Who Is at Fault with This Highway Incident?

Hi everyone,

Just wanted to collect some opinions with regards to this incident.

For context, had an eager SUV (passes in the right lane following crash) behind so decided to return to the left lane as per 'left unless overtaking' rule.

Blue vehicle pulled out pretty much after I had four tyres into the left lane going about 10kmh while I was travelling at 95. The combined effort of me slamming the brakes and my vehicle's presence feature managed to significantly decrease the amount of damage. Might only need a new bonnet and front grill.

From my perspective I believe my response time was not too bad given I had just completed a head check before moving into the lane. Perhaps I made a poor assumption that the car would stick to the emergency lane to speed up before merging behind me?

Just looking for some insight from others whether I am in the clear.

And yes both vehicles have insurance.

ETA: There is indeed a give way sign there

Update 9/01/2021:

Just wanted to send thanks to all who've posted their perspectives here. While there does seem to be a clear majority of opinion in terms of driver at fault, I find myself agreeing with some individuals who believe I could have been driving more defensively. There definitely is a delay in the time it took for me to brake.

To be clear, there definitely was no distraction involved. On reflection, my view is that in the moment one of two things (or a combination) crossed my mind leading to me not slamming the brakes immediately as I saw the car start to move. And yes these are both poor assumptions that should not be made while driving.

  1. As this was an unfamiliar road, an assumption might have been made that there is a small on-ramp there for vehicles to get up to speed before merging and hence it would likely merge behind me.

  2. The vehicle would get up to speed within the emergency lane before getting on the actual freeway and, as above, merge behind me. Happy to be corrected but I would have suspected this might have been standard procedure where an on-ramp is not provided. I certainly did this when merging back on the freeway following the incident to head home.

However, I personally would still maintain that the blue should be found at fault. Regardless, this is a definitely a lesson learned for a younger driver like myself and possibly others who have followed this thread.

In terms of insurance, they seem tentatively confident that we are in the clear and there is no word on whether the other party is looking to dispute anything. Following the crash itself they also seemed to be somewhat accepting that they had made a mistake. Also I am absolutely thankful I had a dashcam installed as otherwise there really wouldn't have been a way to prove anything but I hit a car from behind.

P.S Those looking for an update for my previous post with Adam's debacle, I've updated it in the comments.

Comments

  • +129 votes

    Blue Yaris

      • +6 votes

        I had the understanding that that general rule applies where vehicles are already within lane and travelling and there is a rear end. Does this also apply where a vehicle pulls onto the freeway?

      • +19 votes

        Unfortunately, technically, no. It's the car that rear ends the one in front that's at fault. Should have assessed the hazard risk and slowed down suitably.

        If both cars had already entered the motorway then that rule applies, but blue car was entering so the onus is on them to ensure that the intersection is clear before doing so.

        • +2 votes

          but my indicator was on /s

  • +82 votes

    The blue car pulled out of a side street. The blue car did not give way!!!

    Blue car is at fault.

  • +31 votes

    I'm gonna say the Yaris because they didn't give way to traffic. You can see the Give way sign there and it's a 100km/hr road, pulling out with cars coming at you at 100km/hr is madness.

    I don't know which state you are in, but here are the rules for Victoria.

    https://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/safety-and-road-rules/road-r...

    Entering the traffic stream
    You must give way to all vehicles travelling on the road when you enter the traffic stream from a parked position, or through a break in a median strip.

    • +5 votes

      Also an observation, Yaris probably saw Cam on right lane and thought it was "safe", but they switched lanes during that split second for Yaris.

      Very often I see cars do the "sneaky" entry like that on highways, so I tend to lane change after the T junction, just personal thing. So many idiots out there I don't have time for.

      • +1 vote

        I recall learning to never pull out unless the lane you’re pulling into, AND the one next to it, are free, to avoid the chance of this happening.

        A practice I continue to employ everyday behind the wheel.

      • +5 votes

        True. But if the blue car gave way in the first place, then that also would have resulted in no accident.

        • +2 votes

          True, but at the same time, you are also meant to do all you reasonably can to avoid it. I don't think it shows that much was done (even if as you said there is a slight delay in the GPS).

          • +5 votes

            @bohn: It's not the same time. One happened before the other, which is why fault lies with the blue car.

          • +2 votes

            @bohn: Disagree, OP has responded in a reasonable amount of time. It's not like he took 5 seconds to respond to the Yaris, after all he's not an F1 driver.

    • +23 votes

      There's always a slight delay/lag on the dashcam GPS speed.

      You can clearly see the DC car brake about a car length before impact.

  • +13 votes

    Blue Car Yaris. Blindly trusted right lane not to change. Right lane is not meant to give way to side streets.

  •  

    Did you indicate your lane change?

    • +4 votes

      Yep the version with audio has clear sound of the indicator going for about 6 seconds before indicident.

      • +14 votes

        I'm going to guess the blue car saw you indicating and moving left, so incorrectly assumed you were going to magically turn left into the side street it was coming out of. Rookie error on their behalf.

      • +1 vote

        I'm interested to know - in this "audio" version, does it show that you used the horn at any stage?

        •  

          Yep approx 5 seconds in on this video is where my horn started.

          • -3 votes

            @Tekon: In hindsight, do you think it would've helped avoid a collision if you didn't blow the horn and focused on braking/evasive action? (By the time the car is in your lane, it's pointless blowing the horn since there's not really much they can do that's quick enough to get out of your way. It could even be counter-productive and cause a non-confident driver to freeze).

            From the relatively small collision, it seems that you really only needed to have braked a fraction of a second earlier or emergency braked and you might've been able to avoid contact altogether.

    • +56 votes

      Cars on the main road are not supposed to slow down for entering traffic…

      • -8 votes

        So.. full steam ahead then?

        • +20 votes

          No, obviously one should slow and try and avoid an accident where possible, fault or no fault.

          I was specifically referring to the previous comment of "the bule yaris didn't give you enough time to slow down"

          This should 100% not be a consideration for the blue car. They should only be looking for a safe gap to enter.

  • +2 votes

    Yaris failed to obey the give way sign and give way markings on the roadway. Debatable whether you actually "rear-ended" the Yaris or in fact hit his rear quarter panel. Their is no obligation to slow down to avoid the other car.
    Regardless, the primary cause of the accident is the failure of the Yaris driver to obey the give way signs.

  • +9 votes

    Poll required.

    Oh and blue car at fault. Case closed.

  • +21 votes

    Blue Yaris at fault. If you are entering a road and traffic has to brake for you, then you should not have entered, highway or no highway. So many people underestimate speed and overestimate their cars capabilities.

  • +4 votes

    Blue car.

    I'm so sorry this happened to you.

  • +7 votes

    Blue yaris, it entered the motorway when it was clearly unsafe to do so, ignore those citing the 'rear ender' rule as it's irrelevant here.

  • +2 votes

    Blue Yaris at fault

  • +2 votes

    Yaris. Poor judgement.

  • +3 votes

    Blue Yaris but I do think the response time is pretty slow, even if you are headchecking you should be done before moving into the lane.

    • +4 votes

      must get a record for world's longest head check.

  • +8 votes

    Lucky you had dash cam footage. Usually insurance companies would put the damage at the front of the vehicle as the one who is at fault. Assuming you got all their details?

    •  

      what dcam ya recommend

      • +1 vote

        Most of viofo's range is good. They all have capacitors afaik which are better in the Aussie heat.
        The A129 duo has front and rear cameras and has been on sale for less than $150.

      •  

        I have a brand called Apeman from Amazon. Imported in from the US. Pretty decent for a budget/mid range dash cam.

  • +3 votes

    Contributory negligence

    What is contributory negligence?

    Reductions to compensation apply if an injured person’s own actions contributed to the accident, such as failure to keep a proper lookout or driving at excessive speed. Contributory negligence applies in addition to statutory reductions.

    For example, all drivers are required to drive defensively. If the at-fault vehicle in an accident failed to stop at a stop sign, but the driver with right of way had enough time to avoid the accident by slowing down or braking, then that injured driver may be found to have also been negligent and contributed to the accident and their injuries.

    https://www.ctp.sa.gov.au/for-injured-people/how-to-settle/o...

    See the bold example there - driver breaks the law, doesn't stop at a stop sign, but, the other driver had enough time to avoid it by slowing down or braking. This is very similar to what has happened here. Not sure how insurance companies apply these principles to accidents.. but I am sure they would.

    OP may need to take some of the blame. 25%

    • +4 votes

      OP could have 100% avoided the accident and will be found at least partially at fault.

      • +10 votes

        I 100% disagree.

        • +1 vote

          So OP didn't have plenty of time to brake when he saw (or should have see) the blue car merging?

          • -3 votes

            @Hellfire: I see your argument and can see where in some cases contributory negligence could apply, but I still feel the blue car is 100% at fault in this case.

            Assigning any fault to the DC car I feel is almost like victim blaming…it's probably an extreme example, but it's like saying to a rape victim "you shouldn't have been out late at night by yourself and/or dressed so provocatively".

            •  

              @John Kimble: Highly offensive and poor analogy.

              • +1 vote

                @Hellfire: Highly offensive to who? Do you have a better one?

              • +4 votes

                @Hellfire: I didn't think it was a poor analogy. John Kimble did say it was an extreme example, and it was quite appropriate. If OP could've "100% avoided the accident…", then you also say to a rape victim he/she could've "100% avoided it by not being there".

                And no, OP didn't have plenty of time to brake when he saw the blue car merging, it's a 100km/hr road.

                It would be nice if you can elaborate when you make accusations of "highly offensive and poor analogy".

    • +23 votes

      OP is traveling 5kmph under the limit.

      OP looks like they hit at ~20kmph.

      I count 4 seconds from the Yaris moving forward until impact and 2.5 seconds before breaking. But we know the Yaris pulls out. OP was clearly breaking with 1.5 second of the Yaris clearly failing to give way. That is well below the response times roads are designed for. And that is my call. OP might have more faith in traffic and only decide this Yaris is behaving stupidly one second before clearly breaking.

      Further, most people are not trained to brake correctly and will start gently, which would not be clear in a low frame rate video like this. OP might have started breaking genitally one second after the Yaris moved forward and we would not be able to tell with out a video showing their brake lights.

      How is OP negligent???

      • +9 votes

        OP might have started breaking genitally….

        Breaking genitally..😫 that just sounds very very painful! 🤣

        •  

          and it might be dangerous to hardbrake IF there was a load in the back

          •  

            @capslock janitor: rule #1 of load restraint: never pack your car such that you need to "drive carefully"

      • +8 votes

        Op is very well endowed to press the brakes with his genitals during an emergency.

      • +3 votes

        Actually it appears that the OP is travelling 6-10 km/h above the speed limit - that section of the road is limited to 90 km/h. The limit sign is 350 meters (about 13 seconds) before the video starts.

    •  

      I agree OP definitely partially. Always takes two to tango. I was going to post the same thing probably yaris 75% and OP 25%…

  • +4 votes

    Lucky for the maggot you weren't the semi on the right lane…..

    A few years back I had someone pull the same move writing off my almost new Audi S5. Quickest insurance settlement I've had from the other party.

    • +3 votes

      They pulled in front forcing you to rear end them?

      • +2 votes

        Yes, I was doing 90KM/h in a 90 zone @ ~10pm, when the fool decided to make a left hand turn in my my lane.

        Luckily for me a police car drove by ~5 minutes later, stopped, tested both for alcohol, and find the other guy for driving with undue care.

        Accident occurred Thursday night, and I had the settlement money in my account Tuesday morning the following week.

        The insurance assessor who called to speak with me, said he had 5 pages worth of parts but decided to stop the process after the first page, and write off the car once he'd received the quote from Audi.

        •  

          lol @ the parts list and Audi quote. I hope it worked out ok for you.

  • +1 vote

    Well both parties could have prevented the incident. Blue car could have given way, or you could have slowed down when you saw the blue car merged into your line. Pointless to fight over what has happend. Lose-Lose situation for both parties.

    • +2 votes

      No it’s not
      Blue car clearly in the wrong
      If you are entering you must give way.

      • +1 vote

        That doesn't change anything. Even if you are in the right, you risk bodily harm, waste your time, and money (at least the excess). There are lots of idiots on the road. Its just best drive defensively to avoid any accident. It will still happen, but risk are lower.

  • +1 vote

    Doesn't matter what people say here in terms of who is at fault or not. Your insurance will determine who is at fault and act accordingly.

  • +6 votes

    Why does the dashcam car wait so long to brake? Why weren't they paying attention to idiots pulling out? Why did the Yaris pull out to start with? So many questions.

    • +1 vote

      He said he just changed lanes and also thought the yaris was going to stay on the shoulder before merging into his lane.

      • +11 votes

        You can see the Yaris pulling out a mile away. Why can't people into defensive driving?

        Edit - I'm not even attributing fault, just can't understand how 2 drivers couldn't use any sort of defensive driving between them.

        •  

          Why can't people into defensive driving?

          probably the same reasons one cannot always type well constructed sentences… laziness, reacting too quickly / too slowly, in their own thoughts, distractions etc

  • +2 votes

    Its a yaris, what do you expect LOL!!!

  • +9 votes

    I, on the 8th of January 2021, hereby declare the driver in the Yarris to be 100% liable for this accident.

  • +1 vote

    The blue yarris expected him to change lanes. why the expectation from a person coming from give way is beyond me

  • +3 votes

    Yarris is at fault however the impact was entirely avoidable had the OP been paying proper attention to the road in front. Basic defensive driving was certainly lacking here.

    Probably not the best place to change lanes but we all live and learn from our mistakes. Importantly no one was hurt, that's all that really matters.

    End of the day the blue cars insurer will be the one to pay up for this one.

  • +1 vote

    my only concern is if you spend that much money on a blackvue and probably couldn't get a single licence plate number out of the dash reflection then just buy a cheap sub $100 and get someone decent skill to install it for you

    • +1 vote

      BlackVue have a polarised filter to reduce the glare. But it's about $45.

  • +23 votes

    scary how many Muppets are justifying the yaris.

    •  

      Often it seems more like a popularity contest, not about what is or isn’t right or wrong.

    • +2 votes

      Victim blaming on the internet is pretty rife

    • +2 votes

      I don't think anyone is justifying the Yaris, they shouldn't have pulled out, especially so slowly, just saying that the entire thing could have been avoided with defensive driving from either party.

      Op even says he saw the Yaris but didn't think they'd pull out, so should have been watching for them to pull out, as people do stupid things every single day.

      • +1 vote

        OP also says

        Perhaps I made a poor assumption that the car would stick to the emergency lane to speed up before merging behind me?

        Some people have been suggesting that the OP was gently braking but it wasn't shown in the dashcam video - however, this comment makes it even clearer that the braking was not occurring earlier like they are suggesting. He wasn't braking and the accident wasn't avoided.

        • +2 votes

          Yep, you can see in the video how late he starts braking. Australia really needs tougher licencing and driver training. Never assume someone is going to do the right thing.

    •  

      Scary how many people are writing Yarris instead of Yaris.

  • +3 votes

    Yaris is at fault, but collision could've been avoided by either car. DC driver seems to have overestimated his vehicle's ability to stop quickly and left it too long before actually starting to brake. Doesn't look like it was an emergency brake either.