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NGC - Common traffic collision question

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Who is at fault when speeding on a surface street, and someone turns left in front of you (on a green light), causing a collision?

This would apply to either a 4-wheel vehicle or motorcycle, although other factors might come into the argument if the vehicle going straight is a motorcycle.

Everyone going the speed limit, would the car TURNING be at fault? I would assume so. But if the car going STRAIGHT was speeding, then what is the determination?

I watched the horrific video today of a motorcyclist in LA being tracked by a helicopter with the GPS speed displayed, the guy hit over 120 mph before slowing down to move thru traffic, then BAM at ~80 mph he hits a car turning left and cartwheels thru the air, as you could imagine. But it got me wondering how an accident report in a case like this would be handled.

SSGG Geezer:
I suspect in the case you are referring to, that the fact the cyclist was provably reckless will mean that there is no chance of the left turning vehicle having any fault or liability.  There are a bunch of cretins on You tube who ride like this and when something like this happens, I feel worse for the people in the other vehicle who may feel unnecessary guilt and suffer injury when they are involved with these knuckleheads.  If you have ever spoken to someone who has been involved in an automobile collision with fatalities, you would know that the emotional trauma often outweighs any physical injuries.

Mr Pootle:
The starting point is that a car going straight on may be speeding, but it's there to be seen. The turning car takes all or most of the blame. A bike is more difficult to see and that may change the equation.
But the actual speed also comes into play in dividing up the blame. In the case of a bike going at 120 mph, I would say that the blame shifts.

In these type of accidents both parties could be charged with a traffic violation, if not fatal for one or the other.
One of the operators could be charged with NCGS 20-154 “by failing to to see before stopping, start or turning, from a direct line of traffic that the movement could be made safely.
And the other GS 154, exceeding the posted speed limit.
In the case you are referring to, my opinion, just an opinion from the info available, the motorcycle operator was obviously committing “CARELESS AND RECKLESS DR” violation to the point that the driver turning left could very well not be held liable due to being unable to see the approaching MC that was weaving in And out from behind other vehicles within the travel lanes.
It would have been a challenging fatality to have to investigate.


I think it was David Hough in Proficient Motorcycling who would characterize the Rider as “dead right” if she/he weren’t at fault.  Personally, I think the car operator would be at fault if he/she could reasonably have seen the bike and judged it’s speed and still turned into traffic.


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