Are we ever 100% innocent when involved in a traffic incident

glojo

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Here we go

I am guessing that in 95% of road traffic incidents it is possible that a degree of blame can be assigned to both parties with very few exceptions and YES... There are obviously exceptions but most incidents can be avoided if drivers were more aware of their surroundings.

1. Going through a traffic light controlled junction when we have the green light for our carriageway

2. Being on a roundabout when a vehicle t-bones us.

3. Driving along a main road and an idiot pulls out of a side road.

4. Reversing out of a drive.

5. Overtaking on a three-lane carriageway

The list is no doubt endless but all of the above can be avoided by forward observation and anticipation.

I can hear folks screaming at me regarding some of my examples, but really?

Answers to the above
1. What does a green light mean on a traffic light? As far as I am aware it means, 'Proceed IF IT IS SAFE TO DO SO' To highlight this, when I was an advanced motorcycle instructor I would take my students (on foot) to a busy, traffic light controlled junction and we would then watch road users driving through the green light and not EVER bothering to look either to their right or left. 'So what' I hear you say. My point is that when we die, those that meet us at the Pearly Gates, do not give us a free pass to the 'innocent' parties, when we are dead, we are DEAD! No disrespect to HGV drivers but if a truck driver does not see that red light, or is dazzled and simply could not see it, then we do not get a free pass if they collide into us. If the driver of a stolen vehicle goes through a red light, we do not get a free pass. Joy-riders, boy or girl racers, the list is endless, but let's remember, green means proceed IF IT IS SAFE TO DO SO.

2. Again good observation will usually avoid this type of incident. There I am on the roundabout, minding my own business, picking my nose and watching the world go by when BANG! (did that make you jump?) A car\truck\motorbike joins the roundabout and broadsides me! Not my fault sir! Again, if we were riding a motorbike and picking our nose :) We are possibly dead! Not my fault sir! A great epitaph but good observation and anticipation would have avoided that collision. When we are on a roundabout, there is a very good chance we can see traffic approaching the give-way junction. All it takes is a very slight lift off the accelerator\throttle, I was going to say we can also slightly accelerate to clear the junction, but the safest option is that VERY slight lift. Once we see brake lights being applied, job done. I am NOT suggesting we slow to a crawl, I am simply saying a very gentle, very slight lift will allow us to see if that oncoming driver has seen us and is aware they have to give way. being in the right, does not make it right. A two-second delay is far better than a collision. Good observation and anticipation.

3. My remarks for point number '2' are the same for road junctions. Never try to position yourself where that vehicle will 'meet' you at the junction. A slight lift on the accelerator and abra- ca-dabra, we see the brake lights being applied. Being in the right is not a 'free pass'

4. As my old driving instructor used to say, 'A good driver reverses into a parking bay, driveway etc and the drives out. YES, there will be exceptions part laziness, part unavoidable but when reversing out from any situation we MUST all be aware that we may well have restricted visibility.

5. BOY do I hate these roads with a vengeance. The meat in the sandwich sums up that middle lane, and guess who the meat is? how many times have we been on a three-lane carriageway overtaking a vehicle and then some 'idiot' coming towards us decides to overtake and move out into the lane we are occupying. PLEASE, please just think about that saying, 'The meat in the sandwich' is it worth overtaking that slower-moving vehicle when there is the risk of an oncoming vehicle wanting to exchange names and addresses with you?

Motorcyclist amongst us. Roundabouts and sharp bends near bus stations and perhaps garages. Diesel does not evaporate like petrol, roundabouts and sharp bends are regular places where over-filled vehicles dump this fuel onto the highway. PLEASE be aware of this. A quick and very sad tale to highlight this and please, if you are in anyway squeamish, ignore the following example :(

A young man who had only recently got married was on his way to work riding his very nice motorbike. A beautiful day, he was on a busy country lane when he entered into a left-hand bend.... That was where his life ended. as this rider exited the bend, his bike went over some dumped diesel, down the bike went, he slid across the road directly into the path of an oncoming Landrover. This young man's body slid down the side of the landrover but sadly his head was trapped under the offside front wheel.... I apologise for being so graphic and I hope no one knows of this victim because once again, this could have been avoided if we take any type of advanced riding\driving course and then apply what we learn. These courses will NOT teach us to drive faster, they may well teach us to make progress in a much better, more professional manner and that 'making progress' will usually get us from A to B sooner than we would before taking these courses. That poor motorcyclist. sadly if they had done an advanced type motorcycle course or even a course for cars, they might not have been in that position where they slid off. I say this purely because prior to a bend.. IF IT IS SAFE to do so, we go to the crown of the road to get that early view, and then turn in to 'clip' the apex and NO I do NOT mean we drive or ride into that nearside gravel. By this type of riding\driving, we are NEVER near the centre of the road when exiting a left-hand bend. 1606385900945.png :(:( A very sad incident and my thoughts go out to the family of that young man and also the innocent driver of that Landrover who as we can imagine was traumatised by this awful, awful incident.

What I am saying folks is that most incidents can be avoided but YES, some cannot, the most common being when we are waiting at a junction and BLAT, someone rams us up the back... Not much we can do in those circumstances, but if we have not considered some type of driving or riding course, now might be the time to take one and what a nice Christmas present for those we hold dearest to us. sadly we are in the age of coronavirus and car courses might not be possible, but I do not see why motor-cycle courses cannot take place.

The place for fast driving is on the race track. A public highway is a place where we can all hone our driving skills and as my old driving instructor used to say, 'The day we pass our driving test, is the day we start learning bad driving habits!'
 
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glojo

glojo

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Just double-checked the Highway Code regarding traffic lights as it has been a while since I last looked...

Green traffic lights. The rule now is: GREEN means you may go on if the way is clear. Take special care if you intend to turn left or right and give way to pedestrians who are crossing.

My post is perhaps an older version but has the same meaning Proceed IF IT IS SAFE TO DO SO' Far better to use the newer wording :)

On another thread we have a poster that thinks assuming events or assuming the actions of other road users is a 'get out of jail free card, or an excuse to avoid prosecution and NO.... I am definitely NOT saying we would get prosecuted if we have a collision with a vehicle colliding with us whilst we drive through that green traffic light. No, a thousand times no. I am saying that if we visually clear this type of junction, then we can save a whole world of hurt or pain. I am also NOT suggesting we brake and crawl through a green light, for an experienced driver it is a very, very simple task to just glimpse both to the right and left. For the motorcyclists amongst us, this can easily be a life-saving action.

If ANYONE disagrees with my post then hopefully we can chat in a constructive way and voice our opposing thoughts?
 

zipdip

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Well I take the point you are making,I suspect all of us driving along feel safe in the knowledge that other drivers know the rules,like drive on the correct side of the road and if joining a road check that nothing is coming,if you do have a accident,you can look back on it and say maybe I should have guessed that driver would pull out or whatever,but we have the rules and so just who is at fault is normally fixed right from the start,you can use all the observation and anticipation,you like but the unexpected is just that.
Sometimes driving on motorways with other people in the car,I sometimes get asked why I have indicated and moved to the lane on the right when there is no vehicle in front and so I start my chat about looking and avoiding sudden braking on a motorway,by saying that van or truck on the inside lane that we are catching up will come out anytime now ,and normally by the time I say it the vehicle does just that,and so I start to tell them all that will be happening in front of us before it happens,but you can always get caught out,but I have driven now for 35years without a my fault accident. :)
 
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glojo

glojo

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I am definitely NOT talking about 'knowing the rules' that must surely be a given. My post is perhaps a precise of just some of the tips drivers or bike riders will receive if they take an advanced or similar named driving course. Who cares if we have been driving for 2 years or 92 years, I stick by what my instructor once told me..... The day we pass our test, is the day we start picking up or learning bad habits. Think about the nonblameworthy accidents we have and could we have avoided them?

My wife was negotiating a roundabout in our old 210, when wack, a small Renault rammed into the front nearside of the car causing damage to the front wing and front passenger door. The Renault was a write-off but my ten year old daughter was thankfully unharmed and that front passenger door was still in working order. Yup, not my wife's fault and thankfully my daughter was uninjured. It could so easily have had tragic consequences and hats off to the strength\design of the S210. A year or so later we were in my 'stretched limo' negotiating a roundabout when I noticed a car travelling at high speed toward this roundabout and on a possible collision course. In the offside lane, travelling at speed. Should I be the proverbial 'back-seat driver and shout out about that vehicle or keep my mouth shut and stand-by to receive a car 'port-side to? Oh, and my wife has held a driving licence for fifty years and NEVER had a blameworthy accident. Does that driving experience make her a better driver when compared to maybe a fast response driver with only five years driving experience?

We are ALL never too old to learn but in my personal experience, we can tell a man he has an ugly wife, we can tell a man his breath stinks, but by crikey try to criticise their driving :)

When I took those advanced motorcycle courses, nothing gave me greater pride when comparing the standards of the 'before and after'. Competent bike riders one and all, but after the course, we used to say,

'Man and machine as one' Quicker riders one and all, but safer riders and riders that had learnt that being in the right, is not always the answer to a long life, but being observant just might save their lives :)
 

ChrisHGTV

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I think some very good points made. I learnt a whole lot more regarding "roadcraft" on my motorcycle course than i did through my driving lessons and personally for me riding a motorbike has taught me a lot more about observation, positioning, hazard awareness and (hazard) controls - mainly because you feel so much more exposed. As a rule i adopt the same approach when driving a car and this seems to have served me well to date. However i do find in the car one of the risks is due to the cossetting effect (compared to a motorcycle). Sometimes i open a window just to get the focus back if i find i'm falling into that trap of almost running on autopilot.

Curiously on my pushbike my risk tolerance seems to increase markedly and i'm not sure why as it makes no sense. Maybe it's because i consider it a "sport" and so has a different risk assessment criteria? I still adopt "best practice" as far as roadcraft goes but with the exception of speed. This is really only evident descending as i'm no Chris Hoy! Given i have very little protection on the roadbike (save gloves and helmet) there is no logic.
 

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2. Again good observation will usually avoid this type of incident. There I am on the roundabout, minding my own business, picking my nose and watching the world go by when BANG! (did that make you jump?) A car\truck\motorbike joins the roundabout and broadsides me! Not my fault sir! Again, if we were riding a motorbike and picking our nose :) We are possibly dead! Not my fault sir! A great epitaph but good observation and anticipation would have avoided that collision. When we are on a roundabout, there is a very good chance we can see traffic approaching the give-way junction. All it takes is a very slight lift off the accelerator\throttle, I was going to say we can also slightly accelerate to clear the junction, but the safest option is that VERY slight lift. Once we see brake lights being applied, job done. I am NOT suggesting we slow to a crawl, I am simply saying a very gentle, very slight lift will allow us to see if that oncoming driver has seen us and is aware they have to give way. being in the right, does not make it right. A two-second delay is far better than a collision. Good observation and anticipation.

This is a very familiar to me. I've ridden a motorcycle to work for the last 14 years and the sight of drivers racing up to a roundabout was common place and left me not knowing if they have any intention of stopping. Some of it is poor road design particularly very small roundabouts but that's would be of no comfort if I got hit. I've avoided more than a few potential collisions by observation. Aggressive drivers don't like you slowing down too much as it holds them up but if they engaged their brain they would realise it's their own aggressive driving that's holding them up.
 

knighterrant

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I agree with everything from the OP here. I possibly take it too far sometimes though. Many years ago I was stopped waiting for traffic to clear so I could turn right at a junction, indicators flashing. I happened to glance in my mirror and saw a Skoda approaching quickly from behind. I made that foolish mistake of assuming he was going to stop in time. He didn’t, instead writing off his car on the back of my E-class. Thankfully nobody was hurt. But to this day I regret not having aborted my intended turn and accelerating away to avoid the collision. Even that, to me, was in a small way partly my fault.
 
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glojo

glojo

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I never picked my nose when riding a motorbike. Bloody gloves make it impossible.
Preferably stop the bike, blow your nose onto the visor, flip-up said visor, wipe with nice, comfy glove, and the job's a good un. But.... make sure you wipe off the visor before moving off :)
 

markjay

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The only insurance claim I have ever had that was 100% totally unavoidable, was when a wannabe Lewis Hamilton raced his Ferrari Spider into a row of legally-parked cars in the quiet residential London street where we live, and totalled three parked vehicles includes Mrs MJ's car.

I had a few crashes (when I was a young lad), and without fail they were all avoidable had I been a better or more-experienced driver - even those that weren't 'my fault' according to the insurer or the law.
 
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markjay

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I’ve just remembered what’s useful to assume: assume all other drivers are idiots.
And a subset of this is:

Go through every green light as if you were jumping a red light..................
 

knighterrant

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And a subset of this is:

Go through every green light as if you were jumping a red light..................
And another:

Dont be the person lying on a hospital bed and complaining “It was my right of way”.
 
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I’ve only had two accidents and both were 100% not my fault; first one the bloke just shot out of a side road and whacked into the side of my A6 with no warning whatsoever. When I asked him what he was thinking, he said he thought the road was straight through and didn’t see the signs.

Second one, I was sat behind a young lass in a queue waiting to exit a side road, she pulled out turning right then got spooked by a car coming the other way so reversed back from whence she came and rammed the front of my car.
 

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The highway code states you should not reverse out of your drive on to a main road but reverse on to it if possible.
(I dont see how one is possible and not the other).

So point 4 is bad practice and poor driver education
 
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My tip

if you want to be a better driver..

learn to ride a motorcycle

My observation and anticipation increased massively once I learned to ride..,without a cage around me..
 

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