24 May 2012


This week we took instructions from a cyclist knocked over by a driver emerging from a side street. The claim ought to succeed and Rule 211 of the Highway Code states:

"It is often difficult to see motorcyclists and cyclists, especially when they are coming up from behind, coming out of junctions, at roundabouts, overtaking you or filtering through traffic. 

Always look out for them before you emerge from a junction; they could be approaching faster than you think.

When turning right across a line of slow-moving or stationary traffic, look out for cyclists or motorcyclists on the inside of the traffic you are crossing. 

Be especially careful when turning and when changing direction or lane. Be sure to check mirrors and blind spots carefully."

In most cases  therefore it will be difficult for a driver to escape responsibility  where claiming their view was blocked by parked cars,  or the like.

If you're driving a ton of metal you need to be aware of vulnerable roadusers and don't "nudge out" unless you are sure the road is clear: sometimes of course that is impossible! In Smith v Kempson (2011) the driver had her view obscured and no one could say what she could have done but the appeal judge held the trial judge was entitled to find the driver had "acted in breach of the standard of care, even if the judge was unable to say, or had not said, precisely what action or omission constituted the fault". Life can be unfair!


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