car at the moment of the accident would be on the main road. The Blue car has got on the main road first and the OP has to give it a way.

    • +6
      • +1

        That's not relevant. The blue car had entered and was travelling along the roadway from OP's reference frame. OP was crossing oncoming traffic and was in the wrong.

        • +15

          Pretty hard to argue that the blue car had "entered" the roadway if they are driving across a traffic island…

          • @Dumax: Not really. If the blue car was not on the roadway the near accident wouldn't have occured.

            • +10

              @field1985:

              If the blue car was not on the roadway the near accident wouldn't have occured.

              Similarly, if the blue car had correctly waited in the driveway and given way to OP, the near accident would have been avoided.

              • -7

                @abb: OP wasn’t “on the road” at the time Blue Car had an opportunity to legally enter the road, because the OP was still waiting for the final car to pass before being allowed to turn right, therefore Blue Car did not have to give way.

                Had the Blue Car hesitated before entering the road, such that OP had already commenced their turn, then the Blue Car would be in the wrong as OP would (in that situation) have met the criteria of being “on the road”.

                • +6

                  @Strahany: Strahany you are confused - that's not what 'on the road' means. The OP was on the road the entire time as they are in the process of driving. OP doesn't leave the road at any point in the video. On the other hand, the Blue car is entering the roadway (whether it be from a road related area (which includes a shoulder) or the adjacent land being the service station - they were stopped back on the concrete which is clearly not yet on the road. Both parties accelerate at the same time from that point which means the Blue car is entering the road and should have been giving way to all cars whether at left or right.

                  This is quite clear in the road rules. It even clarifies "any other vehicle ahead of the driver’s vehicle or approaching from the left or right." - See comment

                • +1

                  @Strahany: Umm lulz?

              • -4

                @abb: Why would the blue car wait in the driveway for a car doing a turn across their roadway? Do you stop in traffic to let cars turn across you?

                • +10

                  @field1985:

                  Why would the blue car wait in the driveway for a car doing a turn across their roadway?

                  Because that's the law. If you're entering the road, you have to give way to all vehicles already on the road. Yes, even if they're turning across your desired path.

                  http://www5.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_reg/rr2014104...

                  Do you stop in traffic to let cars turn across you?

                  Irrelevant. In traffic implies already on the road, so the rule about entering the road does not apply.

                  • -5

                    @abb: Again… "That's not relevant. The blue car had entered and was travelling along the roadway from OP's reference frame. OP was crossing oncoming traffic and was in the wrong."

                    You are interpreting the law incorrectly. It means give way to traffic travelling on the road, not to give way to some random making a right turn some distance down the road. If that was the law no one would ever be able to leave their drive-way.

                    • +2

                      @field1985: It appears to me that the blue vehicle entered Blaxland Rd approximately simultaneously as OP begun to move across Blaxland Rd (which they were already travelling on) into Anzac Av. Viewed from the inertial reference frame of the road surface, that is.

                      I have provided the link which I believe backs up my position. Please point out the specific error of interpretation you believe I am making from the law. Saying "nah you're wrong" is a very weak argument.

                    • +4

                      @field1985: I hope you don't practice what you preach. As you'd be a danger to all on the road.

          • +2

            @Dumax: Motorists do that all the time when they want to turn right at an intersection.

          • +1

            @Dumax: exactly right, an 'area that divides the road' is part of the 'road related areas' that is not the road itself - s13(1)(a) of the road rules in NSW

          • @Dumax: For what it's worth there is no reason for the blue car to drive over the painted lines as it is attempting to turn into one of the two lanes on the road. Having said that, it won't change who was wrong would it?

        • +14

          Note: I maintain the road designer / authority that approved this access location was most in the wrong. See Previous Comment
          However for the case of the cars in question - see below:

          Re: @field1985:

          "That's not relevant. The blue car had entered and was travelling along the roadway from OP's reference frame. OP was crossing oncoming traffic and was in the wrong."

          No that's not right. It is quite clear in the video and road rules.
          1. The Blue car is parked in the driveway, on the concrete, both cars are stationary. OP is already on the road and has been the whole time (Note: it is not relevant which of the roadways, just that OP is on a road already and not parked off the road in a property or shoulder etc - OP can even be turning into the road - s74(1)(a)).
          2. Then they both start moving at approximately the same time. The Blue Car is at that point "entering a road" from adjacent land or a road related area which includes among other things a footpath, shoulder, and an area that divides the road (s13(1))(i.e. the linemarked traffic separation island), all of which are things that the Blue Car drives over next.
          3. Accordingly, the Blue Car is crossing from adjacent land and running over "road related areas" (but still not yet the road) and must give way to all vehicles on the road (s71) which includes the OP when crossing the edge line into the lane of traffic onto the road regardless of whether on the left or right as the rules specifically state (s71(1)(d)) (see extract below):

          74 Giving way when entering a road from a road related area or adjacent land
          (1) A driver entering a road from a road related area, or adjacent land, without traffic lights or a stop sign, stop line, give way sign or give way line must give way to—
          (a) any vehicle travelling on the road or turning into the road…and
          (d) for a driver entering the road from a road related area—…
          (ii) any other vehicle ahead of the driver’s vehicle or approaching from the left or right.

          Note 2—
          Adjacent land or a road related area can include a driveway, service station or shopping centre—see the definitions of adjacent land and road related area.

          13 What is a road related area
          (1) A road related area is any of the following—
          (a) an area that divides a road,
          (b) a footpath or nature strip adjacent to a road,
          (c) an area that is not a road and that is open to the public and designated for use by cyclists or animals,
          (d) an area that is not a road and that is open to or used by the public for driving, riding or parking vehicles.

          Note—
          … a reference in these Rules (except in this Division) to a road related area includes a reference to—…
          (b) any shoulder of a road, or
          (c) any other area that is a footpath or nature strip as defined in the Dictionary…

          Note 1—
          Shoulder is defined in rule 12.

          12 What is a road
          (1) A road is an area that is open to or used by the public and is developed for, or has as one of its main uses, the driving or riding of motor vehicles. …
          (2) However, unless the contrary intention appears, a reference in these Rules (except in this Division) to a road does not include a reference to—…
          (b) any shoulder of the road.
          Note—…
          (3) The shoulder of the road includes any part of the road that is not designed to be used by motor vehicles in travelling along the road, and includes—
          (a) for a kerbed road—any part of the kerb, and
          (b) for a sealed road—…any sealed part of the road outside an edge line on the road…

          There are many aspects to this that make it clear the Blue Car has to give way.

        • -1

          That's not relevant.

          How are the NSW road rules not relevant to this discussion when OP is in NSW?

    • -3

      You are wrong. The blue car is on the main road. OP almost collided with a car on the main road. The island shows the the driveway belongs to Anzac, which is part of the main road.

    • They are referring to oncoming traffic You need to understand this.

  • +30

    Unsure. Probably the car leaving a property should give way to all vehicles on the road. However, if I was turning right in that situation it wouldn’t surprise me if the blue car didn’t see me preparing to turn right because they were concentrating on the traffic from their right.

    And my usual: There is no right of way in traffic law. There is only a responsibility to give way. It’s a subtle but important distinction.

    • +1

      Out of curiosity why is the distinction important?

      • +8

        Because if people think they have right of way they are less likely to avoid accidents.

        Watch dashcamsaustralia on YouTube and there are many examples of accidents at merges that happen because the "right of way" person closes the gap on the merger when they don't need to. Yes, technically the merger has to give way, but that doesn't mean you have to be a d*** and cause an accident.

        • +2

          Good point. There is an idiot in most of us that shows up exclusively when we're behind the wheel of a car.

        • +1

          This comment doesn't have enough + votes. People exercising their right of way when they could just as easily allow someone in causes too many avoidable accidents.

          On the post itself, I think that the blue car is in the wrong and that the people arguing otherwise think so because Anzac Ave is closer to OP than the petrol station exit - meaning anyone coming from beyond Anzac Ave they consider to be 'oncoming traffic' and thus have right of way. I don't think the law would be interpreted this way.

          The golden rule is that this law is intended to ensure people entering the road give way to everyone on the road and you would have a hard time convincing anyone that the blue car didn't just enter the road.

          Having said that, I probably would have waited for the blue car to go because it would have been out of my way quicker (less distance to travel before my/OPs path is clear)

    • +4

      From road rules it should be blue car to give way as they are not on a road. If it was me I would have waited to see what the blue car did first just in case. There's a few roads like this that you're better off waiting that extra second or two to see what the other driver does.

    • +4

      I'm on the same wavelength.
      Technically the Blue Car is in the wrong, lazy bastards working at the Insurance claims would say 50/50 though.

      From a "practicality" point, the OP is in the wrong.
      If I was OP I would've actually defensively hesitated and let him through because, 1 there's not much traffic, and 2 I am unsure if Blue Car noticed me or will give me way. It's much cheaper to drive defensively, than to drive carelessly and hope your insurance saves you from all things motor-related.

      • +1

        I agree with this - technically there is fault of the person who designed the road / access location that doesn't comply with standards, but in terms of these cars driving to conditions the Blue car is technically at fault because of the entering the road give way requirement, but the OP should have an ultimately did use their requirement to avoid an accident by stopping… Had the OP not stopped, they would have had to give just cause given they had clear view to see the blue car and avoid it.

  • +8

    Waiting for the "there's no such thing as a right of way" comment.

    • +7

      You got it!

      There is no right of way in traffic law.

      • +3

        Bah. Beaten whilst I was typing le comment.

    • What comment? 🤣

      Edit - I was way too slow!

  • +6

    Realistically you are both performing maneuvers where you have to give way to cars already on the road (entering the road Vs crossing oncoming traffic).

    The way I see it is that by the time you are both in a position to meet, he is on the road and you would have to give way to him. As well as that (as mentioned above) you are in a better position to anticipate what will go wrong - him looking right to enter the road and you being the other direction, where you are looking straight towards him while monitoring oncoming traffic.

  • +6

    Blue car is wrong - it should not have crossed into the island which then go across in front of you.

    https://yingtongli.me/blog/2019/01/18/arr-cross-island.html

    • -3

      I'm not clicking on that asian website link. XI Jing Ping probably ready to catch me

      • +3

        The author of that blog is actually Aussie. You can see their resume on that blog

    • +4

      To be fair, I think he crossed over the hash marks to avoid the OP

  • +2

    Blue wrong

  • -1

    It may be state specific but basically I was taught back when I was with a learners teaching guy that you're never allowed to u-turn if theres a car across the road because the car won't know that you're u-turning. Instead you should turn into that gas station (or road) and u-turn further down the street.

    I could be wrong though, I don't drive anymore.

    • +5

      They didn't do a U-turn. It's a right hand turn but the road bends around to the left so it's more than a 90 degree turn.

      • +3

        Oh you're right, looks like I didn't watch it properly, thanks for the heads up.

  • +14

    The blue car was wrong. See Road Rules 2014 (NSW) r 74(1)(d)

    A driver entering a road from a road related area…without traffic lights or a stop sign, stop line, give way sign or give way line must give way to any other vehicle ahead of the driver’s vehicle or approaching from the left or right.

    • Is the blue car on a road related area or on a road?

      • -4

        This. Blue car has left the road related area and is now on the main road, OP is turning across blue cars path. OP must give way.

        • +4

          Wouldn't this imply its whoever is faster gets right of way, if OP had accelerated faster he'd have been the one already there and the blue car would be turning into him. From my experience road rules aren't designed to benefit those who drive unsafely.

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