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Am I at Fault For Collison at Crossroads?

By: Tracy Wilkinson - Updated: 22 Nov 2016 | comments*Discuss
 
Crossroads Give Way Double White Lines

Q.

I was driving on a main road in town and came to a junction - a cross road. The side roads were clearly marked both by double broken white lines and red triangular give way warning signs. A car in front of me stopped and I was unaware as to what that driver was doing.

I undertook him on his nearside. It transpired that a car emerging from the junction on my right had been flashed by the car in front of me. The flashing indicating to the driver in the side road that he should emerge and he did so. He collided with the offside of my car striking it the middle. Am I at fault?

(D.J, 22 September 2008)

A.

Junctions, especially crossroads can be difficult to figure out at the best of times. Unmarked crossroads can cause havoc if drivers don’t know who has right of way, and even marked crossroads can be just as difficult if you don’t know who has priority. This increases the risk of accidents, and means that if the worst does happen, it’s not always clear who was at fault. In this particular case, there's a couple of issues to sort out before we can figure out who is responsible:

Road Markings and Warning Signs

As you were approaching a crossroads and the side roads were marked with the double white lines, this would mean that the cars travelling the same way as you and the opposite direction have right of way over traffic approaching from the side.

Flashing your Lights as an Invitation to ‘go’

The car that crashed into you moved out as a result of the car in front of you flashing to indicate that the other driver should proceed. This isn't an officially recognised traffic signal - more a friendly invitation (in fact, if a police driver flashes at you while driving at speed it means 'Get out of the way!' rather than 'You're safe to pull out!') and therefore the other car proceeded at their own risk as the double white lines and the red warning signal put the onus on them to make sure it was safe before crossing.

Undertaking

It is worth noting, however, that although undertaking another car on the inside is not actually against the law in the UK, it can be a very dangerous thing to do and so is frowned upon. If when you carried out the manoeuvre you did so in an aggressive or careless way then a police officer may decide to charge you under an 'umbrella' offence, such as careless driving, and you could end up with, at best, a fine and points on your licence.

At Fault?

Bearing all that in mind, it is unlikely that you would be held legally responsible for the collision, unless you undertook in what could be interpreted as an aggressive or careless manner, and thus contributed to the accident taking place.

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hi there at a crossroads in carpark, i looked right road was clear, i then completed a left turn, but other party hit my front offside bumper, i can only assume they were making a right turn to go in the same direction as me, coming from road opposite me almost at the same time. there car has a scrape on its front nearside wing.
KARO - 22-Nov-16 @ 1:39 PM
Hi I was at a cross road waiting to turn left as I looked to my right a van was approaching the crossroads and indicted to turn right , I then proceed in pulling out to turn left as both ways where clear as I pulled out the delivery van kept going without turning right still with his indicator on and scrapped the side of my car who is at fault ?
sammy - 9-Jul-15 @ 9:53 PM
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