Who's At Fault: Car Accident Involves Three Cars

Never thought of myself creating a Who's at Fault post as I have always been a safe and good driver. This time is for my friend who got into a car accident that involved three cars. Not going to tell which one was my friend's car to avoid bias.

It happened on a normal two way street with kerbside parking on both sides: At first there is car A reverse parking and car B is approaching from a distance. While car A has reversed more than half of its body into the parking spot, car B is getting close. Seeing car A has cleared enough space on the street, car B does not stop to wait until car A finishes its manoeuvre but decided to keep going. Then at that moment, car A moves forward back onto the street to adjust its position. Car B reacts to that, not by pressing hard on its brakes, but slightly crosses the middle of the street into the opposite way to keep going, because there is no incoming traffic and the middle line is a broken line. Car B misses car A, but unfortunately, car C, does not expect car B coming from its left, seeing there is no car coming from its right, comes out from a driveway of the opposite way at the same time. Car B hits car C, damaging both car's front bumper corner.

Tl;dr: car B avoids hitting car A, which suddenly undoes its reverse parking, crosses the middle broken line slightly into the opposite way and hits car C, which just comes out from a driveway on the other side.

These are the options with reasons (too long to put in the poll):
* Car A - It should not expect traffic from behind is stopped and should check before moving back onto the street.
* Car B - It should be in complete stop and wait until any car in front to finish parking, even though there is enough room to keep going.
* Car C - It should check its left before coming out from a driveway, as the middle line is a broken line, there can be cars coming from its left too.
* All have equal share of responsibility
* Doesn't matter, my friend is always at fault

I tried my best to draw a pic with the Paint program I have
Pic here

Poll Options

  • 6
    Car A
  • 191
    Car B
  • 304
    Car C
  • 1
    All have equal share of responsibility
  • 5
    Doesn't matter, my friend is always at fault

Comments

      • +3 votes

        by the sounds of things it is far more likely Car A had never left the street completely and hence the onus would have still been on Car B to give way, won't know without a dash cam. If they had successfully gotten into the park it is unlikely they would be then pulling out again.

        Lesson to learn is always drive with a dash cam.

  • +5 votes

    Car B reacts to that, not by pressing hard on its brakes, but slightly crosses the middle of the street into the opposite way

    Car B, first up didn't wait, and then proceeded to cross onto the other side of the road when it wasn't clear. Car C has right of way on that side of the road.

    You can only cross onto the other side of the road if CLEAR to do so.

    But the real question is, what is the insurance company saying?

    As clearly your friend is being deemed at fault, hence why you are seeking others to back up their not at fault view.

    •  

      Probably no insurance so off to the ozbargain car lawyers it is!

  • +1 vote

    Meow

  • +1 vote

    Ta.

  • +12 votes

    Your friend is Car B, it's the only option you worded with an excuse for the behaviour.

    • +1 vote

      You mean he is Driver B? The one who did not seem to slow down seeing Driver A parking, then suddenly swerved when his anticipation failed him, finally smashing Car C which appears to be on the correct side of the road? /s

      I reckon it's worth it to still slow down when driving along a parallel parking vehicle, even if he did finish his parking, who knows if he looks into his side mirror before opening the door. I'd hate to be involved in a smash wether it's my fault or not, simply not worth the hassle.

      •  

        who knows if he looks into his side mirror before opening the door.

        These people should be shot.

  •  

    Let us know what insurance decides but I'm guessing some shared responsibility between B and C.

  • +5 votes

    Car B caused the accident by being impatient and not waiting for can a to clear their lane.
    Car C will be deemed responsible though as they didn't give way to all vehicles on the road when entering.
    Depending if Car C was fully in the lane at the time of the accident then Cab B will share a portion of the blame, or complete blame as they were travelling upstream in a downstream lane and Car C could say they were there all the time (no proof otherwise). Did Car B indicate they were crossing the centre line? Even if its broken they still must indicate a move from their lane/direction of travel.

    • -1 vote

      Car C does not need to give way to all vehicles on the road, only the ones that may legally enter the lane. Since B made an abrupt maneuver, we may assume they were not in the lane so B did not have the right of way in a lane on the other side of the road.

      •  

        If they signalled and it was a dotted line, then b has right over c though.

    •  

      I don't know if it will be as clear cut as Car C being deemed responsible - from the wording Car B hit Car C, does anyone remember the old hazard test for cars coming out of driveways? I don't see why this is any different than if B was on their own side of the road watching for cars coming out of driveways - it's a hazard that you should be looking out for - even more so if you've crossed lanes to overtake

  •  

    Which car doesn’t have insurance? Clearly they are at fault

  • +10 votes

    Everyone was make driving like dumb dumbs.

    Car A moving out of the parking spot must give way (Aus. Road Rule: 87)
    Car B needs to not cross the dividing line unless safe to do so (and indicate) (Aus. Road Rule: 140)
    Car C need to give way when entering a road from a road related area (Aus. Road Rule: 74)

    B can claim they were taking evasive action from A's actions. C can claim that the road was clear, but A's actions caused B to move into their path.

    100% OP was driving Car C.

  • +1 vote

    A more interesting poll would be to guess which car OP (yes, OP) was driving. My guess is C.

  • +1 vote

    I don't think anyone can blame Car A, he actually got into the parking spot and in my opinion he owns the lane until he's at least 3/4 of the way in.

    It just wouldn't be practical any other way, driving at 60km/h past a car thats half in the lane seems like a stupid idea.

  • +7 votes

    TLDR all the comments
    Car b should slow and stop for hazzards such as
    Reversing car
    Turning cars

    Therefore car b is at fault of reckless driving

    Also see the drivers handbook for rules around this incident

  • +9 votes

    Vehicle B is completely in the wrong by attempting to overtake.

    The vehicle A must make sure the road is clear, however, vehicle B approached and overtook.

    Vehicle C had no idea vehicle B would overtake parking vehicle.

    Vehicle B has caused all this mess.

    • +2 votes

      YES THE OP is car B & trying to make excuses

      •  

        🙁

    •  

      And B is not allowed to overtake because?…

      •  

        Because that is the law

        •  

          Link?

        •  

          what? it's a broken (dotted) line - provided they indicated properly, Car B can cross the centre line to overtake the parking car provided Car C definitely hadn't entered the road

          •  

            @MrFrugalSpend: Sure - but then it's also still their responsibility for hazards ahead and to drive safely? Imagine if it was in their own lane and Car C had come out of a driveway - who do you think would be at fault if Car C had come fully into the lane and Car B rear-ended them? Spoiler alert: it's Car B.

      •  

        Because it is such driving that puts me and others at risk every single day
        Recklessly and often aggressively overtaking a reversing vehicle or a vehicle doing a 3 point turn is risky
        Also the road is a shared commodity and drivers need to be considerate to each other
        Link: Google drivers hand book and get familiar with the rules

  • +2 votes

    Who cares, let insurance deal with it

  •  

    C

  • +2 votes

    Sorry dude, car B and C.

    Well, if I was car C, when I see there is a car on the opposite lane is reverse parking, it is likely not-patient guy will cross their lane to overtake that car. I saw that all the times.

    •  

      Seriously? Its so hard to imagine being inside car C you need to check across the road for road condition!

      • +2 votes

        C only has any responsibility if B was already in his lane prior to pulling out or at least had been using indicators he was moving into that lane. Given B likely swerved without notice or indication I would say C is most likely the only completely innocent party in this

  • +3 votes

    Car B should have waited for Car A to finish its manoeuvre, but if it did and then Car A pulled out again, Car B should just hit Car A, making it Car A's fault but by avoiding A, A is now in the clear.

    IF Car C was already in its lane when Car B hit, it is Car B's fault but if Car B crossed the centre line prior to Car C pulling out, it's 100% on Car C.

    Collision damage should be able to verify angles of impact to determine fault.

  • +3 votes

    I'm just here to say I love the cats!

    • +1 vote

      But they lost the AFL grand final. Go the Tigers.

      •  

        Tigers are cats aren't they?
        Shouldn't this be posted on the "rat" thread

  • +4 votes

    Blame it on car B for
    1. Being impatient while car A was reverse parking.

    • -4 votes

      So you think car B should just stop and wait until car A is completely parallel?

      • +6 votes

        Absolutely. I see this everyday, people trying to overtake when parallel park is happening.
        It takes time and judgement to parallel park. Not easy for everyone.

        •  

          I guess if you do that all the time you get enough honking to annoy you. People in practice just zoom off when the car reverse parking is not blocking the path.

          • +1 vote

            @justwii: Few idiots are always on road, ignore them. Just follow rules.

  • -2 votes

    CatCar A is irrelevant - obviously.
    Car B was allowed to be across the broken lines to overtake.
    That only leaves Car C as 100% responsible.

    •  

      Car A is irrelevant - obviously.

      Depends how far they were into their reverse parallel park.

      If they were clear of the lane before reattemting the maneuver I believe they need to indicate and give way to reenter the lane.

      •  

        All irrelevant.
        B was on the road, C entered that road when it shouldn't have, that's if C entered after B was over the line.

        •  

          Mostly irrelevant, but not entirely irrelevant, there's not enough info. It is likely given they just stuffed up their reverse park they weren't all the way into the park (if they were, they wouldn't have needed to correct), but on the odd 10% chance they were off the street in the carpark, they too would be re-entering the road and in violation of the exact same rule you are using to blame car C.

          •  

            @MrFrugalSpend: Yes, but whether A followed the law or not, they weren't a party to a collision.

  • +1 vote

    Did car A remember to indicate while reversing into the parking spot? Even if they didn't, car B should have been paying attention to the traffic ahead. Car A could have stopped on the road for any of hundreds of reason and car B would still have hit car C. And car A was reversing, so it didn't suddenly stop. But even if it did suddenly stop car B should have given themselves enough distance to react, yeah? So car B must be at fault no matter what.

    •  

      B is allowed to overtake. B did nothing wrong.
      C can't enter the road unless it is clear/safe for them to do so, which it obviously wasn't.
      Unless C was already on the road when.B crossed to the other side. OP is not clear on the timing.

      • +2 votes

        B can't overtake unless it is safe to do so. B suddenly swerved and hit a car. Surely B should have seen C backing out and knew not to cross the line. Is C meant to wait until the other side of the road is clear just in case someone on the other side decides to suddenly cross the line?

        •  

          No - C is meant to wait until it's side of the road is clear.
          Either it was or it wasn't, as I said OP is not clear on this.

  • +1 vote

    My vote:

    • if Car B was going slowly, then Car C is at fault as they would have had time to respond if they had been paying attention
    • if Car B did not slow down then Car B (as in, Car C is gently pulling out, and Car B comes tearing along and smashes into C)

    If no dashcam and witnesses, I would say Car B just for being on the wrong side of the road when it would have been simple just to wait instead of doing something risky to save 1 minute of travel time.

  • +2 votes

    Car A was not involved in the accident.

    Car B is allowed to overtake on the right hand side of Car A if Car C isn't present on the road.

    Car C is allowed to exit their driveway if Car B isn't present in the right lane.

    So I'd say it would depend who came out first. From OPs description car B was in right lane before Car C exited.

    If the damage is on the front of Car B, it's likely Car B is at fault. If the damage is on the side of Car B, it's likely Car C is at fault.

    • +2 votes

      Assuming B is traveling faster than C, then C must have already been backing out before B decided to cross the lines. If C was already reversing then that's something an attentive drive would see before they choose to cross the lanes. But B was not attentive, the only reason they crossed into the other lane was because they were traveling so fast and carelessly that they would have hit A otherwise. The collision that would have happened between B and A is what started this, with B being at fault. Then the accident continues with B finally colliding with C. If B was not speeding or tailgating then they were not paying attention and they could have killed someone. How do you tailgate a reversing car though. Wouldn't surprise me if B was on their phone when all this happened.

      •  

        Assuming

        That sums up your whole comment.

        •  

          C would have to have reversed pretty fast and suddenly for B to have started their lane change before C was even on the road.

          •  

            @AustriaBargain: Lol that wasn't an invitation to do more assuming.
            It's a free country though…

          •  

            @AustriaBargain: We know that there was parking on both sides of the road. It's quite possible that neither B nor C could see each other until moments before they collided (even at low speed).

            We don't have enough info to make assumptions such as the ones you're making.

            • +1 vote

              @OzJD: I guess it'll be one of the mystery of the ages, what really happened here.

  •  

    Was B indicating? If not, it is at fault. Otherwise C not giving away B that was indicating to use its lane.

    •  

      Hard to prove indicating without cam

  • +2 votes

    this is why I have parallel park phobia

  • +5 votes

    Car B is at fault. Regardless whether car C is coming out of a driveway or driving straight on the opposite direction, car B must always overtake only when safe.

    The fact that he had chosen to overtake in an unsafe manner by a) not waiting until car A is finished and b) crossing over to an opposing lane where he has to give way to all opposing cars including someone coming out of a driveway, means he's more at fault than car C.

    • +4 votes

      Car B doesn't have to give way to any cars not already on the road, i.e. Car C. Until Car C has wholly entered the road, they must give way to everything, no matter the direction.

      There's no evidence Car B did anything illegally. Even if they didn't indicate, Car C still needs to wait for the road to be clear.

      •  

        You say that but driving hazard guidelines say you should be constantly watching for people come out of roads/driveways because if Car C had enough time to fully get into the lane then it's Car B's fault just as much as an ordinary rear-end

        •  

          "but unfortunately, car C, does not expect car B coming from its left, seeing there is no car coming from its right, comes out from a driveway of the opposite way at the same time."

          The post suggests at best for car C, that car B and car C pull their manoeuvre at the same time. This indicates that car C has the obligation to enter only when safe.

  • +1 vote

    Just my opinion: B and C both at fault, and did not exercise proper care.
    B overtook when not safe. Accident could not have happened if B was in his own lane.
    C exited driveway when not safe. Should have been looking at where he was going, though to be fair a car popping out into his lane coming the wrong way would have been unexpected.
    Others mentioned speeds, and that would make a difference regarding who can avoid whom in practical terms. Dash cam footage may or may not help with this.
    Who wears it will depend on who was insured and how the insurer negotiates.

  •  

    OP, please also indicate where the damage on the car for both B and C as this will also be a determining factor of who had right of way

    •  

      I thought I have mentioned it, both car B and C have damaged their front bumper right corners.

      •  

        got pics? blur rego

      •  

        Deleted by commenter due to false assumption.

  •  

    First line is contradictory lol states to be a good and safe driver but then continues to say it's about the friend.
    Not sure why people insist on hiding behind that curtain, just own it.

    • +2 votes

      Revision history shows:

      "Not going to tell which one was my car to avoid bias."

      changed to

      "Not going to tell which one was my friend's car to avoid bias."

      Just an honest mistake I'm sure. Now if you'll excuse me it's my friend's lunch break and I^Hmy friend has to get some food sorted.

  •  

    If car B signal and cross the middle mark line first before car C made the turn then car C is the fault there. If car C already turning and car B over take the car A which resulted the accident with Car C, then car B is the fault there. The key is did car B signal, and overtake at what speed.

  • +3 votes

    Timing is critical here, who was overtaking /coming out of the drive first, B or C?

    Ideally, B should have hit A, but we instinctively focus on trying to avoid one accident before noticing the next.

    What would a self driving car do if it could simultaneously see both inevitable accidents? Which one would it sacrifice?

    • +2 votes

      Ideally, B should have hit A,

      stopped and waited until their lane was clear.

      That's what a self-driving car should be programmed to do.

    •  

      Self driving car would not have been in the situation to begin with as it would have slowed due to the traffic hazard of a car parking and then proceeded at a cautious speed thus not needing to suddenly swerve into an opposing lane.

  •  

    What state did this happen?

    Is it legal for a car exiting a driveway to enter directly into the inside lane of a two lane road?
    I was under the impression that when merging into a new direction of travel, you're supposed to enter into the closest lane (in this case being the outside lane)?

    If that's the case Car C is definitely at fault, as there is no way Car B (performing a legal overtake) can anticipate someone coming out of a driveway and across two lanes of traffic.

    • +3 votes

      I'm assuming that Car C is coming out of the driveway into the only lane, with the other stationary car there representing a parked car.

      Also if you're talking about anticipation, there's no way that car C can anticipate somebody driving against the flow of traffic to hit you head on.

      If you think about this scenario from both points of view, it's much more likely that Car B was the one not paying attention (driving at normal traffic speed so say ~60km/h) to not notice the car exiting the driveway. Car B is coming from a complete stop, so he would easily be able to stop if he saw that he was driving into an oncoming car (and therefore unless the guy was paying literally zero attention to what's in front of him, he could've avoided the crash).

      Hence the fact that a crash happened, to me would suggest that Car C wouldve already been in the process of exiting the driveway, before Car B tried to overtake.

      •  

        Completely valid argument as well. All depends on timing then!

    •  

      Cars were parked along both sides of the road.

      •  

        Cheers. So looks like Car C had no other option other than to go straight into the inside lane anyway. Hardly his fault then!

        Why so many votes for C?!? Parked car in front of him would have greatly limited his view in front. Got to be Car B's fault… unless it can be proved A 'forced him to the other side'?

        •  

          Because they're the most likely culprit, since OP has not given the timing of B & C's maneuvers.

    •  

      What state did this happen?

      I was pissed at the time officer

  •  

    Car C should have looked both ways, so most at fault.

    Car B should have been more patient and waited until safe to proceed.

  • +1 vote

    Car B is a f**kwit if he just be patient and let Car A finish parking the problem would be avoided. Car C is at fault as he or she need to check when entering the road.

  •  

    All of this should have and what happened before stuff aside.

    I would say C is at fault. You need to give way to flow of traffic, regardless of the direction it is coming.

    • -1 vote

      But B was on wrong side of road. In that lane, C has right of way!

      • +1 vote

        C is in drive way. Like a T intersection any traffic has right of way when you are coming to end of T intersection.

        •  

          unless C already completed the turn into road?

          •  

            @capslock janitor: then it would be full front on crash which it isn't. No ifs, no but what lead to this. Simply put, diagram would put C at fault.

  •  

    All cars at fault for not having dashcams

  •  

    All at fault, but it will be an insurance dispute between B and C which will win on some random basis.

  • +1 vote

    Just to put a twist and conspiracy theory here :

    If A and C are neighbors (assumption given they parked not far from each other), then there is a chance that they both agree that B is at fault for reckless driving …..
    (possibly at speed,….)