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Was it my fault? or his?(20 posts)

Was it my fault? or his?rrjc5488
Jul 24, 2003 6:59 PM
OK, I was riding a semi busy road (one lane) and there was a car about 200 feet away and approaching the intersection I usually turn on. So im about 100 feet away from the turn, and i scoot over to the left into the lane, so I can make the turn, I held out my hand signaling to make a left turn, I held it for about 3 seconds because i put my hand back on the handlebar to make the turn. And as im about to lean in, the car is right behind me, and the guy turns into the oncoming lane (there were no cars coming at him obviously) and floors it, as to pass me on the left. I jammed on both brakes, and he jammed on his making screetching noises. Mind you, the road I was traveling on is in back of a middle/junior high school, so he shouldnt have been doing more than 30 in this area, I was sprinting at about 35 mph.

I wasnt hit, but came damn close to it.
I just want to know, do you think it was my fault, or his?
As soon as you put out your hand to signal a left turn..........MR_GRUMPY
Jul 24, 2003 7:04 PM
..he is not allowed to pass, just as if you were a car.
Not always the case...russw19
Jul 24, 2003 7:12 PM
In Florida you have to make sure it is safe to turn before doing so. If the driver started to pass before you started your turn, you are at fault. Even if you signal your intent to turn before he starts to pass. The crap of it is that even if the driver doesn't signal his/her intent to pass (flashing lights, blowing horn, turn signal) and you turn into him/her while they are passing, you are still at fault.

I learned that at the Florida Driver School that you go to when you fight a ticket. Surprised the heck out of me when I heard it too, so I double checked with a cop I knew and trusted later on... she told me the same thing.

So be carefull.... and even if you were right, look and be safe anyways.. it's better to be safe than dead right.

no way!MaRider
Jul 24, 2003 7:21 PM
as a bike you should get the same treatment as the car.
But because you should always ride as far to the right as possible (or deemed safe), making a left turn takes more time. Signalling a left turn 100m to go is perfectly way to make such a turn. It takes less than 10 seconds to cover those 100m, and the driver of the car is either close enough and should have seen your turn signal, or too far to make up a lot of ground in those 10 seconds to pass you anyways. Being in a school zone just adds to the crime.

I am not a Florida cop or a lawyer, but the guy behind is always at fault. If you signal your turn properly and get to the left side of the road without any problems, it's his responsibility to make sure he can pass you safely. I cannot imagine a situation under which a reasonable person would even attempt to pass a car turning left on the left side, while crossing into an oncoming traffic. The same should apply to the bike.
way! Instead of telling me I am wrong.. look it up...russw19
Jul 24, 2003 7:44 PM
I am telling you.. this is the law as written. I was forced to learn it and pass a test on it.

OK, you admit you are not a Florida cop or lawyer.... so instead of assuming you are right, look it up and know.

I was just as surprised to learn this when I did, but that doesn't mean it's not true. And the guy behind is not always at fault in Florida. If you pull into traffic and slam on your brakes without giving the car behind you room to react and stop in a reasonable manner, you will be cited for reckless driving and be cited for causing the accident. You should never assume you know the rules of the road if you are just guessing... you could be wrong. In the case described above, before I took the driver's course, I would have been too.

The logic behind the law makes sense if all are following the laws of the road. If you attempt to pass someone and make sure it is safe to do so, then they turn left into your path after you start to pass, how would any sensible person be in the wrong for trying to pass? Say it's a valid passing zone and you are passing within the speed limit. You are following some car that is driving too slow and you decide to pass them. Then they turn left right in front of you and you realize that's why they were going so slow... the driver making the turn is at fault! They didn't check to see if it was safe and clear to turn... just as if they turned into oncomming traffic. They failed to make sure it was safe, and they are at fault. It makes no difference if you were behind them and passing them...

Anyways... like I said above... I was just as surprised to learn this law.. and I only brought it up to fight two very wrong assumptions... one is that if you are turning and are ahead of another vehicle, that you always and unequivocally have the right of way, and second is one you bring up.. that the driver behind is always at fault. It's better to know the actual law then to think you do. And like I said in my first post.. if we are talking about being on a bike, is it really that big of an accomplishment to be dead right about the traffic law?

You're right. That's what called illegal lane change,c722061
Jul 25, 2003 5:00 AM
another rule of thump for cyclist when making turn is to make sure the driver see you. If the distance between a bicyclist and the car too short for the bicyclist to get noticed, he has to wait to signal for the next car.
Wow, really...Dwayne Barry
Jul 25, 2003 3:12 AM
I thought you were not allowed to pass at intersections at all. Guess I need a drivers ed. refresher course.
Wow, really...russw19
Jul 25, 2003 5:47 PM
Two roads crossing each other is one thing... but a road ending into another is entirely different. It's hard to explain by typing, but say you have a road that enters on the left, but doesn't pass thru the road you are on. That's totally different. But you are right that you can not pass while passing thru an intersection of two crossing roads.

By the way, none of what I have been talking about in this thread pertains directly to the initial incident's description. I was only responding to two things that were wrong in the thread... that it is always the rear driver's fault, and that there is an exception to where you turning into a passing car could be your fault... that's it.

Hope I didn't confuse anyone.

Not always the case...lemmy999
Jul 25, 2003 4:29 AM
With car/car accidents in TN, if you are the passing car and something happens, it is almost always your fault. And since bike/car accidents should be treated the same, I would think it would have been his fault.
Not always the case...MikeBiker
Jul 25, 2003 5:54 PM
Your reply confuses me as I have always heard that it is illegal to pass in an intersection.

re: Was it my fault? or his?jtolleson
Jul 24, 2003 8:12 PM
In many states you have an obligation to ride as far to the right as is reasonable/practicable so my question is, as you completed your turn (if I am reading this right) why were you still so far to the left that he had to go into an ongoing traffic? I know you had to be in the left turn position, but after that you would stay right.

Maybe I am picturing it wrong. Ultimately, though, his lack of care screams "jerk" to me!
because he hadn't made the turn yet (nm)lemmy999
Jul 25, 2003 4:31 AM
35 MPH !!!!!the bull
Jul 24, 2003 8:16 PM
Holy shi+ Sounds like a sprint at the end of a race!!!
He must of been fling to have to hit his brakes in the corner like that!!!!
Oh well welcome to the world of road biking!
Idoits everywhere! I can think of two jackasses I encountered today alone!
The first almost hit us as he was running a red light and we were going through a green at a busy intersection.
The second came guy came about 13 inches from the outside of handlebars! As I came past him at the stop light I noticed the USMC sticker on his window and his large size.I still put my hand up in the air to show disapproval but I am pretty much used to this crap by now!I came around his left as he was tring to make a left,said Hi and got right in front of his truck to let him know I was going to go before him.I knew he would cut me off agian and he did!
So what? Were both Jackasses!
re: Was it my fault? or his?Steve Bailey
Jul 25, 2003 4:37 AM
You did everything right and the fault is his - Florida included.

In general and in all states, laws pertaining to moving vehicles presumes that the vehicle in front (when both are in the same lane of traffic, moving in the same direction) has the right of way. Even if you fail to signal, it's the vehicle behind you that has to exercise caution and to yield to your actions. This is the basis for why a rear-end collision is ALWAYS the fault of the rear vehicle.

Had you signalled that you were pulling off to the RIGHT, then made an un-signalled left turn, it is still partly the fault of the rearward vehicle for not exercising due caution, though a case is made that the front vehicle failed to signal and is now partly at fault.

A vehicle moving to pass in an on-coming lane of traffic, even in a condition where lane markings do not prohibit passing (double or single solid yellow) must exercise caution and is at fault if it hits a vehicle in front making a legal left turn, having signalled or not.

Jul 25, 2003 7:42 AM
HE shouldn't have been doing more than 30, yet you admit YOU were doing 35?
Jul 25, 2003 7:34 PM
yeah, i admit, thats kinda hipocritical, but come on! A bike definitly has more control in stopping, swerving, and is less space, so could pull over and not do damage to something being at least 6 feet wide, whereas a bike is 3 at most. Another reason i was sprinting is because when i make a turn like this, i feel the car behind me gets pissed off and probably wants to run me off the road.
Something similar happened to meMel Erickson
Jul 25, 2003 8:32 AM
Many years ago I was riding down a rural county road. I was going about 25 down a hill and wanted to make a left hand turn at the bottom. I moved over to the left side of the lane and signaled about 150 ft. before the turn. I then put my left hand back on the bar to brake and make the turn. I glanced in my mirror about half way down the hill before I signaled and nobody was behind me. Just before I started to make the turn I glanced in my mirror again and saw a Mustang going pretty fast and passing me on the left. Not wanting to turn into the idiot I quickly pulled over to the right. He panicked, locked up his brakes and the rear end of his car swung around and hit me in the back wheel. Over the bars I flew, landing first on my head and rolling over onto my back and sliding about 20 ft. on the gravel shoulder. My back was hamburger and took about two hours in the emergency room to pick out the gravel and scrub up. He was a kid from Texas, got a ticket, no insurance, no money and I never recovered anything from him. My rear wheel was tacoed, bars bent, etc. His fault and he was cited but big deal. Never did find out what happened to him.
Exactly!Spoke Wrench
Jul 25, 2003 9:44 AM
In my experience, it has seldom mattered whose fault it was. The last automobile accident I had was the other persons fault. Totally destroyed a brand new company car but, other than some aches, abrasions and bruises didn't hurt me. They had neither insurance nor anything of value to attach. The MAJORITY of people I've met who have had a serious accident have told me the same thing.

I think that a small minority of uninsured indigent people cause a real high percentage of the traffic accidents. My advice is to avoid traffic accidents when you can and not spend too much time thinking about whose responsibility it is. You might as well plan on paying regardless of fault.
What state? Most places, bikes have the same rights as cars.BergMann
Jul 25, 2003 10:29 AM
I know in California, bicycles have the exact same rights as any other (motorized) vehicle.
I now live in NJ, where the drivers act as if cyclists have _no rights_ so I don't insist on the letter of the law here.
Some important lessons...newridr
Jul 25, 2003 10:45 AM
Based on what everyone's said here and my own close brushes with disaster, I think one of the most important things to remember is that most drivers on the road are morons these days who exercise no due caution or concern for anyone else out on the road, especially bicycles. Look out for yourself and your riding partners and NEVER assume that the car sees you or isn't going to do something stupid.

I always make my intentions to turn way in advance and check behind me regularly, especially as I slide over to make a left hand turn.

Oh by the way, I also heard just yesterday, that if you ever wave a car by and the driver wrecks, it could come back upon you since you gave him the "all clear" to pass. Just some food for thought in an ever increasingly litigious society.