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sonicblue
12-05-2005, 02:13 PM
I'll keep this as short and as objective as possible:

I am driving one morning, approaching a traffic light, at which I am making a right turn. About 150 feet or so before the light, a second lane forms just for right turns. Just after the lines of that second line widen fully, there is a parking lot exit. There is no shoulder to speak of. A minivan is at the exit of the parking lot and attempting to make a LEFT turn. It appears someone in the "straight" lane has given her the appearance of leaving room for her to get through.

So, as I approach this whole thing, traffic is heavy. The "straight" lane is backed up, so I am forced to slow down for it before I can enter the RH turn lane. When I am to the point where that lane begins to form, I pull into it. With that, I can see that the light has turned green and the line is just beginning to move. I see that minivan and notice the driver is looking the OTHER direction (to her right). She isn't creeping forward at all. I am proceeding toward the traffic light, now going maybe 30-35 mph, both hands on the wheel and paying significant attention to the minivan.

When I am no more than a car length away, she lurches out. She didn't creep out, start and stop, or anything of the like. She just went. I hit the horn and the brakes but I was way too close and, IMO, impact was inevitable. I was headed right for the front left tire area. I "felt" an opening to my left (I think it was the gap being left by some 'samaritan' to let her through). I swerved into it and missed the minivan, but now, traffic still hadn't progressed enough, and an Explorer was stopped in the "straight" lane and I was headed right for it. My instinct was to snap the wheel back to the right but the minivan was now directly to the right of my car. If I just slung the wheel back hard right, I would just slam my passenger side doors right into the van. So, I just kept my sights on the front left corner of my car and did my best to JUST miss the Explorer.

It didn't work. I clipped the corner of its metal bumper right in my very corner of my car. The minivan was completely untouched. The Explorer had just a bit of panel damage to the rear. My car looked bad but no airbags deployed and it was driveable. However, because the lighting was all damaged, it went in for repairs immediately.

http://tishandtighe.20m.com/cgi-bin/i/TL/crash1.JPG

Now, to give you an idea: I was on the brakes the whole time, and I wasn't going very fast, but when I finally came to a stop (aided by the Explorer), the front of the minivan was by my REAR passenger door. If I had just tried to stay on the brakes and stay straight, there's absolutely NO WAY I would NOT have slammed her. Next time you're driving 35-ish mph, pick some point in the road. When you're about 15 feet from it, imagine a car pulling out from that spot.

Now, there's two schools of thought:
1) If you swerve and leave your lane, it's your fault. If someone pulls out in front of you, hit them.

2) Basically, non-#1 school. There are times when other people cause accidents. Just because you change the particular specifics of the incident doesn't make you at fault.

IMO, this woman's actions would have caused our two cars to collide T-bone style, activating my air bags, with my car potentially impacting her footwell-area. PLUS - and I saved this for last - my one year-old little girl and four year-old little boy were in the car with me. I NEVER - I'll say it again - NEVER will simply decide to impact another car for the sake of fault determination. I have no doubt that my actions eliminated damage and injury. The extent of which may be arguable, but you can't tell me a one-year-old wouldn't have suffered potential serious injury - even fully-buckled in her seat, as I and my son were as well - with a head-on impact at 20-25mph. As it is, the impact was barely detectable in the cabin, as my crumpled zone simply did just that - crumpled - and we came to a soft stop.

So, with that, I turn it over to actuaries. The poll is simple and unambiguous. Please vote.

MountainHawk
12-05-2005, 02:20 PM
Should have done this as a lot more options ... I'd put the fault at about 80/20 ... more the minivan's fault. Did the minvan person stay around for the police report? Do you have their name and insurance info?

Moe Szyslak
12-05-2005, 02:22 PM
Is there an unbiased witness?

sonicblue
12-05-2005, 02:24 PM
Should have done this as a lot more options ... I'd put the fault at about 80/20 ... more the minivan's fault. Did the minvan person stay around for the police report? Do you have their name and insurance info?
If you really believe 80/20, that's fine - vote middle. My options are genuine - either you believe it's all her, all me or other. My only question would then be, say the ins co does find 80/20 her, is my surcharge less than if fault is 50/50? I'd hate fault to have been found 99/1 but I still show this on my insurance record.


Police came, filed full report. I called my wife to come get the kids and take them to school and the old lady was apologizing profusely to my wife, so clearly she felt some fault. I felt no need to apologize, though I was completely cordial during the whole process.

I filed my claim and was adamant with my adjuster about how in control I believe I was of my car the entire time leading up to the accident and during. I was simply out of options. Biggest mistake: not finding a witness (ideally, the guy who was letting her through) or owning a cameraphone yet. Police issued no citation to me, though I can't believe that woman wouldn't get one for reckless driving. I mean, seriously, imagine closing your eyes and then just gunning through an intersection. That's essentially what she did.

Macavity
12-05-2005, 02:30 PM
Unless you can get the minivan driver to admit what she did, or you have witnesses who say there was no way you could have stopped in time, I'd think you'd shoulder the blame since you left your lane. It sucks because from your description she's totally at fault.

(I was an extremely similar situation when I got in my first accident, except I didn't have the luxury of a "straight lane" to my left, just on coming traffic. I sucked it up and plowed into her front left tire side. Thankfully other drivers came to my aid and gave statements saying the crazy woman pulled out just a few feet from me.

sonicblue
12-05-2005, 02:32 PM
Unless you can get the minivan driver to admit what she did, or you have witnesses who say there was no way you could have stopped in time, I'd think you'd shoulder the blame since you left your lane. It sucks because from your description she's totally at fault.

(I was an extremely similar situation when I got in my first accident, except I didn't have the luxury of a "straight lane" to my left, just on coming traffic. I sucked it up and plowed into her front left tire side. Thankfully other drivers came to my aid and gave statements saying the crazy woman pulled out just a few feet from me.
Thing is, I think the little old lady wanted to fess up to it, but I bet her ins co just silenced her. I've called my ins co and left a vm. I just assumed they would call me with the investigation results - instead, I just got my renewal with a surcharge! I'm curious to hear details of their investigation and whether or not they took a statement from her.

Maine-iac
12-05-2005, 02:33 PM
My brother once pulled out on a left turn and was broadsided by a car coming down the road. The accident was charged to him. The cop said the one who pulled into oncoming traffic is always considered at fault, even though in this case, the oncoming driver was traveling well over the speed limit and would never have hit bro had he been traveling anything close to the permissible speed. The cop would have said about 50/50 if that had been an option. Of course, he could have been talking through his hat. . .

Your case seems much more clear cut, so I'd think the mini-van gets the nod. They started the chain of events.

Did you see the police report? (If there was no police report, that was your first mistake . . . )

sonicblue
12-05-2005, 02:46 PM
My brother once pulled out on a left turn and was broadsided by a car coming down the road. The accident was charged to him. The cop said the one who pulled into oncoming traffic is always considered at fault, even though in this case, the oncoming driver was traveling well over the speed limit and would never have hit bro had he been traveling anything close to the permissible speed. The cop would have said about 50/50 if that had been an option. Of course, he could have been talking through his hat. . .

Your case seems much more clear cut, so I'd think the mini-van gets the nod. They started the chain of events.

Did you see the police report? (If there was no police report, that was your first mistake . . . )
In that case, the other person's speeding may or may not be the factor. See, it depends when your brother pulled out. If the other car was two feet away, it wouldn't matter how fast he was going, he couldn't stop that quickly. Yes, if he wasn't speeding, he would have been at a different point in the road, but - heck - if he had an itch on his foot before getting in his car at his house, maybe he wouldn't have been there. I would argue if he couldn't stop in time strictly because of his speed, then he'd be at fault. If your brother didn't give him enough reaction time regardless of speed, then it's on him.

In my case, I certainly wasn't speeding. I wasn't distracted. I was as attentive as I possible could have been and STILL couldn't avoid her, not even in a million years. That's why I think it's all her. Shoot, I'd fess if I had looked down, wasn't paying attention, something. It's because I was SO aware and - short of just coming to a stop because I "felt" she wasn't looking at me - there just wasn't anything for me to do.

There definitely was a police report, though I never saw it.

tommie frazier
12-05-2005, 03:15 PM
35mph entering an intersection with traffic backed up in the lane next to you and a driveway you are aware of with a vehicle trying to exit that you are aware is not looking at you? you had enough info to slow down to a lot less than 30-35mph.

the real moran is still the minivan driver, but your actions given the scene you describe lead me to vote sissy.

Moe Szyslak
12-05-2005, 03:20 PM
35mph entering an intersection with traffic backed up in the lane next to you and a driveway you are aware of with a vehicle trying to exit that you are aware is not looking at you? you had enough info to slow down to a lot less than 30-35mph.

the real moran is still the minivan driver, but your actions given the scene you describe lead me to vote sissy.
sounds like "failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident".

sonicblue
12-05-2005, 03:37 PM
35mph entering an intersection with traffic backed up in the lane next to you and a driveway you are aware of with a vehicle trying to exit that you are aware is not looking at you? you had enough info to slow down to a lot less than 30-35mph.

the real moran is still the minivan driver, but your actions given the scene you describe lead me to vote sissy.
Don't overblow the situation. "Backed up" was about a dozen cars - this isn't like I-Drive in Orlando or anything.

I was in a lane with the right of way (green light ahead) and she was in a parking lot, not a roadway. It's her responsibility to enter traffic when it's clear, not just enter and let everyone else make room for her. Besides, like I said above, I was so close when she finally pulled out, I would had to have been going like 10mph, maybe less, to stop in the distance she limited me to. I was watching her, I was maintaining my VERY reasonable speed, both hands on the wheel. Could I have kept slowing down? So, what if I slow down to absolute zero and she never comes into my lane, and someone whacks me from behind? Shouldn't they be upset that I inexplicably stopped in a lane of traffic with a green light? Could you imagine if every car just stopped every time they "sensed" someone may merge/enter their lane? It'd be chaos!

As I said above, yes, you could argue that IF I was going slower, I would have been farther away, but if I had one more sip of my morning coffee at home, I would have been even farther away. That's not valid, only to the extent a more reasonable speed would have aided my reaction and, like I said, about 10mph or slower would have been required, and I don't consider that reasonable, either.

badger
12-05-2005, 03:41 PM
Your case seems much more clear cut, so I'd think the mini-van gets the nod. They started the chain of events.
Except he left his lane and the minivan wasn't even touched. I would think it's rare that the driver of a car that never touched another car would be found at fault. Especially without witnesses.
I voted minivan in the poll because it's there fault IMO, but I'm guessing you'll be the one who has to pay (also I voted without reading the post).

Incredible Hulctuary
12-05-2005, 03:45 PM
The minivan driver is 100% at fault.

However, when such a driver isn't part of any collision, pinning any fault on them without having videotape will be terribly difficult.

I had a somewhat similar situation years ago when I swerved away to avoid somebody who lurched out into my lane. I ended up screeching off the road. Luckily I didn't hit anybody or anything, but if I did it would have been hard to prove the fault of the other driver.

So unless you see a way to swerve or brake and hit nothing, go ahead and hit the at-fault driver.

Apollywog
12-05-2005, 03:50 PM
I say the old lady is completely at fault.

But, imho, I don't think the insurance company is going to agree, given that there are no witnesses. Did you know if the police took into consideration of the position of the van or did you guys already move the cars to a non-traffic-blocking area? Because if the police saw the position of the van, then he can clearly judge that you tried to avoid the van and put that in the report for the insurance companies to decide. But if you guys already moved the cars while waiting for the police, the old lady could say anything (such as that all she saw was you deciding to leave your lane and hitting the Explorer) since her car was untouched at all... Do you know what she said to the police?

Apollywog
12-05-2005, 03:51 PM
I say the old lady is completely at fault.

But, imho, I don't think the insurance company is going to agree, given that there are no witnesses. Did you know if the police took into consideration of the position of the van or did you guys already move the cars to a non-traffic-blocking area? Because if the police saw the position of the van, then he can clearly judge that you tried to avoid the van and put that in the report for the insurance companies to decide. But if you guys already moved the cars while waiting for the police, the old lady could say anything (such as that all she saw was you deciding to leave your lane and hitting the Explorer) since her car was untouched at all... Do you know what she said to the police?

p.s. even if it was noted that you were trying to avoid the van hence crashed into the Explorer, I'm guessing the old lady will still not be responsible for the insurance since her car was untouched. So... imho again, I think you will have the biggest shaft.. :( sorry.

whisper
12-05-2005, 03:56 PM
All of the fault is going to come down upon the police report.

You rear-ended someone. Usually, fault is put upon the person who rear-ended the other car. Clearly, the woman who started the series of events that lead you to rear-end the other car is at fault. But, if the police report is silent on this or just notes your assertion without trying to see if it was true - you're at fault.

Expunge
12-05-2005, 03:58 PM
I went with the sissy option...

Your slowing more (30-35) seems a high rate of speed in a high traffic area approaching a traffic light with cars backed up and a parkinglot entrance in the arena as well. A typical residental speed limit is 25, the situation you were in sounds like you should have been atleast as careful as driving down a neighborhood street.

If you were going at a slower speed your evasive moves would likely have completely work.

sonicblue
12-05-2005, 03:59 PM
Well, here's the thing: this happened back in March and it's all in the books, apparently. My ins co provided no updates, just hit me with a surcharge. The minivan driver was this little old lady and I KNOW she felt at fault. I am curious what she said or if her ins co shut her up.

We moved the cars quickly because it is a pretty busy area and we were in a bad spot, but I certainly regret that. I wish I had my cameraphone!!! I'm not sure if she was found at-fault at all, I have a call to the adjuster to find out the conclusions (gee, you'd think I'd have been called!). I certainly agree with the idea that if she's completely untouched, who's to say what she did or whether she was two inches or twenty feet from impact. I suppose I put too much faith in people that she would step up and say, "I didn't look back left and just went, and when I looked, he was already swerving," or some such simple admission of guilt/statement of fact.

Maine-iac
12-05-2005, 04:02 PM
In that case, the other person's speeding may or may not be the factor. See, it depends when your brother pulled out. If the other car was two feet away, it wouldn't matter how fast he was going, he couldn't stop that quickly. Yes, if he wasn't speeding, he would have been at a different point in the road, but - heck - if he had an itch on his foot before getting in his car at his house, maybe he wouldn't have been there. I would argue if he couldn't stop in time strictly because of his speed, then he'd be at fault. If your brother didn't give him enough reaction time regardless of speed, then it's on him.

In my case, I certainly wasn't speeding. I wasn't distracted. I was as attentive as I possible could have been and STILL couldn't avoid her, not even in a million years. That's why I think it's all her. Shoot, I'd fess if I had looked down, wasn't paying attention, something. It's because I was SO aware and - short of just coming to a stop because I "felt" she wasn't looking at me - there just wasn't anything for me to do.

There definitely was a police report, though I never saw it.

The other guy was way the heck up the road when bro pulled out. If he'd been closer, bro would have been killed. He almost got past the guy, but not quite. But that's beside the point. :)

Ask to see the police report. What is written there will give you a very good idea of whether you can fight this or not. If there is no video of the accident, it's a matter of who said what at the time, which should all be recorded in a well written report. Pray for a well-written report. Especially if the driver of the mini-van said something to the cop along the lines of "it's all my fault" before her insurer shut her up.

DoctorNo
12-05-2005, 04:03 PM
Something very similar happened to me back when I was an undergraduate - I played the role of the minivan driver:

Turning left from a parking lot, a car was letting me into traffic, and as I was going into the lane, the car behind her went around her (to the left, over the double-yellow line) and broadsided me.

Legally, it was 100% my fault, even though the guy that hit me went across the median to hit me.

UNCORRELATED LAY
12-05-2005, 04:06 PM
I voted 100% your fault. As far as the insurance company is concerned, you ran into a stopped car.

And personally, I think you are at fault for not stopping when you saw that the accident had a good chance of happening. If you slowed down a bit before hand it would have been avoidable, and in the big scheme of things, isn't this the desired outcome.

At least that is how I would think if it was me or my wife in the accident. You always have to assume people are stupid and do stupid things.

I also think that it would have been nice of you to let the minivan pass you and make the left. Thus avoiding the whole incident.

Good luck.

UNCORRELATED LAY
12-05-2005, 04:10 PM
I suppose I put too much faith in people that she would step up and say, "I didn't look back left and just went, and when I looked, he was already swerving," or some such simple admission of guilt/statement of fact.
No offense, but you want her to admit guilt when you yourself won't admit guilt. You want her to be a good person when you couldn't take the 10 seconds to stop and let her in front of you?

I am sure that she has the same feelings as you do. Having faith in a stranger to actually slow down while entering a busy intersection. Or letting her pass as other courteous drivers have.

ShakeNBakes
12-05-2005, 04:18 PM
Except he left his lane and the minivan wasn't even touched. I would think it's rare that the driver of a car that never touched another car would be found at fault. Especially without witnesses.
I voted minivan in the poll because it's there fault IMO, but I'm guessing you'll be the one who has to pay (also I voted without reading the post).yes, I know you said "rare" and not "never" but here's an example anyways:

A friend of mine was approaching an intersection where he had a green light, and the speed limit is 80 km/h (hooray Canada). Some lady decided she had enough time to turn left in front of him (there is zero chance that there was enough time) Anyways, halfway through her left turn she realized she didn't have enough time and just stopped, directly in his path. He swerved hard to the right, hit the median of the other street and wound up hitting 2 other cars and totalling his own. The lady had no damage to her car and decided to just drive off. The police came, and they determined it was 100% her fault, gave her an "undue care and attention ticket" and a "leaving the scene of an accident" ticket. But then again, there were witnesses that corroborated (spelling?) his story, unlike sonicblue, which is probably why sb is going to get stuck with the insurance bill...

sonicblue
12-05-2005, 04:22 PM
No offense, but you want her to admit guilt when you yourself won't admit guilt. You want her to be a good person when you couldn't take the 10 seconds to stop and let her in front of you?

I am sure that she has the same feelings as you do. Having faith in a stranger to actually slow down while entering a busy intersection. Or letting her pass as other courteous drivers have.
Why should I stop in my lane of traffic WITH A GREEN LIGHT to let someone through? She wouldn't be stuck there until the dawn of time!! No offense back, but drivers that do what you're saying irritate the crap out of me. You want to try to pull out of a really difficult intersection? You figure out a way, I'm not going to disrupt the NORMAL flow of traffic so you can get out.

So, in the end, you really want my "vibe" to run the show? What if all drivers decide to act on things they "felt"? The bottom line is, I may have seen her ready to pull out (note, she was NOT in the road, creeping forward or showing any signs that she was going to move). It's only raw logic that she was at the driveway that tells me she was trying to come out. See my example above: what if I stop, she never comes into the road, and I get plowed from behind, and some maniac starts yelling at me for stopping in a lane of traffic because - ooh - I "thought" she might come out. C'mon.......

DoctorNo
12-05-2005, 04:24 PM
What if all drivers decide to act on things they "felt"?

Peeve: around here, most drivers seem to.

sonicblue
12-05-2005, 04:29 PM
I voted 100% your fault. As far as the insurance company is concerned, you ran into a stopped car.
I don't want what you think my ins co would say, I want informed, educated opinions, not what ins co's decide to minimize expenses and expedite payments.

And personally, I think you are at fault for not stopping when you saw that the accident had a good chance of happening.
C'mon, really??!?!?!

'Your honor, the minivan was at the parking lot exit and her head was turned the other way. THE OTHER WAY, for god's sakes!!! CLEARLY sonicblue should have known the odds were stacked against him and that she most definitely would pull out without ever looking his way. Thus, he should have just stopped his car and waited until no cars - stopped, moving or otherwise - were anywhere near him. It's the only safe way to proceed."

You can't go through life constantly thinking other drivers will do the most unpredictable things you can imagine. I could be side-by-side someone on a highway going 75mph. That person could simply merge in my lane at a moment's notice. What should I do? Go slower? And slower? Not allow ANYONE to be next to me on a highway? No, of course not. I can only be as attentive as possible, in control of my car and paying attention. So, what if he just wings it into my lane? I could let him hit me, yes. I may spin out and die! What if I just eek out of the way so he misses me but I scrape the median and scratch my car all up? My fault because I 'should have known' he'd come over? Absurd.

Look: my light was green, she was in a parking lot. She could plainly see the traffic light itself to know it was green. When that's the case, the traffic in front of way has a very defined RIGHT of way. When you're entering a flow of traffic, it is your duty - AND YOURS ALONE - to ensure that you enter it in a safe way. MY JOB, as someone in that flow, is to behave in a safe, legal and predictable fashion so as to allow other drivers to make judgments as to their behaviors. IF YOU NEVER LOOK MY WAY, there's nothing I can do.

SamTheEagle
12-05-2005, 04:32 PM
I don't want what you think my ins co would say, I want informed, educated opinions, not what ins co's decide to minimize expenses and expedite payments.


'Your honor, the minivan was at the parking lot exit and her head was turned the other way. THE OTHER WAY, for god's sakes!!! CLEARLY sonicblue should have known the odds were stacked against him and that she most definitely would pull out without ever looking his way. Thus, he should have just stopped his car and waited until no cars - stopped, moving or otherwise - were anywhere near him. It's the only safe way to proceed."

Look: my light was green, she was in a parking lot. She could plainly see the traffic light itself to know it was green. When that's the case, the traffic in front of way has a very defined RIGHT of way. When you're entering a flow of traffic, it is your duty - AND YOURS ALONE - to ensure that you enter it in a safe way. MY JOB, as someone in that flow, is to behave in a safe, legal and predictable fashion so as to allow other drivers to make judgments as to their behaviors. IF YOU NEVER LOOK MY WAY, there's nothing I can do.

Dude, calm down. You asked for opinions and he gave his to you.

sonicblue
12-05-2005, 04:34 PM
Dude, calm down. You asked for opinions and he gave his to you.
You should know, I may get animated about things, but I never get angry. When I have an opinion, I believe it trying to back it up. I hold nothing personally and I hope nothing of mine comes out as a personal attack.

tommie frazier
12-05-2005, 04:48 PM
I didn't say it was 50/50, or that you were totally to blame. It's way more like the minivan is 80% or so IMO responsible.

you saw a green light ahead-that doesn't mean you can ignore all the other factors that you apparently were aware of.

it does stink if she gets none of the blame officially. next time, knock that van into next week.

Apollywog
12-05-2005, 04:50 PM
I guess you question should have been whether in the insurance company's point of view, or in a moral point of view. The fact that the insurance company jacked up your premium meant you were at fault. Whether we think so or not is another matter.

As far as I'm concerned, while the lady on the "straight" lane was doing the old lady a courtesy by letting her in, she's also doing her hazardous bait because of EXACTLY what this can happen, especially if there are more than just 1 "straight" lane.

tommie frazier
12-05-2005, 04:50 PM
You can't go through life constantly thinking other drivers will do the most unpredictable things you can imagine.

also, you set the story as though it was absolutely predictable that she pulled out in front of you.because of this, people might be shading some of the "blame" your way.

I don;t see your blame being large at all, bc as I said, minvan driver is a moran. but this was avoidable to some degree.

sonicblue
12-05-2005, 04:51 PM
I didn't say it was 50/50, or that you were totally to blame. It's way more like the minivan is 80% or so IMO responsible.

you saw a green light ahead-that doesn't mean you can ignore all the other factors that you apparently were aware of.

it does stink if she gets none of the blame officially. next time, knock that van into next week.
I see what you mean - yes, with the help of hindsight I thought, "I had a feeling, I should have just stopped, I should have pulled a Bo Duke and 90'd into into the parking lot, etc..." And I didn't just say, "I've got green, move out the way!" There was nobody in front of me in my lane and a good ways to go to the corner of the intersection, so even if the light were red, I technically was well within my rights to continue at my speed up to the stop line.

Emily
12-05-2005, 04:52 PM
I wonder what the law is on this. Suppose AN accident is unavoidable, but in avoiding hitting the person at fault, you hit someone who is not at fault. I'm sure it would be difficult to prove that an even worse accident would have resulted had you simply hit the brakes and stayed in your lane, but suppose everyone accepts that. Is it even legal for the minivan driver to be 100% at fault for an accident between two other cars where you made an illegal lane change?

My guess is that you're partly at fault. You swerved without being certain if you could safely do so, and you assumed some risk.

sonicblue
12-05-2005, 04:53 PM
also, you set the story as though it was absolutely predictable that she pulled out in front of you.because of this, people might be shading some of the "blame" your way.

I don;t see your blame being large at all, bc as I said, minvan driver is a moran. but this was avoidable to some degree.
I think I'm jaded with hindsight and, although I don't believe it's a driving philosophy, in this case I wish I had 100% acted on that 1% of what my instinct was telling me.

Loner
12-05-2005, 04:56 PM
My brother once pulled out on a left turn and was broadsided by a car coming down the road. The accident was charged to him. The cop said the one who pulled into oncoming traffic is always considered at fault, even though in this case, the oncoming driver was traveling well over the speed limit and would never have hit bro had he been traveling anything close to the permissible speed. The cop would have said about 50/50 if that had been an option. Of course, he could have been talking through his hat. . .

Your case seems much more clear cut, so I'd think the mini-van gets the nod. They started the chain of events.

Did you see the police report? (If there was no police report, that was your first mistake . . . )

FYI, almost all new cars made today actually have "black boxes" in them. If you are ever in your brother's situation make note of that and get the data pulled. It can prove the person with the "Right of way" was breaking the law.

sonicblue
12-05-2005, 04:57 PM
I wonder what the law is on this. Suppose AN accident is unavoidable, but in avoiding hitting the person at fault, you hit someone who is not at fault. I'm sure it would be difficult to prove that an even worse accident would have resulted had you simply hit the brakes and stayed in your lane, but suppose everyone accepts that. Is it even legal for the minivan driver to be 100% at fault for an accident between two other cars where you made an illegal lane change?

My guess is that you're partly at fault. You swerved without being certain if you could safely do so, and you assumed some risk.
Say I wasn't there and she darts through my lane, through the straight lane, across to the other side, where (now) two lanes of traffic have crossed the intersection and are coming right toward her. I'm willing to guarantee that EVERY reaction, if "evasive," taken by those drivers would be technically illegal: unsafe braking, illegal lane change, etc... You're right, the question is: what started the chain and what were the, a) necessary reactions by others, and b) the unnecessary reactions.

If she pulled out just like she did but I was 50 feet away, clearly darting into another lane is an unreasonable reaction. So, this is a very fine-point situation, which is why I believe an investigation with a bit more teeth would have been done. I would have been fine with a 75/25 assessment, just something that says I wasn't as careless as she was.

Apollywog
12-05-2005, 05:05 PM
FYI, almost all new cars made today actually have "black boxes" in them. If you are ever in your brother's situation make note of that and get the data pulled. It can prove the person with the "Right of way" was breaking the law.

I was involved in an accident once where in a big intersection, I made a left turn. A car was coming straight towards the same direction, (completely speeding and running through a red light) that I turned into and even though it was a wide lane, there was really only enough room for 1 car. And so he ended up scraping the passenger side of my car from somewhere around the gas tank cover to the front corner.

When we were giving our stories to the police, I told the police that I saw from the rear mirror that he was coming at a great speed and since I was turning on a green light, he must have been speeding through a red light. The police said that was irrelevant and did not put that into the report. But luckily, the evidence of damage was enough to make me not at fault.

UNCORRELATED LAY
12-05-2005, 05:10 PM
Say I wasn't there and she darts through my lane, through the straight lane, across to the other side, where (now) two lanes of traffic have crossed the intersection and are coming right toward her. I'm willing to guarantee that EVERY reaction, if "evasive," taken by those drivers would be technically illegal: unsafe braking, illegal lane change, etc... You're right, the question is: what started the chain and what were the, a) necessary reactions by others, and b) the unnecessary reactions.

If she pulled out just like she did but I was 50 feet away, clearly darting into another lane is an unreasonable reaction. So, this is a very fine-point situation, which is why I believe an investigation with a bit more teeth would have been done. I would have been fine with a 75/25 assessment, just something that says I wasn't as careless as she was.
I assume the fact that she was looking to the right meant something (like she was looking at traffic coming from the other direction).

The minivan driver was led to believe that the right side of the street was stopping for her (by the other motorists decision) and was looking at the other side. The blame would legally transfer to the third motorist who acted as a traffic director (This actually happened to a relative of mine)

And I gave you my opinion. I think the Insurance company will find you in the wrong and If it was me, I would take 100% of the blame. I drive defensively and am corteous to other drivers. I think you were driving aggressively and are at fault on a big scheme of things.

I probably shouldn't make assumptions, but I do have a picture of you having to slow down to get to 35mph. And I question what the posted speed limit was. I also question whether you merged into the right lane before the law allowed you to. I see too many people cross the solid white line because they feel the lane is empty.

DoctorNo
12-05-2005, 05:13 PM
The minivan driver was led to believe that the right side of the street was stopping for her (by the other motorists decision) and was looking at the other side. The blame would legally transfer to the third motorist who acted as a traffic director (This actually happened to a relative of mine)

Not always. Particularly, not in my own case described above (where the blame stayed with me).

UNCORRELATED LAY
12-05-2005, 05:17 PM
I wonder what the law is on this. Suppose AN accident is unavoidable, but in avoiding hitting the person at fault, you hit someone who is not at fault. I'm sure it would be difficult to prove that an even worse accident would have resulted had you simply hit the brakes and stayed in your lane, but suppose everyone accepts that. Is it even legal for the minivan driver to be 100% at fault for an accident between two other cars where you made an illegal lane change?

My guess is that you're partly at fault. You swerved without being certain if you could safely do so, and you assumed some risk.
Every three years I religously take a defensive driving course. And they teach you that no accident is unavoidable. If you take responsibility for your own safety it is not that difficult to avoid accidents.

BTW, I know how I must be coming across (as a pig headed mightier than thou jerk-off). But I have been in accidents before and even caused some, until I learned that driving is a huge responsibility and any time you forget that accidents happen. My wife was in a head on collision (the other persons fault) but we both know if she was more aware the accident could have been avoided. She ended up suing for $15,000 and then dropped all of that into back surgery 5 years later. And now she has to live with residual pain and a scar for an accident she should have been able to avoid.

UNCORRELATED LAY
12-05-2005, 05:18 PM
Not always. Particularly, not in my own case described above (where the blame stayed with me).
good point. I guess we never know where the legal blame lies.

tommie frazier
12-05-2005, 05:20 PM
Every three years I religously take a defensive driving course. And they teach you that no accident is unavoidable. If you take responsibility for your own safety it is not that difficult to avoid accidents.

BTW, I know how I must be coming across (as a pig headed mightier than thou jerk-off). But I have been in accidents before and even caused some, until I learned that driving is a huge responsibility and any time you forget that accidents happen. My wife was in a head on collision (the other persons fault) but we both know if she was more aware the accident could have been avoided. She ended up suing for $15,000 and then dropped all of that into back surgery 5 years later. And now she has to live with residual pain and a scar for an accident she should have been able to avoid.

from your tone, can we assume you remind her of this every time she brings up the pain?

Emily
12-05-2005, 05:21 PM
I was involved in an accident once where in a big intersection, I made a left turn. A car was coming straight towards the same direction, (completely speeding and running through a red light) that I turned into and even though it was a wide lane, there was really only enough room for 1 car. And so he ended up scraping the passenger side of my car from somewhere around the gas tank cover to the front corner.

When we were giving our stories to the police, I told the police that I saw from the rear mirror that he was coming at a great speed and since I was turning on a green light, he must have been speeding through a red light. The police said that was irrelevant and did not put that into the report. But luckily, the evidence of damage was enough to make me not at fault.
I'm confused. He was coming from your right, and you are both trying to go to your left. It's irrelevant which of you had a green light? Perhaps it's the way you said it. You went through when it was green, and after you turned 90 degrees you saw him in your rear view mirror? What if the light had just changed, and he was at full speed, because he knew it was about to change. Had you seen him run a red light I think it would have been relevant. Had you seen him run a red light you should have insisted the officer ticket him for that and put you as a witness. Apparently the officer did not interpret your statement to mean you had seen him run a red light.

Loner
12-05-2005, 05:24 PM
I see too many people cross the solid white line because they feel the lane is empty.

This is my pet peeve. When I am merging onto a highway on my left and the jerk behind me crosses the sold line and then accelerates to cut me off.

Incredible Hulctuary
12-05-2005, 05:27 PM
Every three years I religously take a defensive driving course. And they teach you that no accident is unavoidable. If you take responsibility for your own safety it is not that difficult to avoid accidents.You're at an intersection, stationary, waiting for the light to turn green, with a car in front of you. Another car behind you is headed full speed into your back. The driver is drunk and hits the gas instead of the brakes. Avoid THAT!

sonicblue
12-05-2005, 05:27 PM
I assume the fact that she was looking to the right meant something (like she was looking at traffic coming from the other direction).

The minivan driver was led to believe that the right side of the street was stopping for her (by the other motorists decision) and was looking at the other side. The blame would legally transfer to the third motorist who acted as a traffic director (This actually happened to a relative of mine)

And I gave you my opinion. I think the Insurance company will find you in the wrong and If it was me, I would take 100% of the blame. I drive defensively and am corteous to other drivers. I think you were driving aggressively and are at fault on a big scheme of things.

I probably shouldn't make assumptions, but I do have a picture of you having to slow down to get to 35mph. And I question what the posted speed limit was. I also question whether you merged into the right lane before the law allowed you to. I see too many people cross the solid white line because they feel the lane is empty.
Your picture is a bit off. If anything, I had slowed so much with the backed up traffic, that once the RH turn lane was there, I had to speed up slightly to begin my approach to the corner. Once I was in that lane, it was then I noticed the minivan and leveled off my speed.

As far as who was stopping for whom, let me clear up. I was heading north, she was facing west. The stopped driver was also heading north. She needed to pass in front of me, the stopped driver, then turn left to head south. The southbound traffic on her right - that had just gotten their green light - couldn't have NEARLY seen her, nor could she see them. Remember, the light itself was about 100 feet farther up the road; plus, since traffic had really not quite gotten going, I'm not sure they could have even discerened whether or not an actual gap was being "held" for her or it was just one car in line not quite going yet. I'm telling you - she was making a very tough turn out of a tough spot at a bad time of day. My stopping was not the difference between her getting out and not; she had to get across my lane, the 'straight' lane, THEN hang a left and get into or ahead of the southbound traffic (which would have been going faster than the other lanes she was getting through AND had the least visibility of her).

As far as your other thoughts, honestly, I take some offense. You think I'm some TFATF rice-racer??!!? :lol: I'm a 32 y/o father of two, who were WITH ME in my nine-year-old Acura sedan. The speed limit on the road is 45mph and I guarantee that I not only slowed to well under that before getting in my turn lane, but that I waited until the line "funneled" out before getting in that lane. The lane is 100% formed by the time I got to that parking lot exit.

UNCORRELATED LAY
12-05-2005, 05:30 PM
from your tone, can we assume you remind her of this every time she brings up the pain?
No, but we have discussed this and she agrees with me. Now that we have children we are 10x more carefull of drivers than ever before. Sometimes it is very easy to discern what other drivers intend to do, staying out of their way is fairly easy.

sonicblue
12-05-2005, 05:33 PM
This is my pet peeve. When I am merging onto a highway on my left and the jerk behind me crosses the sold line and then accelerates to cut me off.
I agree, 100%. LAY: I'm glad you're defensive, but just because you follow such a strict code, don't assume there are just the two worlds of "defensive" and "offensive." I believe there is such thing as "too defensive." I take pride in my awareness and, too, believe that you can keep yourself out of "trouble" situations. That's why I take offense to my ins co just simply declaring "your fault" and moving on so quickly.

UNCORRELATED LAY
12-05-2005, 05:37 PM
Your picture is a bit off. I was heading north, she was facing west. The stopped driver was also heading north. She needed to pass in front of me, the stopped driver, then turn left to head south. The southbound traffic - that had just gotten their green light - couldn't have NEARLY seen her. Remember, the light itself was about 100 feet farther up the road; plus, since traffic had really not quite gotten going, I'm not sure they could have even discerened whether or not an actual gap was being "held" for her or it was just one car in line not quite going yet. I'm telling you - she was making a very tough turn out of a tough spot at a bad time of day. My stopping was not the difference between her getting out and not; she had to get across my lane, the 'straight' lane, THEN hang a left and get into or ahead of the southbound traffic (which would have been going faster than the other lanes she was getting through AND had the least visibility of her).

As far as your other thoughts, honestly, I take some offense. You think I'm some TFATF rice-racer??!!? :lol: I'm a 32 y/o father of two, who were WITH ME in my nine-year-old Acura sedan. The speed limit on the road is 45mph and I guarantee that I not only slowed to well under that before getting in my turn lane, but that I waited until the line "funneled" out before getting in that lane. The lane is 100% formed by the time I got to that parking lot exit.
Now that we have actual directions. I imagined that she was looking right to see the southbound lane. When she felt it was safe on that side she proceeded (assuming her side "north" would still be stopped for her)

I have no idea what a TFATF rice-racer is. And I don't think bad things of you, I just want to point out that this was avoidable from your point and because of that reason it essentially falls on your shoulders. Yes, the minivan was in the wrong, but that doesn't make your actions right. I didn't mean to imply that you were speeding when you hit someone, just that I imagine you slowed down from an illegal speed to 35, which would make you feel like you slowed to a reasonable rate. If cars are stopped on your left, I don't think anything over 20mph would be reasonable.

UNCORRELATED LAY
12-05-2005, 05:41 PM
I agree, 100%. LAY: I'm glad you're defensive, but just because you follow such a strict code, don't assume there are just the two worlds of "defensive" and "offensive." I believe there is such thing as "too defensive." I take pride in my awareness and, too, believe that you can keep yourself out of "trouble" situations. That's why I take offense to my ins co just simply declaring "your fault" and moving on so quickly.
Your insurance company has no reason to believe otherwise. An accident with no proof of not being your fault is 100% your fault. The have no reason to believe innocence until proven guilt. In fact that would be poor business practice for them.

I also believe that studies show that certain people are prone to accidents regardless of fault. The Insurance company wants to make money off of you and takes all of this into account.

UNCORRELATED LAY
12-05-2005, 05:43 PM
I agree, 100%. LAY: I'm glad you're defensive, but just because you follow such a strict code, don't assume there are just the two worlds of "defensive" and "offensive." I believe there is such thing as "too defensive." I take pride in my awareness and, too, believe that you can keep yourself out of "trouble" situations. That's why I take offense to my ins co just simply declaring "your fault" and moving on so quickly.
I should have said this before. If this is a random event, then don't sweat it. Three years from now your insurance will go back to normal.

My wife (the former accident prone one) will contest that her insurance went back to normal after three years.

DoctorNo
12-05-2005, 05:43 PM
TFATF

"The Fast and The Furious"?

(Disclaimer: I'm just guessing, too.)

Incredible Hulctuary
12-05-2005, 07:44 PM
My wife (the former accident prone one) will contest that her insurance went back to normal after three years.Contest? Or attest?

LoneGirl
12-05-2005, 08:08 PM
No offense, but you want her to admit guilt when you yourself won't admit guilt. You want her to be a good person when you couldn't take the 10 seconds to stop and let her in front of you?

I am sure that she has the same feelings as you do. Having faith in a stranger to actually slow down while entering a busy intersection. Or letting her pass as other courteous drivers have.

If he had stopped and let her in front of him, that is just a bigger accident waiting to happen. If someone was coming behind him, and not paying attention to the fact that he was stopped because the light was green, they would have slammed into the back of his car. That would have potentially seriously injured his children too. I think most people pay more attention to the light than to the car in front of them, so I would never stop on a green light just to be courteous and let someone in. I vote that it's the minivan's fault.

UNCORRELATED LAY
12-05-2005, 08:08 PM
Contest? Or attest?attest and confirm
Contest

sonicblue
12-05-2005, 08:44 PM
If he had stopped and let her in front of him, that is just a bigger accident waiting to happen. If someone was coming behind him, and not paying attention to the fact that he was stopped because the light was green, they would have slammed into the back of his car. That would have potentially seriously injured his children too. I think most people pay more attention to the light than to the car in front of them, so I would never stop on a green light just to be courteous and let someone in. I vote that it's the minivan's fault.
Well put. The point of, I could have just stopped and waited for all "suspicious" activity around me to subside is definitely the call of the defensive driver. However, like you said, now I'm just one more person disrupting "normal" flow. Let's go back to basics: what are you SUPPOSED to do? On green, you go. When it's not clear, you don't go. I had green, she didn't have clear.

If the light had just turned red then, yes, I may have just stopped earlier than the intersection to let her go. When traffic is just starting up again is NOT the time to stop traffic and it wasn't time for me to stop.

Let me assure everyone once and for all, I was at no time out of a marked lane nor was I going faster than the speed limit at ANY time.

Animal
12-05-2005, 10:31 PM
Next time you see a driver who doesn't see you, and may get in your way, you should honk your horn.

Incredible Hulctuary
12-06-2005, 07:45 AM
I still think the minivan driver is at fault, as the minivan driver went out onto the road and did not have right of way (of course, you're probably SOL if trying to prove it).

However, by all indications, the accident was avoidable. You saw and sensed that the driver was going to do something stupid, and could have braked soon enough to stop, or at least enough to result in an equally minor accident that would have resulted in the minivan driver being obviously at fault.

It is ridiculous to think that all accidents are avoidable. However, many can be avoided if you take the view that most drivers fall into one of three categories -- morons, morans, and marons. Over the years I've developed a sixth sense for when another driver is going to do something stupid, and so I am able to react well ahead of time. Like most experienced drivers, you probably have that sense too... you had a sense for what the minivan driver was going to do, but didn't take action based on what you sensed.

Frenchie
12-06-2005, 08:54 AM
Why should I stop in my lane of traffic WITH A GREEN LIGHT to let someone through?
Try using that argument in court. Yes, she may have used bad judgment, may even break a law, but if you fail to try and prevent an accident, that's on you. I'm not making any comments about your specific incident, just the flaw in this part of your argument.

CAPTAIN_MORGAN
12-06-2005, 10:22 AM
THE SITUATION COULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED IF:

1) THE "SAMARITAN" DIDN'T STOP TO LET THE MINIVAN THROUGH,

2) THE MINIVAN DRIVER HAD LOOKED RIGHT, THEN LEFT, THEN RIGHT AGAIN (INSTEAD OF JUST LEFT, toward, THEN RIGHT, away, THEN GO)

3) YOU HAD BEEN DRIVING SLOWER UPON APPROACHING THIS SCENE. TO BE HONEST, I AGREE SUBJECTIVELY THAT YOU AREN'T TO BLAME, BUT YOU SAY "I SAW THE DRIVER OF THE MINIVAN - THEY WEREN'T EVEN LOOKING IN MY DIRECTION... AND THEN THEY WENT." TO ME, IN YOUR MIND, YOU WERE PAYING TOO MUCH ATTENTION TO THAT PERSON TO CLAIM THEY "BLIND-SIDED" YOU. THEIR ACTIONS TOOK YOU BY SURPRISE, BUT YOU KNEW THEY WERE THERE, AND HAD SOME IDEA WHAT THEY MIGHT HAVE BEEN CONTEMPLATING...

ANYWAY, I'VE SEEN THIS TYPE OF ACCIDENT MANY TIMES. THE MOST FRUSTRATION USUALLY IS DIRECTED AT THE "SAMARITAN," AND USUALLY IT'S THE SHMO THAT PULLS INTO THE TRAFFIC THAT GETS HIT AND PINNED WITH THE BLAME. MORAL OF THE STORY - SAMARITAN'S CAN'T BE TRUSTED. DON'T BE THAT GUY.

SORRY YOU GOT HOSED; IF YOU HAD HIT THE MINIVAN, YOU'D NOT BE AT FAULT. BEING THAT YOU VALIANTLY AVOIDED THE MINIVAN AND WOUND UP PARTIALLY REAR-ENDING ANOTHER ENTIRELY GUILTLESS PARTY MAKES YOU TECHNICALLY AT FAULT. IT IS WHAT IT IS - JUST BAD LUCK, I GUESS.

sonicblue
12-06-2005, 12:26 PM
I agree with everyone's thought that, yes, I had a "feeling." However, honestly, this is what I truly "envisioned" may happen ahead of me:

Drivers can't be looking both ways at the same time, so a driver in her situation WILL, at some point, be looking away from me, so that's not de facto reason for alarm. Drivers often have a tendency to "creep" while trying to get out. What I REALLY thought would happen was, while looking the other way and perhaps seeing some "opening," she would creep out a bit subconsciously, then look back left before finally going full bore. I was prepared to have to maybe beep at her, slide a bit left (not so far as to enter the other lane) and go around her.

HOWEVER, what she did was TOTALLY unexpected. I did NOT expect her NEVER to look back in my direction AND, not "creep," but just "go" and nearly block my lane entirely. Therefore, I WAS prepared for what I "sensed" would happen and believe it was unrealistic to have expected what actually happened.

Her ultimate action, IMO, is one of those things you simply can't prepare for. As I said before, I don't believe you can drive always expecting another vehicle to just pull the most out of the blue move. Imagine driving in traffic and NEVER being in another vehicle's blind spot. I do my best to do so, but when a highway's packed, if I consider that priority #1, I would be changing my speed and my lane way too often to be considered "driving safely."

lawfi5h
12-06-2005, 12:32 PM
ANother consideration...but this law varies by state.

If the guy in the "straight lane" waved the minivan on, he can be held at fault.

I remember this distinctly from my "learn to drive" courses. In ohio, if you wave someone on where they might otherwise not have the right of way, and that causes them to get in an accident, you (the waver) are at fault.

But without a witness, it would be moot anyway.

Eaglet82
12-06-2005, 12:47 PM
As I have been told by many people with regards to accidents, if you are moving, some amount of the blame will be cast on you. The only person without blame is the one who was not moving. (i.e. the Explorer) There are circumstances surrounding the situation that will lead to some of the blame being placed on you.

That being said, depending upon the state laws and the insurance company, you will probably be charged with an accident. If this is a once in a lifetime type deal, the company may also have accident forgiveness where you will not get surcharged.

Incredible Hulctuary
12-06-2005, 01:26 PM
HOWEVER, what she did was TOTALLY unexpected.You expected her to act sensibly. Learn to expect stupidity, and those actions won't be so unexpected.

sonicblue
12-06-2005, 02:06 PM
You expected her to act sensibly. Learn to expect stupidity, and those actions won't be so unexpected.
I try to be aware of situations but - I repeat - you simply can't drive around thinking that each car around you could, at any time, do the dumbest thing you can think of.

llcooljabe
12-06-2005, 02:28 PM
without reading all the contributions above carefully, it has been my experience that cops usually fault the guy pulling onto the road. Just like if someone stops short and you rear end him, you usually get a following too close ticket.

The reason I say this is a friend of mine was in a similar situation. He was the one pulling out, the cop charged him and said that it wouldn't matter if the car on the street was going 150 mph, if you pull out in front of him, you're at fault.

So I voted minivan.

Caveat: The above opinions are based on Ontario experience. I'm not sure how American jurisdictions handle it.

Alto Reed on a Tenor Sax
12-06-2005, 02:38 PM
I try to be aware of situations but - I repeat - you simply can't drive around thinking that each car around you could, at any time, do the dumbest thing you can think of.


Sure you can. I just think, "I'm pretty dumb, and I pass actuarial exams. Imagine how dumb everybody ELSE must be!"

Seriously, I do expect a lot of stupidity. Some people are not stupid at all. Some people are more than stupid, they are downright CRAZY. So if I expect moderate stupidity from everyone, I figure it evens out.

BTW, I am a licensed claims adjuster in a pure comparative state (meaning in my state I can assign exact liability percentages, based on just how "at-fault" you are), and I will tell you that if I had this claim, nine times out of ten I would put 100% of the liability on you. I'm speaking from a claims standpoint, not from a "moral" standpoint, there are some subtle differences. If I called the minivan driver and got her on tape saying that she pulled out in front of you, I would still be putting only 25-50% (at most) on her, with the balance falling on you. And even if I did assign her partial liability, I can guarantee that HER carrier would deny ALL liability when I went to subrogate.

Again, I'm not saying that's the right answer, as to who should feel more responsible for the accident. But I have had enough similar claims to know how this one will be decided.

Incredible Hulctuary
12-06-2005, 03:32 PM
I try to be aware of situations but - I repeat - you simply can't drive around thinking that each car around you could, at any time, do the dumbest thing you can think of.You don't have to expect the highest extremes of stupidity -- there is a predictable level of stupidity that can be expected. You actually predicted her stupidity, but then mistakenly gave her undeserved credit for having a brain.

Next time you're driving, try to predict stupid behaviors when you sense them. Over time you'll be surprised at how much you can predict.

Wolverine
12-06-2005, 03:42 PM
My situation differed some in that it was on snow-slick roads and the individual slid out in front of me from a side street. By braking and steering I was able to avoid hitting him (just a curb and snow bank), but ended up diagonal across the two lanes going in the same direction that I was going originally. When I came to rest an s-10 pick-up t-boned me in my little Saturn on the driver's side front wheel totalling my car. The individual (late teen male driver) that slid out in front of me stayed until the cop showed up and admitted fault.

Later that month I got onto our claims system and noticed that the accident was noted as an at-fault accident. I questioned the claims staff and they noted that the code entered on the police report noted that it was an at-fault accident. The name and phone number of the teen was on the report and the claims individual called him and he repeated that he was at fault and the accident was taken off my insurance record.

On a side note, I was very impressed by the young man's maturity at not only admitting fault, but he also followed me the rest of the way home (only 3/4 of a mile, but still) to make sure that I could get my car home safely.

Never hurts to talk to the staff at your insurance company.

sonicblue
12-06-2005, 08:03 PM
THIS JUST IN: I finally got someone at my ins co. Took some poking before they told me, oh so casually, THE POLICE NEVER FILED THE REPORT!!! You think they may have tried just a bit harder to discover why an officer (whose phone # I gave them) didn't file the report (the reference # for which I ALSO gave them)! They took the basic facts - one car untouched, one car hitting the back of another - and declared fault.

BTW, ARoTS, I can completely see how someone could assign me fault WITHOUT knowing the details. I just can't accept that I should have foreseen an abrupt, sudden intrusion into and covering my lane and taken pre-emptive actions based on some "squirrelly" foreshadowers. And I definitely refuse to believe the "just hit her so fault is clear" technique. Yeah, I'll cause three times as much damage so an adjuster doesn't have to spend two more hours figuring out what happened.

Incredible Hulctuary
12-06-2005, 09:54 PM
Without witnesses or videotape, or admission of fault by the other driver, they're going to assign the fault to you. There's no getting away from that unless you can produce the evidence. When you're in an accident, for insurance purposes it's guilty until proven innocent.

sonicblue
12-07-2005, 09:46 AM
How about a police officer who - potentially - had the old woman say to him, "I didn't look back his direction and just pulled right out in front of him"???

Maine-iac
12-07-2005, 09:50 AM
I would think this would act fairly strongly in your favor. IF there is a report. (There are reasons why lawyers and insurers tell you NOT to say stuff like that.)

Time to do some legwork and find out what happened to the report.

Eaglet82
12-07-2005, 10:23 AM
Well put. The point of, I could have just stopped and waited for all "suspicious" activity around me to subside is definitely the call of the defensive driver. However, like you said, now I'm just one more person disrupting "normal" flow. Let's go back to basics: what are you SUPPOSED to do? On green, you go. When it's not clear, you don't go. I had green, she didn't have clear.

If the light had just turned red then, yes, I may have just stopped earlier than the intersection to let her go. When traffic is just starting up again is NOT the time to stop traffic and it wasn't time for me to stop.

Let me assure everyone once and for all, I was at no time out of a marked lane nor was I going faster than the speed limit at ANY time.

Next time take a little more defensive approach to the situation instead of the caveman approach: GREEN LIGHT, GO!, RED LIGHT, STOP!

Your children and everyone else around you will [be able to] thank you later for it.

Expunge
12-07-2005, 10:36 AM
THIS JUST IN: I finally got someone at my ins co. Took some poking before they told me, oh so casually, THE POLICE NEVER FILED THE REPORT!!! You think they may have tried just a bit harder to discover why an officer (whose phone # I gave them) didn't file the report (the reference # for which I ALSO gave them)! They took the basic facts - one car untouched, one car hitting the back of another - and declared fault.

BTW, ARoTS, I can completely see how someone could assign me fault WITHOUT knowing the details. I just can't accept that I should have foreseen an abrupt, sudden intrusion into and covering my lane and taken pre-emptive actions based on some "squirrelly" foreshadowers. And I definitely refuse to believe the "just hit her so fault is clear" technique. Yeah, I'll cause three times as much damage so an adjuster doesn't have to spend two more hours figuring out what happened.

If you approach the same intersection and conditions today would you change anything? Slow down just a couple more miles an hour?

From the ins co's point of view i'm not so sure i can blame them for their actions. with what sounds like only 2 cars damaged one being rear ended they assign blame pay the small bills and move on. Accidents happen all the time, imagine the increased cost of alae if they had an adjuster spend an additional 2 hours of work on every claim.

Work with the ins co, call the police and get a copy of the report. If the report contains the evidence that supports your case pass it along to the company and ask for the surcharge to be removed.

From the ins cos point of view its better not to spend 2 extra hours on every claim when they can spend 3 or 4 extra hours on the few times someone calls and complains.

CAPTAIN_MORGAN
12-07-2005, 10:40 AM
I THINK YOU ARE RELYING TOO MUCH ON THE GUILT THE MINIVAN DRIVER FELT. I DON'T DISAGREE THAT THEY DID A SILLY SILLY THING, BUT... WHAT *ALSO* SHOULD HAVE BEEN A TIP-OFF TO YOU WAS THE "SAMARITAN." YOU SAW THAT GUY STOPPED (NOT TURNING, NOT MOVING, NOT ANYTHING). I'D IMAGINE THAT GUY WAS ACTIVELY WAVING THE MINIVAN ON. SO YES, IT WAS DUMB, BUT ONE OF SEVERAL SIGNS TO SLOW DOWN AND BE CAUTIOUS.

IF I DROVE LIKE YOU IN THE CITY I LIVE, I WOULD HAVE KILLED AT LEAST ONE PERSON IN MY LIFE - IT WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN MY FAULT AT ALL, OF COURSE, AND I WOULD TOTALLY FLIP OUT IF MY INSURANCE WENT UP AS A RESULT

DRIVING 30+ NEAR AN INTERSECTION (WHERE AT LEAST ONE OF THE LANES IS BACKED UP) IS ASKING FOR TROUBLE

sonicblue
12-07-2005, 11:03 AM
Next time take a little more defensive approach to the situation instead of the caveman approach: GREEN LIGHT, GO!, RED LIGHT, STOP!

Your children and everyone else around you will [be able to] thank you later for it.
Wow, what an ignorant thing to say.

sonicblue
12-07-2005, 11:07 AM
If you approach the same intersection and conditions today would you change anything? Slow down just a couple more miles an hour?
As a matter of fact, I do pay more attention in all situations that remind me of this. Do I stop in the road in fear? No. I do the same thing - hands on wheel, maintain speed, maybe even hover my foot over the brake. But, frankly, if someone pulled out in front of me again as she did, and my kids were in the car, I still would tell you that contact is unavoidable and I would not just plow ahead if there seemed a way to avoid it. Say it with me: some accidents are not avoidable.

Go to a parking lot and sit by the exit to the road. Don't creep, roll, start/stop, just sit there. When a car is coming from your left, with a green light, and they're 15 feet away, imagine just going and driving straight across his lane. Now tell me he should have avoided contact with you. And tell me that what you did is anything short of inherently dangerous.

From the ins co's point of view i'm not so sure i can blame them for their actions. with what sounds like only 2 cars damaged one being rear ended they assign blame pay the small bills and move on. Accidents happen all the time, imagine the increased cost of alae if they had an adjuster spend an additional 2 hours of work on every claim.
Small bills? It cost $4,000 to fix my car, and I assume the Explorer cost fell on them. What's two hours of expense to recover that amount?

From the ins cos point of view its better not to spend 2 extra hours on every claim when they can spend 3 or 4 extra hours on the few times someone calls and complains.
Well, it's called "bad faith" when my record is dinged simply because they didn't feel like investigating. It's their job to make sure they know the facts. They very specifically are NOT allowed just to take the path of least resistance for themselves.

sonicblue
12-07-2005, 11:20 AM
YOU SAW THAT GUY STOPPED (NOT TURNING, NOT MOVING, NOT ANYTHING).
I realize it sounded like I saw him BEFORE all of this. I did not. I only deduced afterwards based on hindsight. Even though the light was green, it had just turned and the lane was only the beginning to exhibit any movement. Frankly, I didn't notice him at all, don't even remember the type of car. But, whether he was letting her go or simply finishing his sip of coffee before proceeding would have been indetectable at that point. If the rest of the lane in front of the samaritan had progressed so much to the point I should have noticed, then the Explorer wouldn't have been there for me to contact.

[b]DRIVING 30+ NEAR AN INTERSECTION (WHERE AT LEAST ONE OF THE LANES IS BACKED UP) IS ASKING FOR TROUBLE
I still think you're picturing the intersection differently. I was still about 100 feet from the actual intersection. There were only two lanes - the straight lane and the RH turn lane. The straight lane was not "jampacked" to the next town, it's just that it was backed up to where the RH turn lane starts. Maybe it was about 15 cars long. The RH turn lane was EMPTY.

This was the suburbs, man. I've seen the intersection like this a hundred times. It gets backed up only as long as it takes for one cycle of the traffic lights, then it clears up. I can't believe people just keep saying, "drive slower" and how LAY is convinced I was barrelling up the shoulder and had to slow down. For god's sake, I was in no hurry, my car is no rocket and I'm no newly-licensed teen. I was 'slunkin' along my merry way.

I suggest you all take notice next time you're out, pick a car out there and tell yourself you're 100% ready for anything it might do. Then make sure you're 100% ready for that other car, too.......

Eaglet82
12-07-2005, 11:22 AM
Wow, what an ignorant thing to say.

The fact of the matter is there were signs all around you that something was about to happen and you didn't slow down to prepare yourself. When you see another car allowing another car out, you know that car could possibly be coming out.

sonicblue
12-07-2005, 11:24 AM
The fact of the matter is there were signs all around you that something was about to happen and you didn't slow down to prepare yourself. When you see another car allowing another car out, you know that car could possibly be coming out.
Name "all the signs";

1) See above. I did NOT see the 'samaritan' beforehand; I only figured it after everything had happened. Traffic in the other lane had not moved enough for that gap to be obvious yet.

2) A woman pulling out of a parking lot not looking my way? Well, can you look both directions at once? At some point, she's going to be looking away from me, so that's not de facto an "alarm."

3) Do you call 10-15mph BELOW the speed limit slowing down? Or should I have just stopped?

sonicblue
12-07-2005, 11:35 AM
Next time take a little more defensive approach to the situation instead of the caveman approach: GREEN LIGHT, GO!, RED LIGHT, STOP!

Your children and everyone else around you will [be able to] thank you later for it.
Let me say something again here: I didn't say my "caveman" logic was the end. It was simply a "back to basics" statement. I had stated several times the "defensive" actions I had taken. Could I have done more? Yes, I could have just stopped completely, fearing she would come out (though the only sign I had that she would do so was her mere physical location at the exit of a parking lot). Absolute defensiveness would tell you never to get in a car.

The default in this situation is, who inherently has right of way, and then what happened to disrupt it. The initial situation was that I was completely within my rights to be where I was, and she was required to use good judgment to go where she wanted to go.

Want proof that not every accident is avoidable? Go out and cause an accident. You know you could. You could easily - without necessarily driving the wrong way down a street, or jumping a curb - within the "reasonable" bounds of driving, easily go out and cause cars to collide, either with you or with each other. Now imagine you were the other drivers and tell me what they could have done.

1695814
12-07-2005, 11:48 AM
Want proof that not every accident is avoidable? Go out and cause an accident.Is this a homework assignment? Is there any chance for extra credit? ;-)

CAPTAIN_MORGAN
12-07-2005, 11:48 AM
Wow, what an ignorant thing to say.

THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS YOU ASKED AN OPINION; YOU GOT ONE. I LIVE IN A CITY WHERE EVERYONE SUCKS AT DRIVING. I DIDN'T KNOW WHAT "BAD DRIVING" WAS UNTIL I LEFT THE SUBURBS. I'VE COME TO COMPLETE STOPS ON THE HIGHWAY JUST AFTER COMING AROUND A BEND - THE HIGHWAY!!! (AND FOR NO APPARENT REASON ASIDE FROM THE FACT THE SKY IS CLOUDY AND IT'S STARTING TO SPRINKLE).

I HEAR SOMEONE IS DRIVING 30 MPH NEAR AN INTERSECTION AND I HAVE A DIFFERENT VIEW OF THE SITUATION. IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD, IF THERE'S A LIGHT, THE POSTED LIMIT IS NO MORE THAN 35. ALSO, I'VE BEEN THE ONLOOKER SEVERAL TIMES WHEN A SAMARITAN LETS A CAR OUT, ONLY TO SEE IT TOTALLY *SLAMMED* GOING ACROSS THE NEXT (USUALLY EMPTY LEFT-TURN) LANE. TO THAT, I CAN'T FEEL BUT SOME PITY FOR THE DRIVER OF THE CAR PULLING OUT - SURE, IT'S THEIR FAULT, BUT IN THIS CASE THEY CAN'T SEE AROUND THE SAMARITAN CAR AND THEY ARE MOST LIKELY NOVICE DRIVERS. FAULT OR NO FAULT- WHAT I JUST DESCRIBED IS AN AVOIDABLE ACCIDENT (BY ALL THREE PARTIES).

IN FACT, MOST ACCIDENTS ARE AVOIDABLE. DRIVERS ARE NOT BLACKJACK DEALERS THAT MUST FOLLOW A STANDARD SET OF RULES AND I THINK THE ONLY REASON YOU'RE GETTING SOME NEGATIVE ADVICE IS BECAUSE YOU'RE TRYING TO CLEAR YOURSELF OF ALL BLAME.

CERTAIN THINGS MAKE ME SLOW DOWN -
INTERSECTIONS
PEDESTRIANS ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD
BACKED-UP LINES OF CARS
PEOPLE EXITING/WAITING TO EXIT DRIVEWAYS

I DON'T DRIVE LIKE A WUSS, AND I CAN'T SAY I WOULD HAVE AVOIDED YOUR ACCIDENT HAD I BEEN BEHIND THE WHEEL - I GUESS THIS IS WHAT YOU WANTED TO HEAR (AND YOU KNOW IT'S THE TRUTH). THAT SAID, THERE EXIST DRIVERS OUT THERE THAT WOULD HAVE AVOIDED THIS ACCIDENT.

THESE DRIVERS CAN BE ANNOYING - BY GETTING CHEAPER INSURANCE RATES OR BY DRIVING MORE CAUTIOUS THAN SEEMS REASONABLE TO MOST PEOPLE OR WITH THEIR "ALWAYS RIGHT" MENTALITY, BUT THEY DO HAVE A POINT.

Eaglet82
12-07-2005, 11:51 AM
From your descriptions of the event, it appears that you were moving around 30 mph approaching cars that were stopped or just starting to move. Also, adding to the situation is a car waiting to get out of the parking lot.

My opinion is that 30 mph was probably a little fast for the situation, especially if you are turning. Was her minivan the proximate cause of the accident? Probably. Does some of the blame for the accident fall on you? Probably.

Your defense to the situation is that you were totally within your legal right to do what you did. And that is probably true, you were legally correct. However, the legally correct person does not always come out the "winner".

sonicblue
12-07-2005, 12:06 PM
Once again, posted speed limit on that road is 45. No, I don't know how fast I was going but I know I was only going the speed limit BEFORE I got to the line of cars. I slowed down significantly before getting into the RH turn lane and didn't have time to accelerate if I wanted to, since the parking lot opening is immediately after the RH turn lane is fully formed. Unless you really want to be judgmental high-and-mighty's, you're going to have to believe me.

Cap'n: how much would you slow down? And I'm curious about your consistent "near an intersection" comment. Again, I wasn't actually near any actual intersection traffic. I should go out an measure or take a snapshot. I was still quite a ways and not near anyone actually turning or crossing the intersection, and was only slowly approaching all of that. This minivan was the only car around me that was poised to do anything other than simply drive the direction I was going. That's why I was specifically paying attention to her, but before her suddenly pulling out, she was sitting perfectly still out of the roadway and I didn't feel that warranted more defensiveness than I felt I was already exhibiting.

sonicblue
12-07-2005, 12:17 PM
Also, to reiterate, there was NO ONE in my lane. I had a clear shot up to the corner.

CAPTAIN_MORGAN
12-07-2005, 12:51 PM
YOU CAN'T COMPARE MY DRIVING TO YOURS BECAUSE IT'S A DIFFERENT ENVIRONMENT. THERE ARE NO 45MPH ZONES WITH INTERSECTIONS NEAR ME. IN FACT, THE ONLY INTERSECTION WITH A LIGHT AT IT THAT I DRIVE BY REGULARLY IS ON A GHETTO STREET WHERE PEOPLE HAVE BEEN KNOWN TO BE PLAYING BASKETBALL IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET A BLOCK BEFORE THE INTERSECTION - SO BY THE TIME I GET TO THE INTERSECTION, I'M GOING 10 OR SO.

THERE'S A TIME AND A PLACE FOR ME TO DRIVE FAST - AND THAT'S THE HIGHWAY, WHERE AT LEAST ONE LANE THAT I'M NOT DRIVING IN IS ENTIRELY FREE FOR ME TO SLAM ON THE BRAKES AND PULL INTO IF PEOPLE ARE BEING CHOOCHES.

I THINK THE WAY OTHER PEOPLE DRIVE IS BESIDE THE POINT. YOU WERE LEGALLY RIGHT IN WHAT YOU DID, BUT I DON'T THINK IT'S AN ARGUMENT YOU CAN WIN WITH THE INSURERS. HERE'S WHY:

1) YOU (PARTIALLY) REAR-ENDED A CAR LESS GUILTY THAN YOU.
2) THE POLICE ISSUED NO TICKETS (HAD THE MINIVAN GOTTEN A "RECKLEsS DRIVING" TICKET, IT'D BE ANOTHER STORY)

HERE'S A STORY OF WHAT HAPPENED TO ME 2 YEARS AGO TO DESCRIBE MY DRIVING -
COMING UP ON AN OTHERWISE CLEAR INTERSECTION, THE LIGHT'S GREEN. A KID ON HIS BIKE PULLS OUT FROM NOWHERE (BEHIND A BUILDING) AND SAILS RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME. I SLAM ON MY BRAKES (AND SO DOES HE, BUT SKIDS DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF MY CAR). I MANAGE TO STOP ABOUT AN INCH FROM HIM. HE LOOKS AT ME, STANDING ON HIS BIKE, SHRUGS HIS SHOULDERS, AND CONTINUES ON HIS WAY. I'VE GOT AMAZINGLY GOOD BRAKES, AND I'M GLAD I WAS DRIVING THAT PARTICULAR CAR BECAUSE OTHERWISE I WOULD'VE HIT HIM (AND I WASN'T GOING FASTER THAN 30 AND THERE WERE NO WITNESSES AND I WASN'T EVEN PLANNING TO TURN). SINCE THAT DAY, I DRIVE SLOWER AND MORE CAUTIOUSLY IN RESIDENTIAL AREAS (AND I GUESS I CONSIDER RESIDENTIAL TO BE CITY OR ANY PLACE WITH DWELLINGS LINING THE SIDE OF THE ROAD). THE REAL PLACE TO MAKE GOOD TIME ON TRIPS (FOR ME, ANYWAY) IS THE HIGHWAY.

THAT'S MY TAKE ON DEFENSIVE DRIVING - YOU REALLY DON'T KNOW HOW MUCH "BEING SAFE" MEANS UNTIL AFTER THINGS LIKE THIS HAPPEN. IT'S ALL ABOUT BEING AN "EXPERIENCED DRIVER."

Macavity
12-07-2005, 01:22 PM
Everyone's right Mr. Sonic Blue. No offense but what you did is what I'd expect someone without much experience in driving to do or someone who takes risks and doesn't really care about his car.

As others have said, within reason, you always have to assume the worst case when certain situations present themselves. Most definitely a person trying to take a left at a very busy road is one of those situations. They get frustrated, anxious, and lose their patience which leads to impulsive decisions. The Good Samaritan should have known better and not stopped on a multilane road, the old lady should have known better, and you should have known better too. All 3 could have prevented the accident, and all 3 have some share of the blame in my opinion. While the old lady made the biggest mistake since she was crossing into oncoming traffic, after the fact, you were the one who rearended someone, so unfortunately you're stuck with all the junmk.

Expunge
12-07-2005, 01:32 PM
3) Do you call 10-15mph BELOW the speed limit slowing down? Or should I have just stopped?

10-15mph below the speed limit is slowing down if you were going the speed limit.
However, 20-30 mph below the speed limit is also slowing down, and given the situation as you described it, seems to be a more appropriate action.

p.s. rereading you description also leads me to believe you did not signal for the lane change.

sonicblue
12-07-2005, 01:34 PM
Macavity, I take offense to your comments, seriously. How can you say:

1) I don't care about my car? What? I tried to steer my car out of a collision. I WOULD HAVE HIT her, no question, no doubt, no debate. I am a car nut - I take pride in doing my own maintenance as well as driving them carefully. How on earth could you deduce such an opinion?

2) No experience? I've been driving for over 15 years. No tickets for like the last ten years and only two other low-speed fender accidents in my lifetime. I've driven in driving blizzards on I-93 in Boston, snow-covered backroads of NH, open high-speed highways in the South..... I've seen it all and handled virtually everything ever thrown my way.

So, please tell me, what would you have done? Are you telling me you would have slowed to a crawl in a lane with 100 clear feet ahead of you and a green light when the ONLY information you had was that a woman was at the exit of a parking lot to your right? Remember, you have to trust my info: straight traffic was more or less still stopped, so there was no obvious 'samaritan gap.' I'll say it again, because of my proximity to her when she pulled out, the ONLY way I could have stopped in time to avoid contact was to be travelling at a crawl or to have stopped, in which case I was creating an additional dangerous situation if anyone had come up behind me. Two wrongs make a right WITH the luxury of hindsight? I guarantee you, if I had stopped, and someone came up behind me and smacked me, I fear it would be highly likely that I would be given the blame for that as well. So give me an alternative, please.

Lucy
12-07-2005, 01:38 PM
You're at an intersection, stationary, waiting for the light to turn green, with a car in front of you. Another car behind you is headed full speed into your back. The driver is drunk and hits the gas instead of the brakes. Avoid THAT!
This happened to me, except the road was icy, and the driver behind me wasn't drunk, just didn't realize how hard it is to stop on ice. She didn't start braking until way too late, and did a lot of damage to my bumper. That's the only accident I've been in that was completely totally not my fault.

Sonic, are you looking for a moral or a legal answer?

You saw a driver poised to pull into traffic. She wasn't just waiting, she was actively watching the other direction. Of course she screwed up, but she screwed up in a common and predictable way. Morally, you are partly at fault. Legally, unless she was cited for reckless driving, you are completely at fault, since the only actual collision was between you and the totally not-at-fault driver you hit.

Oh, and when I drive on the highway I do try to keep an open space to at least one side. You never know when someone will do something weird and unpredictable in front of you, and it's good to have options.

sonicblue
12-07-2005, 01:39 PM
10-15mph below the speed limit is slowing down if you were going the speed limit.
However, 20-30 mph below the speed limit is also slowing down, and given the situation as you described it, seems to be a more appropriate action.

p.s. rereading you description also leads me to believe you did not signal for the lane change.
I'd love to drive with some of you and see if you really drive as slowly as you say you would when 'any potential situation' is around you.

Signal the lane change? Really? Truthfully, I don't recall, but I know it's easy to assume I didn't. I suppose most people use blinkers poorly. Let's say I did: I said she was looking the other way when I was close enough to see her face. When was the last time she looked my way, would she have seen it? The blinker would have been off by the time I was actually in the lane. PLUS, it could have been misleading and made her think I was going into the parking lot, indicating she was clear to cut in front of me.

sonicblue
12-07-2005, 01:45 PM
This happened to me, except the road was icy, and the driver behind me wasn't drunk, just didn't realize how hard it is to stop on ice. She didn't start braking until way too late, and did a lot of damage to my bumper. That's the only accident I've been in that was completely totally not my fault.

Sonic, are you looking for a moral or a legal answer?

You saw a driver poised to pull into traffic. She wasn't just waiting, she was actively watching the other direction. Of course she screwed up, but she screwed up in a common and predictable way. Morally, you are partly at fault. Legally, unless she was cited for reckless driving, you are completely at fault, since the only actual collision was between you and the totally not-at-fault driver you hit.

Oh, and when I drive on the highway I do try to keep an open space to at least one side. You never know when someone will do something weird and unpredictable in front of you, and it's good to have options.
I guess the question is, what does "poised" mean? Anyone at the exit is "poised," I mean, they're not just sitting there for their health. BUT, your interpretation of "poised" is influenced by what you see around you. It didn't appear to me like it was a good time for her to go - traffic just getting a green light from across the road that she can't see well, if at all. Like I said, if our light had just turned red, traffic might be inclined to start letting her in. It seemed a highly inopportune time for her to consider going and, again, she hadn't rolled or creeped at all. So, the mere fact she was looking around didn't strike me as her departure being imminent.

Eaglet82
12-07-2005, 01:46 PM
I guarantee you, if I had stopped, and someone came up behind me and smacked me, I fear it would be highly likely that I would be given the blame for that as well. So give me an alternative, please.

Not sure how blame can be placed on you for traveling too slow. Other than for ticking off the people behind you.

tommie frazier
12-07-2005, 01:48 PM
before this gets another similar 100 posts:

someone will say, generically speaking, "sonic could have avoided thios had he been a little more cautious." this is in response to the request for opinions on who was to blame for this accident (in part or in whole).

sonic wil fire back and defend "I am 100% not at fault. you are wrong that this was avoidable."

repeat.

sonicblue
12-07-2005, 01:49 PM
Not sure how blame can be placed on you for traveling too slow. Other than for ticking off the people behind you.
If straight traffic goes and is no longer backed up, someone could be coming up at the speed limit and getting into the RH turn lane, only to find me (virtually) not moving and WHAM! Certainly more than remotely possible and I know I'd sure be asking lots of questions as to why someone was just sitting in the middle of a lane of traffic......

Macavity
12-07-2005, 01:50 PM
I didn't say you didn't care about your car or have no experience. I said based on how I discern what happened, you showed behavior of someone who has a higher likelihood of falling into those categories.

I would have gone no more than 10 mph in your situation, maybe 15 mph, but anything over that is outside my safety zone. There's a chance that even if you were going that speed, she'd still pull out, but having you go slower means there's more likelihood she'll check to her left again and see you coming.

I know that based on her decision there was no way you could have avoided hitting something - I told you I was in a similar situation where the woman pulled out about 10 feet from my car and at anything >10 mph there was no way I was avoiding her. My opinion is that you could have taken action to reduce her chances of pulling out.

The only issue I have here is your speed going down the right lane. That's the only thing I think you should have changed.

Macavity, I take offense to your comments, seriously. How can you say:

1) I don't care about my car? What? I tried to steer my car out of a collision. I WOULD HAVE HIT her, no question, no doubt, no debate. I am a car nut - I take pride in doing my own maintenance as well as driving them carefully. How on earth could you deduce such an opinion?

2) No experience? I've been driving for over 15 years. No tickets for like the last ten years and only two other low-speed fender accidents in my lifetime. I've driven in driving blizzards on I-93 in Boston, snow-covered backroads of NH, open high-speed highways in the South..... I've seen it all and handled virtually everything ever thrown my way.

So, please tell me, what would you have done? Are you telling me you would have slowed to a crawl in a lane with 100 clear feet ahead of you and a green light when the ONLY information you had was that a woman was at the exit of a parking lot to your right? Remember, you have to trust my info: straight traffic was more or less still stopped, so there was no obvious 'samaritan gap.' I'll say it again, because of my proximity to her when she pulled out, the ONLY way I could have stopped in time to avoid contact was to be travelling at a crawl or to have stopped, in which case I was creating an additional dangerous situation if anyone had come up behind me. Two wrongs make a right WITH the luxury of hindsight? I guarantee you, if I had stopped, and someone came up behind me and smacked me, I fear it would be highly likely that I would be given the blame for that as well. So give me an alternative, please.

sonicblue
12-07-2005, 01:51 PM
before this gets another similar 100 posts:

someone will say, generically speaking, "sonic could have avoided thios had he been a little more cautious." this is in response to the request for opinions on who was to blame for this accident (in part or in whole).

sonic wil fire back and defend "I am 100% not at fault. you are wrong that this was avoidable."

repeat.
I've said I'd accept SOME portion of fault as long as my insurance surcharge reflects the percentage. I just can't believe that the minivan is off scot-free and I'm holding the bag. However, I'm also a bit surprised that everyone is simply saying they would have trickled effectively to a crawl. In a prospective world, that seems extreme.

Eaglet82
12-07-2005, 01:52 PM
Sonic, I'm not sure what you are looking for. If you want my opinion as to avoiding the accident surcharge, I think you are going to lose that argument. Do I think you did the right thing in protecting your kids and swerving? Yes, I agree with your decision. You will not be able to avoid taking some fault in this. Eat the surcharge and go home and hug your kids.

sonicblue
12-07-2005, 01:53 PM
I suppose 100 replies of "you got screwed" would have been nice.......

IAm@Work.com
12-07-2005, 02:02 PM
Disclaimer: I have not carefully read all responses to this thread. I do get the feeling that you are expending too much energy fighting with us and not fixing your problem.

Suggestion: Stop getting all worked up about what we say here and expend all of your energy getting the police officer to submit the report. To the extent possible, get them to submit a report that says the parking lot lady admitted pulling out suddenly. Only then, can you go back and talk with your carrier about why they are claiming you were at fault when the police report clearly says otherwise. Until that report is filed, nothing any of us says or does will matter.

Similar, yet totally different example: My wife was backing slowly out of a parking spot at a local strip mall. Aggressive male drive came whipping around a corner in the lot and hit her in the back bumper. He, of course, claims no fault and all he was doing was driving in his normal careful manner when she suddenly backed into him. Police reaction was twofold: No report necessary since this is private property and not a road, and if they file a report, she will be faulted because "by definition" the party going backwards is always at fault.

Eaglet82
12-07-2005, 02:03 PM
You got screwed.

Words of wisdom: The less you bend over, the less you get screwed.

CAPTAIN_MORGAN
12-07-2005, 02:07 PM
ACTUALLY, I'VE BEEN TAUGHT *NOT* TO SWERVE. IN THIS CASE IT PROBABLY SAVED A LOT OF POTENTIAL DAMAGE TO THE CAR, BUT I'VE HEARD A LOT OF STORIES WHERE PEOPLE SEE OTHERS "DRIFTING" INTO THEIR LANES ON THE HIGHWAY, THEY SWERVE TO AVOID, AND END UP GETTING INTO AN ACCIDENT WITH A CAR THEY SWERVED INTO (BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T HAVE TIME TO LOOK TO SEE THE OTHER LANE WAS FREE).

IF GAUGING POTENTIAL LOSS IN MAKING QUICK DECISIONS, I'D HAVE TO LOOK AT A LOT OF DATA BEFORE I'D BACK UP THE USUAL "I DID IT BECAUSE IT LOOKED LIKE THE SAFEST OPTION" RESPONSE. STAYING PUT (OR SWERVING INTO A NON-LANE) IS USUALLY THE SAFEST WAY TO GO - AT LEAST THEN YOU ARE KEEPING THE POTENTIAL DAMAGE TO A MINIMUM OF THOSE CARS DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE.

SAY THE SAMARITAN WASN'T LETTING THE LADY GO AND WAS ACTUALLY MOVING FORWARD AFTER SIPPING HIS COFFEE, THEN SONIC SWERVED, GOT HIT BY SAMARITAN, HIT THE CAR IN FRONT, AND SOMEONE HIT SAMARITAN FROM BEHIND... AND SAY SOMEONE WAS HIT IN A WAY THAT PUSHED A CAR INTO THE LEFT-TURN LANE, OR INTO OPPOSING TRAFFIC.

DRIVING PARANOID AND SLOW NEAR (AND BY "NEAR" I MEAN ANYWHERE CARS ARE BACKED UP) INTERSECTIONS IS THE SAFEST WAY TO GO. WITH THE MINIVAN - I HONESTLY THINK YOU WERE STILL LUCKY FOR ONLY GETTING 1 OTHER CAR INVOLVED IN THE ACCIDENT.

sonicblue
12-07-2005, 02:07 PM
Disclaimer: I have not carefully read all responses to this thread. I do get the feeling that you are expending too much energy fighting with us and not fixing your problem.

Suggestion: Stop getting all worked up about what we say here and expend all of your energy getting the police officer to submit the report. To the extent possible, get them to submit a report that says the parking lot lady admitted pulling out suddenly. Only then, can you go back and talk with your carrier about why they are claiming you were at fault when the police report clearly says otherwise. Until that report is filed, nothing any of us says or does will matter.

Similar, yet totally different example: My wife was backing slowly out of a parking spot at a local strip mall. Aggressive male drive came whipping around a corner in the lot and hit her in the back bumper. He, of course, claims no fault and all he was doing was driving in his normal careful manner when she suddenly backed into him. Police reaction was twofold: No report necessary since this is private property and not a road, and if they file a report, she will be faulted because "by definition" the party going backwards is always at fault.
Huh, SAME THING happened to my wife! She said she really wasn't even out of the spot hardly, that the guy "made the S a $" and struck her. No report, not enough damage, I think.

Anyway, I am still waiting for the adjuster to get back to me with the report ref# (I have it at home but didn't have time to look for it last night) so I can call the police. Until I have that, no point in calling.

Look, everyone, I'm not fighting. The ins co decision was made. Maybe the point now is, with everyone offering such "good defensive driving" advice is, examine your own driving, really. My situation may sound clear-cut and avoidable to some of you. As I've suggested, next time your driving, see if you encounter a similar situation and ask yourself if you'd REALLY do what you said here.

I'll be perfectly honest: if I was in that situation again, I'm not sure what I'd do. I'd probably honk but who knows if she'd be aware enough to know it's intended for her? I really think she was tunnel-visioned on the other direction of traffic and wouldn't have realized how long it'd been since she looked left. Who's to say?

Loner
12-07-2005, 02:12 PM
Something else to consider, sonic, as to why you should have probably been going much slower - you say were passing a row of 15 cars on the right(their right). Whenever I see something like that, I can count on at least one idiot suddenly realizing they are in the wrong lane and swerving out without signaling or looking, so I take it real slow.
I think you were relying a little too heavily on others doing the right thing if you couldn't stop - or at least be going slow enough you preferred to ram the minivan head on.

CAPTAIN_MORGAN
12-07-2005, 02:15 PM
IN YOUR DEFENSE - I NEVER HONK. I DON'T SEE THE POINT. HONKING USUALLY ONLY MAKES PEOPLE "JUMP" AND, WORST-CASE SCENARIO, DO WHAT THEY WERE INTENDING TO DO, BUT ONLY FASTER.

AND FOR THE CRITICISM (WHICH IS THE LAST YOU'LL HEAR FROM ME):
WHY NOT GO SLOWER? SERIOUSLY... I JUST DON'T GET WHY YOU KEEP FIGHTING THAT 30MPH IS A REASONABLE SPEED. I AGREE IT'S FAIRLY REASONABLE ON ANY OTHER DAY, BUT THE FACT IS - THE ACCIDENT STILL HAPPENED. SLOWER THAN 30, IF ANYTHING, WOULD AT LEAST BE CAUSE FOR LESS DAMAGE.

Expunge
12-07-2005, 02:18 PM
I'd love to drive with some of you and see if you really drive as slowly as you say you would when 'any potential situation' is around you.

Signal the lane change? Really? Truthfully, I don't recall, but I know it's easy to assume I didn't. I suppose most people use blinkers poorly. Let's say I did: I said she was looking the other way when I was close enough to see her face. When was the last time she looked my way, would she have seen it? The blinker would have been off by the time I was actually in the lane. PLUS, it could have been misleading and made her think I was going into the parking lot, indicating she was clear to cut in front of me.
As far as misleading the minivan with a blinker on, you may have misled her that you were going straight thus entirely blocking the opening of the right turn lane and therefore she thought there was no way for a car to be there.
I voted the sissy option because i think there is blame all around. What i would do in the situation, is questionable without being in the situation myself. However what i would have done in the situation may not be what is the safest. There just isn't enough time to determine the safest action is when you encounter the situation.
I'm not trying to say you are an unsafe driver. Your actions appear to be reasonable and some very large percentage of the time you would have made it through the intersection and not have remembered the uneventful drive home today. However not reducing your speed more than you did contributed to this accident and as a result you are partially responsible for it.

all this is IMO.

UNCORRELATED LAY
12-07-2005, 02:26 PM
What type of car do you drive?

sonicblue
12-07-2005, 02:27 PM
Why do you insist that 30mph was NOT reasonable? I think that argument is splitting hairs. I WAS going significantly slower than I would have had traffic not been slow and the woman not been there. To just say, "go slower, go slower" doesn't seem to have much teeth, IMO, that's all. Let's face it, 30mph isn't "fast" in anyone's book. How fast do you drive on highways? I guarantee you I could argue that it's "too fast": deer, tire blowout, etc....

Here's the thing: I can understand, "I would have been going slower." I can't understand, "you should have been going slower" or certainly "going slower would have prevented the accident." If I had hit the Explorer more softly, the fault wouldn't have changed. If I was going much slower, MAYBE I would have been more likely to buck up and hit the minivan.

sonicblue
12-07-2005, 02:27 PM
What type of car do you drive?
A 1996 Acura 3.2TL

Lucy
12-07-2005, 02:29 PM
. . .I guarantee you, if I had stopped, and someone came up behind me and smacked me, I fear it would be highly likely that I would be given the blame for that as well. So give me an alternative, please.
Check your state's laws, but I doubt it. In that case, you would morally share the blame with the person behind you, but legally he would almost certainly get 100% of the blame, and all of the insurance surcharge.

My husband once braked suddenly and unexpectedly (to the driver behind him) because he suddenly noticed a pedestrian standing by a crosswalk, and felt he should yield right-of-way to the pedestrian. The other driver (who rear-ended him) was assigned 100% of the fault. It was dark, and the other driver probably couldn't even see the pedestrian.

CAPTAIN_MORGAN
12-07-2005, 02:44 PM
If I was going much slower, MAYBE I would have been more likely to buck up and hit the minivan.

THAT'S THE ONLY POINT I WAS TRYING TO MAKE.

SWERVING INTO THE OTHER LANE WAS A RECKLESS ACT, IMO. IT PAID OFF, BUT THINK OF ALL THE POSSIBILITIES THAT COULD HAVE HAPPENED. YOU SAID YOURSELF THAT YOU DIDN'T KNOW "WHY" THE SAMARITAN WAS STOPPED AT THE TIME. HAD THEY HIT THE GAS AFTER DOZING AS YOU WERE PULLING IN FRONT, IT WOULD'VE GOTTEN REAL MESSY.

I'M NOT SAYING "YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN GOING SLOWER" OR "YOU SHOULD HAVE KNOWN." I'M SAYING, GIVEN WHAT HAPPENED, IN THE FUTURE, I'D RECOMMEND GOING SLOWER. IF YOU'VE DRIVEN IN ICE STORMS, THEN YOU SHOULD ALREADY KNOW THAT 30 IS FAST ENOUGH TO LOSE CONTROL.

ON HIGHWAYS, DEER ARE MY GREATEST FEAR. I TRY TO DRIVE THE CENTER LANE AND ALWAYS SWEEP FROM SIDE TO SIDE TO MAKE SURE NOTHING'S CHILLIN' BY THE WOODS. THAT SAID, I KNOW I'M JUST LUCKY NOT TO HAVE EVER HIT ONE.

sonicblue
12-07-2005, 02:51 PM
Yes, 30mph is too fast for icy roads. This accident happened on a warm, dry, sunny day in March.

tommie frazier
12-07-2005, 03:06 PM
the accident is also happening on your formerly pristene insurance report.

Incredible Hulctuary
12-07-2005, 03:10 PM
Suggestion: Stop getting all worked up about what we say here and expend all of your energy getting the police officer to submit the report.In addition, stop getting worked up and figure out how to avoid future accidents wherever possible. Regardless of who is to blame, once you're in an accident you're screwed in one way or another.

sonicblue
12-07-2005, 03:18 PM
In addition, stop getting worked up and figure out how to avoid future accidents wherever possible. Regardless of who is to blame, once you're in an accident you're screwed in one way or another.
Actually, I'd rather you lay down the "great guide" to avoiding accidents.....

C'mon, I've been driving for 15+ years and have fewer incidents with accidents/law enforcement than I can count on one hand. I know everyone thinks 'I'm a better driver than the average bear,' so I won't say that, but I will say proudly that I consider myself an aware, attentive, skilled driver, and did all those things here. Maybe some tepid group of actuaries consider this worked up, not me. I have plenty of energy to go around, and I'm more than able to have a spirited debate on here and take care of the issue IRL as well.

CAPTAIN_MORGAN
12-07-2005, 03:20 PM
Yes, 30mph is too fast for icy roads. This accident happened on a warm, dry, sunny day in March.

I WASN'T QUESTIONING THE WEATHER THAT DAY - ALL I'M SAYING (&WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING) IS 30MPH WAS TOO FAST *GIVEN THE CONDITIONS*. YOU DIDN'T KNOW THAT GOING INTO THE ACCIDENT, BUT NOW AFTER FACING THE SITUATION, I'D HOPE YOU LEARNED SOMETHING.

AND, WERE I TO BE IN THE PLACE TO JUDGE: I WOULDN'T FAULT YOU FOR THIS ACCIDENT, BUT IF THE SAME CONDITIONS WERE TO PRESENT THEMSELVES AGAIN AND YOU WERE TO REACT THE EXACT SAME WAY (CAUSING ANOTHER ACCIDENT), I'D CERTAINLY FAULT YOU FOR THAT.

DRIVING IS A SERIES OF GAMBLES - YOU ARE NEVER FULLY IN CONTROL OF THE SITUATION, BUT THERE ARE ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE TO BE IN MORE CONTROL OF THE SITUATION THAN OTHERS.

FROM A STRICTLY LEGAL POINT OF VIEW - NO TICKETS ISSUED, MINIVAN'S INSURER UNINVOLVED, YOU REAR-ENDED SOMEONE. CLEARLY, UNLESS YOU CAN RETROACTIVELY GET THE POLICE TO WRITE UP THE MINIVAN, YOU ARE SOOL.

Incredible Hulctuary
12-07-2005, 03:28 PM
C'mon, I've been driving for 15+ years and have fewer incidents with accidents/law enforcement than I can count on one hand.That may be true. But convincing us of your skill or lack of fault is of no use. And convincing yourself of your skill may be preventing you from learning how to avoid the next moron that will barrel at you. Reality will be the ultimate judge.

UNCORRELATED LAY
12-07-2005, 04:04 PM
I have a couple points


I am not the only "holier than thou person in this thread"
I feel like jumping all over Sonic just because he is defensive
Defensive people are usually guilty
30 mph while approaching an intersection is fast, considering that you were in a turning lane, the cars to your left were essentially stopped and you couldn't see if a pedestrian was trying to cross from your left
Sonic didn't break any laws
Insurance doesn't care about particulars of accident, they just want to get paid
Could we see this on the 6:00 news?

sonicblue
12-07-2005, 04:51 PM
I have a couple points


I am not the only "holier than thou person in this thread"
I feel like jumping all over Sonic just because he is defensive
Defensive people are usually guilty
30 mph while approaching an intersection is fast, considering that you were in a turning lane, the cars to your left were essentially stopped and you couldn't see if a pedestrian was trying to cross from your left
Sonic didn't break any laws
Insurance doesn't care about particulars of accident, they just want to get paid
Could we see this on the 6:00 news?


I think holier-than-thou sucks. If I give a "what I would do," it's real. I don't play myself as perfect.
I'm defending my belief
Defending yourself AFTER you've been found guilty is different than just voluntarily being defensive.
What? The LEFT side? There's nothing on the left side of the road but woods and grass. There's not even so much as a trash can that someone could be coming from. How long does it take you stop from 30mph? I was 100 feet from where I needed to turn and, since it was green, didn't need to come to a stop at that.
Nice to hear but not in dispute and a moot point.
I would think they wouldn't so much mind subrogating the $4K+ they paid out.
I'll call the news van now......

violaactuary
12-07-2005, 06:04 PM
Last summer I was hit by someone who ran a red light. Traffic was very light, so he didn't see any cross traffic and wasn't paying any attention- plus he was going too fast. I am wary of going into intersections now when I am the first one in line or the traffic is light, even when I know I have the right of way. So I slow down... probably annoying the people behind me. It's a reaction. Actually I am normally a very defensive driver; now I am even more so- probably not correctly balanced. All because of a stupid kid.

I can relate to SB when he says (paraphrasing, don't get mad) looking for the accident to happen would have been the wrong move to make. People could have gotten annoyed, maybe it wouldn't have made a difference... all I know is that I see it the other way. I would rather creep past the person I don't trust, and let the others be annoyed. Also I know that most people here are taking the "be more cautious" side, but in reality, most people on the roads don't.

p.s. I have read the entire thread.

Ailing Factuary
12-07-2005, 06:33 PM
Not sure how blame can be placed on you for traveling too slow. Other than for ticking off the people behind you.

Or getting yourself rear-ended.

sonicblue, these people are full of BS. Half of them don't understand the situation, and the other half are out of their minds. Yes, when you see a car at an exit from the parking lot to the road, you should note that they are there and slow down a bit and try to figure out what will happen, but you should not just STOP and disrupt the normal course of traffic.

If I was driving the minivan, and you stopped for me, I would feel obligated to make a dangerous exit out of the parking lot, but from the situation you have described, the driver could have just waited maybe 30 seconds and had a clear view of all sides of the road. The driver definitely should have looked left once again, and you can't just stop every time someone is at the exit of a parking lot because they may go at a bad time.

Ailing Factuary
12-07-2005, 06:37 PM
Disclaimer: I have not carefully read all responses to this thread. I do get the feeling that you are expending too much energy fighting with us and not fixing your problem.


This is the problem with everyone giving sonicblue all this crap. He is trying to fix the problem, but here he is just looking to know who ideally is at fault. He is not asking about who is going to be at fault according to the insurance company. He can deal with that himself. People keep giving him irrelevant advice and telling him to stop whining. I don't care how many people are full of it, but if they are really full of it, he is allowed to argue his point back.

sonicblue
12-07-2005, 09:10 PM
Ailing Factuary: you made a lot of points that agree with me, but I appreciate the general tone as well. You're right, I want to know what people believe is "right," not what the ins co thinks nor what one may so if given a "driver's quiz." I wanted real world opinions and I feel like I got a lot of idyllic dictums.

the driver could have just waited maybe 30 seconds and had a clear view of all sides of the road
I never really thought of it this way and maybe others here perceived it differently. I did say previously that, with one cycle of the traffic light, any back-up usually clears out. If this minivan was up against miles and miles of cars, maybe that would have made her more inclined to pull a dangerous exit, and should have made me more expectant of the unexpected. But, in my mind, all signs point to that being a really bad time for her to go, which would change soon enough, and, save the samaritan, didn't see any indication the situation was headed that way.

Look, maybe this is the point: I know online forums aren't your best friends, but we all share a common bond. Plus, we all happen to have an above average knowledge of insurance, so I thought that combination would lean toward informed opinions to help my side. Clearly, there are arguments for my fault, which I was that's how my ins co found. I didn't think they held water, and I stood my ground where I thought it right. I thought some here interpreted it was whining and simply resorted to stereotypical behavior and not what I described as actual. Am I a bit biased? NO DOUBT! However, that's all you have to go on and I'd prefer you consider it fact. If you were all jurors and were presented evidence that I was going 35mph, you can't just say, "hmmph, I've seen people speed on that road, no way he was going that slow."

Say there was a bank robbery. My car was seen on a vidoe. The police show up and say, "saw your car at the bank today," and I jump up and say, "I didn't rob it!" That's bad defensive. If they come and just haul me away based on that video, you can be sure as sugar I'll defend myself.

Maybe I should have phrased it as, "I don't think I'm at fault, help boost my argument," and anyone who believed otherwise could have just bit their lip. Maybe someone here could have given me a great well-worded argument that I could have used. Maybe someone had a very similar accident and given me a suggestion for a measurement of the road to take, or particular picture angle of the scene. Shoot, maybe someone here SAW it!

sonicblue
12-07-2005, 09:24 PM
I have a couple points


...
I feel like jumping all over Sonic just because he is defensive
...

I have to make this comment. LAY, I don't know if you're this type of person so let's say this post is for people who make such comments in the light that I think they do.

This comments reminds me of people that say things like, they "like to get under someone's skin," or they "like to get in someone's head." I never understood the sense of pride people seem to take in this. You like pissing people off? Do you think it somehow earns respect?

What does "jumping all over" me mean? You think my defensive implies guilt (which is absurd), so you want to start doing what, exactly? I took offense to a couple things here, but that doesn't make it personal or emotional. CAPS words don't mean I'm all frazzled, just easier than {i}{/i} here. You wanting to "jump all over" me tells me you want to deviate from facts and start some kind of personal or emotional battle. That's just not what I was looking for.

CAPTAIN_MORGAN
12-08-2005, 09:57 AM
Or getting yourself rear-ended.

sonicblue, these people are full of BS. Half of them don't understand the situation, and the other half are out of their minds. Yes, when you see a car at an exit from the parking lot to the road, you should note that they are there and slow down a bit and try to figure out what will happen, but you should not just STOP and disrupt the normal course of traffic.

I'M NOT LOOKING TO FIGHT, NOR DO I HOPE THE TONE OF MY POSTS HAD ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE ABOVE COMMENT. I THINK THE POINT I'VE GOTTEN FROM WHAT MOST REPLIES IS THIS:

1) YES, THE ACCIDENT WAS UNFORTUNATE, AS WAS THE INS CO PINNING SONICBLUE WITH ALL THE BLAME.

2) IT'S DOUBTFUL ANYONE ELSE COULD BE PINNED WITH THE BLAME - UNLESS FURTHER ACTION IS TAKEN AGAINST THE MINIVAN DRIVER (AND I GUESS GOING AFTER THE POLICE OFFICER TO FILE A REPORT WOULD BE A GOOD STEP)

3) I GOT AN AGGRESSIVE TONE FROM A FEW POSTERS, AND INSTEAD OF IGNORING OR ACCEPTING WHAT THEY SAY, SONICBLUE IS PLAYING THIER GAME - SO I CAN'T SAY I SIDE WITH SONICBLUE FOR BEING MATURE ABOUT ALL THIS. THIS ISN'T AN ALL-OUT ATTACK AGAINST SONIC WITHOUT PROVOCATION.

4) NO ONE (ALTHOUGH I COULD HAVE MISSED A POST) SAID TO *STOP* FOR THE MINIVAN. EVERYONE'S ARGUMENT HAS BEEN TO BE DRIVING SLOWER UPON ENTERING THE SCENE. I DON'T THINK THAT'S BS OR CRAP - IF SOMEONE SAID "OH, HE SHOULD'VE STOPPED" ON THIS THREAD, THEN I CAN SEE WHERE THE COMMENT IS DIRECTED.

5) I THINK THE GENERAL SENTIMENT IS: "SORRY, SONCIBLUE, YOU GOT HOSED. THERE'S A SLIGHT CHANCE YOU COULD SUCCESSFULLY FIGHT THIS, BUT IF YOU GET NOWHERE WITH IT, I WOULDN'T BE SO SURPRISED."

6) AILING FACTUARY - ACTUARIES ARE RARELY FULL OF BS.

7) I'M NOT GOING TO BE GIVING ANYONE A GROUP HUG.

UNCORRELATED LAY
12-08-2005, 10:10 AM
I have to make this comment. LAY, I don't know if you're this type of person so let's say this post is for people who make such comments in the light that I think they do.

This comments reminds me of people that say things like, they "like to get under someone's skin," or they "like to get in someone's head." I never understood the sense of pride people seem to take in this. You like pissing people off? Do you think it somehow earns respect?

What does "jumping all over" me mean? You think my defensive implies guilt (which is absurd), so you want to start doing what, exactly? I took offense to a couple things here, but that doesn't make it personal or emotional. CAPS words don't mean I'm all frazzled, just easier than {i}{/i} here. You wanting to "jump all over" me tells me you want to deviate from facts and start some kind of personal or emotional battle. That's just not what I was looking for.
It all goes back to your initial request to give an opinion. I gave my opinion and you ripped into me for it. You asked for an opinion, I didn't force my views on you. But the longer you try to act like you were 100% right the more I feel obligated to tell you you were not.

Forget about what everyone else would have done in that situation, it is irrelevant. The fact that the accident was avoidable to start with and the fact that the insurance company found you to be 100% at fault should clue you into something.

But to make you feel better (which is what I think you came here for to start with)

The Minivan driver was wrong, you made the right move by swerving and rear ending someone else.

sonicblue
12-08-2005, 10:49 AM
I just went back and read all of my posts. I never "ripped" anyone. Aside from one sarcastic "your honor" crack, I think I was amicable in all of this. If someone made a comment as to something I should have done, and I think their interpretation of the situation is inaccurate - I counter-pointed the reality and why I disagree. The only thing I continually harped on was that all people offered, in general, was "you were going too fast" (IMO, a cop-out argument) or "you were found at fault, so you must have done something wrong" (that's putting the cart before the horse, the ins co does NOT have all the facts).

LAY, I can't believe after participating in this whole thread, you actually threw down, "the fact that the accident was avoidable" - avoidable is an opinion; even if fact, certainly not one that can be established here; you've already admitted that, in one aspect, you had previously imagined the scenario incorrectly.

and

"fact that the insurance company found you to be 100% at fault should clue you into something" - again, they do NOT have all the info.

I don't feel your forcing your opinion on me, and I'm not trying to force mine on others. But, I pointed out two simple problems I have with what you said above, and I throw it back. A lively debate in which I have a vested interest....

Interestingly, I heard very few people phrase their view as, "if I were in your shoes...." What everyone else would have done is NOT irrelevant. I don't want what the nebulus "they" would say, I want what YOU ALL personally would say. Real world, practical, this-was-you-going-to-work opinions. CAPTAIN was very straightforward that way, though I think our environments are so different it may not be relevant.

sonicblue
12-08-2005, 10:51 AM
BTW, CAPTAIN, why do you always post in bold and caps? It's really hard to read and even though I read the words carefully, it's hard not to feel like you're yelling.

Apollywog
12-08-2005, 10:54 AM
I can't believe this has gone on to page 6.. Why don't I get as much love when I start a thread? Oh wait.. my threads are usually stupid... :(

CAPTAIN_MORGAN
12-08-2005, 11:02 AM
I just went back and read all of my posts. I never "ripped" anyone.... I think I was amicable in all of this.

Wow, what an ignorant thing to say.

(2ND QUOTE FROM PAGE 4) EVERYONE RIPPED INTO EVERYONE HERE. EXCEPT POLLY. QED.

sonicblue
12-08-2005, 11:07 AM
That's considered "ripped"??? Thin skin.

CAPTAIN_MORGAN
12-08-2005, 11:11 AM
That's considered "ripped"??? Thin skin.

I AGREE IT WASN'T SO BAD - IT WASN'T NECESSARILY AMICABLE, THOUGH.

MY INITIAL USERNAME WAS DELETED WHEN I ONCE POSTED A MIMIC THREAD "TO ALL THE FAILERS..." (AND ON THE INSIDE IT READ "HA HA"). EVER SINCE THEN, I HAVEN'T BEEN ABLE TO TYPE THE SAME.

Lucy
12-08-2005, 11:20 AM
Sonic, this is what I think the accident looked like from the minivan driver's point of view:

She's at a difficult intersection. Traffic from the left is backed up due to a light, but someone has left enough space for her to cut across. She is watching the right, hoping for a hole before the light changes and the traffic on the left moves. She sees a hole and dives to catch it. . .

As I said before, she's obviously in the wrong for not noticing you zipping down the righthand turn lane. She knows that there is a turn lane there, and ought to have looked.

You asked for "what would you have done?" Here's what I would have done:

Her looking intently to the right is a clear sign that she might dart out. Personally, if I noticed she was looking to the right in this situation, I would have been afraid of her and slowed down to something less than 30. I've had lots of people dive out into spaces that aren't really there, so I am always nervous when there's someone in a side road or driveway trying to make a turn. Depending on traffic, I usually slow down. In your situation, it would have been safe to do so, and I would have.

If I hadn't slowed down (perhaps I didn't notice she was looking to the left) and got into the situation you got yourself into, I think I would also have swerved. I think it's probably the wrong thing to do - as someone pointed out, that leads to the potential for a much more serious accident - but I would have done the same thing.

editted to correct right/left

Apollywog
12-08-2005, 03:30 PM
(2ND QUOTE FROM PAGE 4) EVERYONE RIPPED INTO EVERYONE HERE. EXCEPT POLLY. QED.

:D I got an honorable mention! thanks!

Alto Reed on a Tenor Sax
12-08-2005, 03:53 PM
Mmm...I do not think I "ripped" into anyone here. I am far too slow-witted and fat-fingered to do any of this "ripping" you speak of.

And yes, sonicblue is being too defensive (I hope that's not a "rip"). When you ask for someone's opinion, and they give it to you, you say, "Thank you, I will consider that." Even if the opinion is totally stupid, they are still doing you a favor by giving you what you asked for. Why argue with anybody about it?

Animal
12-08-2005, 04:06 PM
If anything good can come out of this situation, hopefully the minivan driver will remember to look left the next time she charges into the street.

BTW, I have the same situation leaving my parking garage. I need to turn left into a street with heavy traffic. There is an intersection about 50 yards to the right, and a right turn lane that forms just before the garage exit. I have no problems with cars coming from my left, as they are not usually speeding. But it is dangerous trying to merge into the opposite lane going right, as it is difficult to see oncoming cars.

Also, I don't drive a minivan.

sonicblue
12-08-2005, 04:27 PM
meh. "defensive, " "TOO defensive," whatever.

If traffic to her right was stopped, you should have known she was about to come out
I could have said, "yes, thanks," but: the "if" part of that didn't exist in my situation, so I corrected it, and maybe an opinion would be different in light of that. I thought a lot of people made assumptions about the info available to me based on a general situation they've seen that may or may not have been exactly what I was dealing with.

It's over for me. I was up for a healthy debate until people interpreted me as "defensive" - rather than simply defending my (yes, strong) opinion - and then every comment I made thereafter was explaining why I'm not a raving loon.

Lucy
12-08-2005, 04:33 PM
"Originally Posted by paraphrasing a comment someone said
If traffic to her right was stopped, you should have known she was about to come out"

I think that was me, and I just mixed up right and left. Traffic to her left was stopped (the 12 cars waiting to turn). She didn't notice you peel out of the "straight" lane and into the empty right-turn lane. She should have, but you had warning that she might not. People are idiots. Other drivers are idiots. Most of us are idiots on bad days.

sonicblue
12-08-2005, 04:36 PM
Sonic, this is what I think the accident looked like from the minivan driver's point of view:

She's at a difficult intersection. Traffic from the right is backed up due to a light, but someone has left enough space for her to cut across. She is watching the left, hoping for a hole before the light changes and the traffic on the right moves. She sees a hole and dives to catch it. . .

As I said before, she's obviously in the wrong for not noticing you zipping down the righthand turn lane. She knows that there is a turn lane there, and ought to have looked.

You asked for "what would you have done?" Here's what I would have done:

Her looking intently to the left is a clear sign that she might dart out. Personally, if I noticed she was looking to the left in this situation, I would have been afraid of her and slowed down to something less than 30. I've had lots of people dive out into spaces that aren't really there, so I am always nervous when there's someone in a side road or driveway trying to make a turn. Depending on traffic, I usually slow down. In your situation, it would have been safe to do so, and I would have.

If I hadn't slowed down (perhaps I didn't notice she was looking to the left) and got into the situation you got yourself into, I think I would also have swerved. I think it's probably the wrong thing to do - as someone pointed out, that leads to the potential for a much more serious accident - but I would have done the same thing.
I'll address this before I go, because Lucy put forth the effort to reply so thoroughly:

First, Lucy, the direction she was looking (away from me) was to the right, not left (not sure if your picture is right). I never saw her looking my way. To say she was "intently" looking the other way asserts more than you OR I could possibly know. First, in looking away from me, I can't actually see her face. Plus, she wasn't stretched out over the steering column or straining to see, AFAIR. And I think "zipping" has an incorrect connotation.

If I am ever in such a position as the minivan was, I hardly even attempt to cut through traffic unless I know that the traffic I'm going through has a red light. I wait until they have a red and THEN wait to see if anyone will let me through. Even at that, I will take a "long way" out of a parking lot to find an easier way if I think one way will be difficult/dangerous.

Lastly, ladies and gents, I give you Lucy: a generally disagreeing opinion phrased in a pretty objective, clear way. thx.

sonicblue
12-08-2005, 04:38 PM
"Originally Posted by paraphrasing a comment someone said
If traffic to her right was stopped, you should have known she was about to come out"

I think that was me, and I just mixed up right and left. Traffic to her left was stopped (the 12 cars waiting to turn). She didn't notice you peel out of the "straight" lane and into the empty right-turn lane. She should have, but you had warning that she might not. People are idiots. Other drivers are idiots. Most of us are idiots on bad days.
To clarify: the 12 or so cars were going straight, not turning. She was trying to cut through, perpendicularly, my lane and the "backed up" lane and make a left. You're right, I definitely realized she most likely hadn't seen me, and my slowing down was to give her more time to do so. Given that she never did, it just came down to the timing of when she decided to just go and where I'd be. Unfortunately, that timing resulted in my being in a "tweener" spot where, I COULD react, but then how? If at all? One second earlier, I'd have just jammed the brakes. One second later, she would have just t-boned me. It's the "tween" that has screwed me, I fear......

Lucy
12-08-2005, 04:49 PM
I can't speak straight today. I meant the 12 cars waiting (to go straight) at the light, of course - she was the one waiting to turn.

Despite the auto ins surcharge, you are better off with the minor rear-ender than you would have been had she t-boned your car. Your kids were unharmed, probably not even traumatized, and you could even drive away.

Life sucks and then you die.

Alto Reed on a Tenor Sax
12-08-2005, 04:50 PM
I just reread some of your posts...


Originally Posted by UNCORRELATED LAY
No offense, but you want her to admit guilt when you yourself won't admit guilt. You want her to be a good person when you couldn't take the 10 seconds to stop and let her in front of you?

I am sure that she has the same feelings as you do. Having faith in a stranger to actually slow down while entering a busy intersection. Or letting her pass as other courteous drivers have.

Why should I stop in my lane of traffic WITH A GREEN LIGHT to let someone through?

And personally, I think you are at fault for not stopping when you saw that the accident had a good chance of happening.

C'mon, really??!?!?!

You can't go through life constantly thinking other drivers will do the most unpredictable things you can imagine.

Originally Posted by Incredible Hulctuary
You expected her to act sensibly. Learn to expect stupidity, and those actions won't be so unexpected.

I try to be aware of situations but - I repeat - you simply can't drive around thinking that each car around you could, at any time, do the dumbest thing you can think of.

Originally Posted by Eaglet82
Next time take a little more defensive approach to the situation instead of the caveman approach: GREEN LIGHT, GO!, RED LIGHT, STOP!

Your children and everyone else around you will [be able to] thank you later for it.

Wow, what an ignorant thing to say.

Why do you insist that 30mph was NOT reasonable? I think that argument is splitting hairs. I WAS going significantly slower than I would have had traffic not been slow and the woman not been there. To just say, "go slower, go slower" doesn't seem to have much teeth, IMO, that's all. Let's face it, 30mph isn't "fast" in anyone's book. How fast do you drive on highways? I guarantee you I could argue that it's "too fast": deer, tire blowout, etc....

Here's the thing: I can understand, "I would have been going slower." I can't understand, "you should have been going slower" or certainly "going slower would have prevented the accident." If I had hit the Explorer more softly, the fault wouldn't have changed. If I was going much slower, MAYBE I would have been more likely to buck up and hit the minivan.


Clearly, you are doing a little more than "correcting the if's" for people that didn't understand all the details of your situation. What you are doing is arguing with people who are giving opinions contrary to your own, and coming across as very defensive when you do so.

I think the reason you are getting labeled as defensive is that you are not doing what you SHOULD do when people give you advice that you ask for, which is, like I said, saying "thank you, I will consider that."

If you really want advice, then tell the story, and then sit back and let other people debate the logic. If what you really want is for lots of people to take your side and make you feel better....well, asking actuaries for emotional solace might not have been the best tactic in the first place. Kind of like trying to tell this guy (http://www.mythfolklore.net/mywiki/images/spock.jpg) a joke: you probably are not going to get quite the reaction you wanted.

sonicblue
12-08-2005, 05:17 PM
You have way too much time on your hands ;)

You're right, those comments weren't just "setting the stage" things, but you don't believe there's such a thing as 'debating' without being 'defensive'? Any response by me contrary to someone is what, overreacting? defensive? arguing?

Someone said that I saw the accident had a "good chance of happening" - subjective and not their place to say, IMO.

Someone said I should take 10 seconds to let her through - too busy to sit and stop for 10 seconds in this road, IMO

Someone said I simply used "caveman logic" - that's OFFensive, IMO

Yes, I could have wrote a one paragraph description and sat back. As they say, though, the devil is in the details......ALL the details. You don't think it's reasonable that maybe somebody read the first post, thought (like an ins co): "he swerved when a car started out, hit a still vehicle, his fault," but with a more detailed picture, changed their opinion? They wouldn't get the relevant details from anyone else in this thread but me.

tymesup
12-08-2005, 06:12 PM
A co-worker liked to tailgate. He felt that his reflexes were so quick that he could react in time.

He was driving through the Lincoln Tunnel when the driver in front of him hit the brakes. He hit his brakes, too, but the driver behind him wasn't as quick.

My co-worker wasn't at fault, but he didn't give himself the best chance to stay out of trouble. Tailgating in a tunnel seems particularly fruitless.

sonicblue
12-09-2005, 10:24 AM
A co-worker liked to tailgate. He felt that his reflexes were so quick that he could react in time.

He was driving through the Lincoln Tunnel when the driver in front of him hit the brakes. He hit his brakes, too, but the driver behind him wasn't as quick.

My co-worker wasn't at fault, but he didn't give himself the best chance to stay out of trouble. Tailgating in a tunnel seems particularly fruitless.
If his reflexes were, in fact, good enough to stop in time, more power to him for his estimation of his abilities. I'm trying to think, regardless of how close he follows the people in front of him, I don't think that affects how closely people should follow him. The person behind him still should have stayed far enough back to brake in time; I always attempt to see more than one car in front of me in case the driver immediately in front of me isn't paying attention. Couple caveats: if your friend "cries wolf" frequently with tapping the brakes and desensitizes the people behind him OR he drives a big vehicle where he's obscuring the views of cars farther ahead.

When I'm in traffic, I'll change into another lane - even if it's slower - so I can see multiple cars ahead. When I was a teen, me and my sister got hit, though she wasn't tailgating. Very hesitant, stop/go traffic where you go 5mph, then suddenly 35mph, then back to 5mph. Car in front of us wasn't paying attention (my inference) and suddenly JAMMED on his brakes, I mean nose-dive and all - it was very "out of place," which is why I think he just looked down or something for a second. My sister hits hers, hard, too - we nose-dive and see ourselves just stop short of him. She said once she realized our front was safe, looked in her rear-view and saw a big :-O expression from the driver in that car. I'm not even sure he hit his brakes - WHAM! My sister was just a teen, too, so a bit inexperienced; I'm not sure she was looking farther ahead or could have seen farther ahead, but ever since I pay full attention and attempt to keep space ahead AND behind me in traffic.