Friday, May 19, 2006

Who's at fault?

So, I'm driving to a job today in my car and I'm sitting at a light waiting to make a left. It's all one way traffic for both streets in a relativley residential area (Bradley Blvd. & Wilson Lane for the locals). Traffic is constantly coming from the other direction so I'm just sitting there until there is a large gap between a car and a white van. At this moment, I decide I'm gonna make my turn and it also turns out that right at this point the light is turning yellow, so I need to get out of the intersection to begin with.

So, I start making the turn, at which time a pedestrian sees the light turning yelling and starts hauling ass to try and cross. He doesn't make it into the intersection, thankfully, because he sees me turning, but I was about a half a second from slamming on my brakes to prevent myself from hitting him if he had.

Meanwhile, the white van floored it to try and make the yellow light and barely missed hitting me even without me stopping for the pedestrian.

I successfully make the turn and no one is hurt or hit by anyone else, but then I start thinking that I was about one hair away from a serious accident...and I started wondering, "who would be at fault?"

I figured it would have to be the white van, since I was already in the intersection at the time and he was accelerating into a yellow light, rather than yielding (yeah, that's what it actually signals). But, maybe I would have been at fault since I was crossing the path of the white van. Or would it be the pedestrian for attempting to cross at an inappropriate time. Though there are no crossing signs at this intersection, it surely would have been red since the light was yellow.

Thankfully, I don't have to deal with knowing who truly is at fault, because that would have really put a damper into a perfectly good FRIDAY.

1 comment:

gman said...

The van would be at fault. Orange/Yellow does not mean begin slowing down, it means stop. The yellow is just the buffer. Because you were already in the intersection and he wasn't, it's your right of way. That said, in the future I'd wait even until it's red before you make that turn. You'll never get a ticket for waiting, and everyone going perpendicular to you sees you in the intersection and won't crash into you -- but a van darting out from behind another car from the opposite direction won't necessarily see you... and as always no matter what happens, the idiot pedestrian has total right of way, no matter the degree of the idiocy.

my 2 cents.