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View Full Version : Witnessed an odd accident a few minutes ago


brick
10-11-2006, 11:46 AM
I was driving across town a few minutes ago and had the unpleasant experience of witnessing a minor accident. In the right lane, a small camper driven by a young-ish guy. In the left and slightly behind, a two week old Ford Escape driven by an older man and his wife. The road was merging into one lane, which the guy in the Escape didn't realize as he initiated a slow pass of the camper. So the camper merged left, the Escape avoided it but ended up in the opposing lane, and yet kept on going for reasons I don't understand. At that point they were basically down to one lane and the camper had no place to go but forward, at which point the rear bumper just barely hooked the front bumper cover of the Escape and pretty much tore it off. Thing is, the guy in the camper didn't realize it and kept on going while the other couple followed and leaned on the horn. Eventually they turned on to a side street, and I flipped a mental coin and decided to stop tell the cop what I saw. Fortunately everybody was civil about it and have probably gone about their business by now. I have to feel a little bad for the guy driving the camper because he was basically out of options. When I left it sounded like the cop was going to write him up for a failure to yield, which I guess is technically correct.

Oh, well. Check those blind spots!

xcel
10-11-2006, 12:02 PM
Hi Tim:

___The camper guy was in the lead and the Escape tried to pass while coming into the merge and it was the camper guys fault? Sounds like the Escape guy was doing his ****dest to get into an accident by not only not backing off but by also staying along side while facing oncoming traffic even after the merge lane disappeared??

___Fortunately for both parties, nobody was injured.

___Good Luck

___Wayne

RH77
10-11-2006, 10:35 PM
Hi Tim:

___The camper guy was in the lead and the Escape tried to pass while coming into the merge and it was the camper guys fault? Sounds like the Escape guy was doing his ****dest to get into an accident by not only not backing off but by also staying along side while facing oncoming traffic even after the merge lane disappeared??

___Fortunately for both parties, nobody was injured.

___Good Luck

___Wayne

Sounds like your classic road rage / road dominance effect. I about had an Accord squeeze me off the road while DWL'ing up a merge ramp today on the way home from the airport. I was going slightly under the limit, but I had the right of way. I would've let up to let them pass, but geez, the road was narrowing to one lane, so I just forced the other guy to merge behind! They passed later...

RH77

TonyPSchaefer
10-11-2006, 11:10 PM
Yeah, I'd say there are two things to consider here:
1) if the camper was "in the lead" when the lanes started merging, he had the right-of-way.
2) always ALWAYS assume that people with large vehicles - especially those towing things - can not see you.

Several years ago I was merged into while riding in the center lane. At the time, the guy claimed full responsibility and we exchanged information. The story he told his insurance was that we both merged into the center lane at the same time from the right and left lanes. Of course, with no witnesses, I was left to pay for my damages. From that point onward, I stop at all accidents that I witness.

brick
10-12-2006, 07:00 AM
Sounds like your classic road rage / road dominance effect.

In this case I really don't think it was. In the case of the Escape driver, he simply didn't realize that the lanes were about to merge when he started passing (which was very slow, but did begin before the merge). He was stuck in the blind spot when the incident began. And I don't want you guys to take this the wrong way, but he had to be in his mid 80s. It sounds horrible to blame it on aging, which can't be helped, but having spoken with him I believe that it did play some role in his ability to manage the situation and react when he started to get in trouble.

As for the camper driver, the thing he did wrong was beginning the merge when the SUV was in a questionable position. His only means of seeing to the rear was his side mirror, which can't really be used to judge distance. (That's why semi drivers often flash each other to indicate that it is clear to change lanes...a habit that I have picked up when driving around them.) I **think** that in his situation I would have planned farther ahead and tried to get that SUV ahead of me. But who knows. The tactical error he made after the fact was trying a little too hard to convince the cop. I was the last to tell my story, and he mentioned that "He really sounds like he's trying to pin it on the other driver," which apparently he took as a sign of guilt. Note to self?


Personally, I like the nautical piloting rules in a situation like this, which state that both pilots are obligated to do everything in their power to avoid an accident, irrespective of who has the right of way in a given situation. It's the only way to keep yourself out of screwball situations like this. We should add that to the checklist as "DWP" for "Driving w/ Paranoia."

Several years ago I was merged into while riding in the center lane. At the time, the guy claimed full responsibility and we exchanged information. The story he told his insurance was that we both merged into the center lane at the same time from the right and left lanes. Of course, with no witnesses, I was left to pay for my damages. From that point onward, I stop at all accidents that I witness.

Aha! I remember that story from some other thread. I now realize that it was your voice that was telling me to stop to offer to witness. Seriously...I don't know that it would have occurred to me if I hadn't read that somewhere. I don't know that I helped anything but I'm glad I did it.

Chuck
10-12-2006, 01:35 PM
brick, if you suspect Alzheimers' might be a factor, then it might be more understandable about the SUV. Normally, I'd side with the camper (and still tend to).

Since the death of Yankee pitcher Cory Litle is fresh on our minds, it makes me wonder once again about how lax we are about driving. To get a US private pilot license:

Be at least 17 years old
Be able to read, speak, and write the English language
Obtain at least a third class medical certificate from an Aviation Medical Examiner
Pass a computerized aeronautical knowledge test
Accumulate and log a specified amount of training and experience, including the following:

Hot Georgia
10-12-2006, 02:19 PM
Our new 2000 Grand Cravan was totalled on a 35MPH limit street near a mall.

There is a traffic light where it all piles up and is 3 lanes:
Two traveling lanes and a ~1000 ft Right turn lane.

My family and I were facing the opposite direction, turning left in a break of cars across the 3 lanes.

I slowly crossed the two stopped traffic lanes and briefly stopped to check the empty Right turn only lane, and saw a pickup truck about 600' down the lane, plenty of time to cross so I proceeded.

It was pouring rain and next thing I know is the trucks tires are sliding and WHAM pushed us ~15 feed sideways down the road and spun 90 degreese.
Massive damage to the passenger sliding door area but thank God we were all OK.

5 Witnesses gave me their contact information, as they all said the truck was in exess of 65-70MPH apparently speeding up to the traffic light, going around the long line of cars.

10 minutes later a cop showed up and promptly wrote me a ticket for failure to yield.
The witnesses informed the cop of the speeder but since he wasn't there and didn't have his radar gun it's all hear-say.

Suprisingly my no-good insurance agency, State Farm at the time wasn't interested in witnesses either so I was 100% at fault in the accident.

State farm replaced the van with our current '01 model and we had "gap" insurance (which I highly reccomend) and the gap paid off the rest of the auto loan.

-Steve

Chuck
10-12-2006, 02:29 PM
I'm sorry to hear that State Farm did not do you a better job, Steve - that's just not professional of them or the police.

So far, State Farm has not done me like that...

Hot Georgia
10-12-2006, 08:16 PM
After the accident we switched to Geico over both vehicles and save around $800/yr. We had whole life policy for us as well, and found whole life in general a rip-off so we switched away from SF again and got cheap, efficient term with another company.

SF still has our home owners policy....we got it before setting up a 24' above ground pool and now others are WAY too expensive cuz of that :(

lakedude
10-14-2006, 03:39 AM
1) if the camper was "in the lead" when the lanes started merging, he had the right-of-way.

You had me going for a minute but after some thought I disagree. Who ever is in the correct lane has the right of way. What I mean is that if a sign says "RIGHT LANE ENDS" then whoever is in the left lane has the right of way. Similarly if the sign says "LEFT LANE ENDS" the person the the right lane has the right of way. Same goes if the sign is a picture of a narrowing roadway. One side will have a straight line (the side with the right of way) and the other side will show a narrowing (the side that must yeild).

http://www.transport.gov.za/library/legislation/roadtraffic/signs/W329.jpg
Left hand lane has right of way
http://www.transport.gov.za/library/legislation/roadtraffic/signs/W330.jpg
Right hand lane has right of way....

Chuck
10-14-2006, 08:54 AM
Variation: Road Rage? (http://www.cleanmpg.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1005&highlight=road+rage)



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