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Road Collision Scenarios

Please select one of the following to view a similar accident scenario to your own.

Overtaking a vehicle turning right

In this common scenario vehicle A is intending to turn right into a side road and vehicle B is travelling behind vehicle A. As vehicle A commences to turn right B" is in the process of overtaking vehicle A and a collision results.

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Relevant Case Law

Pell v Moseley (2003)

The Claimant was riding a motorcycle along a road. The road was a single carriageway with one lane of traffic in each direction and the speed limit in force was 60 miles per hour. The Claimant was travelling behind the Defendant whom he intended to overtake. The Defendant intended to turn right into a field to attend a motor cross event. As the Defendant attempted to turn right; a collision occurred between the Claimant and the Defendant. At the first trial of the case the judge found in favour of the Claimant fully. Defendant appealed and on appeal both parties equally to blame and liability was awarded on a 50/50 basis.

The Court found the Defendant negligent as they had failed to indicate, and notice the presence of the Claimant’s vehicle before turning right. The Claimant was negligent in failed to notice that the Defendant’s vehicle was slowing down and given the Claimant was aware of the event on the right he should not have attempted to have overtake when they did.

Before Accident
Vehicle A indicates to turn right as vehicle B is behind.
After Accident
Vehicle B attempts to over take as Vehicle A turns resulting in a collision.
Key points to consider in this liability scenario:
  1. Did The Party Indicate?
  2. Was the indication in good time before they commenced their turn?
  3. Did the party turning right check their mirrors sufficiently before commencing their turn?
  4. The speed of the parties involved.
  5. The area of damage to both vehicles.
  6. The layout of the road.
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Overtaking a slow moving / stationary vehicle when a vehicle emerges from a side road

In this scenario vehicle C is following another vehicle B and attempts to overtake the vehicle in front when vehicle A pulls out of a side road across the path of the 1st vehicle, which they had not seen due to the presence of the other vehicle. This scenario is based on a single carriageway.

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Relevant Case Law

Powell v Moody (1966)

Riding his motorcycle along a busy road, the Claimant came up to the tail of a stationary line of traffic, consisting of vehicles two abreast. The Claimant (motorcyclist) proceeded along the offside of the line of traffic, overtaking the stationary vehicles. The Defendant, driving a car, came out of a side road on the nearside of the line of traffic to pass through a gap and turn right to go along the main road in the opposite direction.

The Defendant (car driver) was given a signal by a driver of a milk tanker to come out and as he was inching his way out, the Claimant who was overtaking on the offside and had not seen the side road collided with the Defendant.

The Judge held both parties to blame but attributed 20/80 to the Claimant, thereby finding the Motorcyclist 80% to blame. It was held any vehicle jumping a queue of stationary traffic was undertaking an operation fraught with hazard and had to be carried out with the greatest of care.

Before Accident
Vehicle C follows Vehicle B which in indicating to turn left. Vehicle A sits at that junction waiting for an oportunity to pull out.
After Accident
As Vehicle B turns left, Vehicle C attempts to over take and vehicle A pulls out resulting in a collision.
Key points to consider in this liability scenario:
  1. Layout of the road.
  2. Speed of the vehicles involved.
  3. Positioning of the vehicles at the point of the collision.
  4. Evidence from any independent witnesses as to the positioning of the vehicles at the point of collision.
  5. Vehicle damage areas
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Collisions resulting from reliance on another vehicles mis-leading signal

Most commonly this scenario is where vehicle A is waiting to emerge out of a side road and looking to their right they see vehicle B traveling along the major road indicating to pull into the side road. Upon reliance of the signal turning left by B, vehicle A emerges but vehicle B continues straight on and a collision occurs.

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Relevant Case Law

Winter v Cotton (1985)

This case involved a Claimant who was stationary at a junction with a main road. The Defendant was driving slowly along the main road with their near-side indicator flashing.

The Claimant, relying on both the signal and the Defendant's slow speed, began to manoeuvre onto the main road. The Defendant drove straight on and the vehicles collided.

The judge in this case decided that the Claimant was entitled to move off, given the speed of the Defendant's vehicle and the flashing indicator, and held that the Defendant was liable for the collision.

Before Accident
Vehicle A sits at a junction awaiting to pull out as vehicle B approaches the junction indicating to turn left.
After Accident
Vehicle A pulls out but vehicle B does not turn as indicated resulting in a collision.
Key points to consider in this liability scenario:
  1. Speed of the parties at the time of the collision.
  2. Was an indication given which was misleading?
  3. Positioning of the vehicles at the point of the collision.
  4. Evidence from witnesses to support and indication or to support there was no indication.
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Roundabout Collision

Roundabout collisions are common due to the fact that vehicles can be emerging and exiting from various junctions and in various lanes.

The Highway code Rule 163 states - 'In all cases watch out for and give plenty of room to … long vehicles … which might have to take a different course approaching and on roundabouts. Liability should be apportioned with the long vehicle bearing the greater share of liabilityThe Highway code Rule 163 states - 'In all cases watch out for and give plenty of room to … long vehicles … which might have to take a different course approaching and on roundabouts. Liability should be apportioned with the long vehicle bearing the greater share of liability'.

Generally, the driver who pulls out onto the roundabout into the path of a vehicle approaching from his/her right is 100% liable BUT:

Excessive speed by driver established on roundabout can lead to contributory negligence of perhaps 25%.

Where both drivers are already established on roundabout, liability is often apportioned 50/50 in absence of evidence as to who was in the wrong lane.

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Relevant Case Law

Grace v Tanner (2003) EWCA Civ 354

The Claimant and Defendant entered a roundabout from a dual carriageway in different lanes.

The Defendant missed their exit and continued around the roundabout on the outside of the roundabout.

The Claimant anticipating the Defendant leaving at the previous exit then sought to exit the roundabout and collided with the Defendant.

The Claimant was held liable but on appeal the court apportioned liability 50/50 as the Defendant was negligent in failing to appreciate that in continuing around the roundabout they presented a possible danger to other road users.

Before Accident
On a multi lane roundabout, vehicle A is in the outsid lane and vehicle B is in the inside lane.
After Accident
Vehicle B attempts to exit the roundabout crossing in front of vehicle A resulting in a collision.
Key points to consider in this liability scenario:
  1. Entrance of the vehicles onto the roundabout and their intended exits.
  2. Layout of the roundabout & road markings.
  3. Speed of the vehicles involved.
  4. Areas of damage to the vehicles can assist to demonstrate which differing version is more probable.
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Collision involving vehicle doors being opened

In this scenario vehicle A their door into passing vehicle B, which results in a collision.

The dispute over liability occurs dependent on whether the door was opened into the path of the other vehicle allowing no opportunity for the driven vehicle to avoid the collision or whether the door was open, there to be seen and the vehicle being driven simply failed to note and collide with the opened door.

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Relevant Case Law

Atkins v Metropolitan Police (1994)

The driver after parking in a hurry on the Kings Road, opened their door wide enough to get her foot out. The Motorcyclist collided with the door

The car driver was convicted of an offence under the Road Traffic Act 1972.

Driver appealed on the basis that the motorcyclist was driving too close to the car on the basis of the decision in Sever v Duffy (1977)

Drivers appeal failed as the driver was considered liable due to failing to check the way was clear to open their door into the path of traffic.

Before Accident
Vehicle A is parked on the left side of the road as vehicle B approaches from behind.
After Accident
As vehicle B starts to pass vehicle A opens their car door into the path of vehicle B resulting in a collision.
Key points to consider in this liability scenario:
  1. Entrance of the vehicles onto the roundabout and their intended exits.
  2. Layout of the roundabout & road markings.
  3. Speed of the vehicles involved.
  4. Areas of damage to the vehicles can assist to demonstrate which differing version is more probable.
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