Am I to blame for crash while overtaking?
07 May 2010 16:38
Q. Last year I was the victim of a pretty bad motorcycle accident where I ended up with a fractured pelvis and arm.
I was following a couple of friends on a rideout. They had overtaken a line of three or four cars ahead and I was overtaking the same cars when one of them pulled across me without indicating, into a caravan park entrance on my right hand side.
My solicitor has told me that I may have to accept some fault for overtaking where I did. Is this right?
A. This type of accident has been assessed by the courts many times. The Highway Code says a motorist has to signal his intention and look in his mirrors before beginning the turn.
There is a strong argument to say that the driver didn’t look before turning right and I would certainly argue that the motorist was the main cause of the incident.
lso, the fact that your friends had also passed the car would have made the driver aware of motorcyclists in the area, which should have meant him being more vigilant.
But the courts have decided that overtaking on approach or at a junction is dangerous because of an unsighted vehicle either pulling out or a vehicle pulling into that junction.
Also, the Highway Code does say that you shouldn’t overtake in such places (Rule 167).
Each case is decided on its own merits, but there is a strong possibility that the court will split fault between the two parties. Cases that have been decided by the Court of Appeal have apportioned liability by as much as 50/50.