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Driving Law question?

Old 07-10-2007, 05:09 PM
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Default Driving Law question?

My girlfriend was in an accident yesterday. She is Ok but we had a question based on "fault" of the accident. I was a police officer for 3 years in MD but I'm not sure what the law states in PA.

Basically it went like this. She was traveling on a main road southbound. She had a green light as she approached the intersection. She got in the left hand turning lane and made a U-Turn. Drivers coming from the opposite direction had clear visibility of the intersection and there weren't any "no u-turn" signs. In MD, that means you can make a legal U-turn. So she makes her U-turn to head northbound, but there was a truck making a right on red to also head northbound. The right on red was also legal because there were no signs. Basically they collided on the northbound side of the street. Who is at fault?

Obviously being biased, my feeling is this. If you're coming out of a neighborhood to a red light, you're considered to be on a ``side'' street which means that you yield to main street traffic, even those making a U-turn.


I have been to about 30 different websites and have seen it argued both ways?

your thoughts
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Old 07-10-2007, 05:14 PM
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my thoughts about this is that an accident like this would never go purely to one person's fault and most likely will end up being 50/50 but thats what I think..
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Old 07-10-2007, 05:38 PM
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In oklahoma it would be the truck on red because the car making a u-turn is on the main thorough-fair therefore the driver has the right away. Just make sure you have both witnesses and a police report.
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Old 07-10-2007, 06:01 PM
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I think as long as there is no "no u-turn" sign she should have been fine with the northbound turn, here in WA it is legal to do that. On the other-hand the truck should have given way coz he was at the east side of the intersection going north am I right? since the main thorough-fair was the north and south bounds the truck should have first made it sure that he is clear to turn ( Since he knows he makes wide turns duh!! the truck driver needs to re asses his driving techniques lol ) plus he is entering a busy street, he should have been smarter. I hope it wins on your guy's part though . Best regards, good thing everybody was ok.
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Old 07-10-2007, 06:51 PM
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who ran into who is what it comes down to. if your GF hit the truck its her fault, if the truck hit her, its his fault. If the truck pulled up to the intersection and came to a complete stop and looked up the road to make sure no traffic was coming then he cant be entirely blamed, from the picture you painted he wouldn't have been able to see her turn signal and even if he did she could have just be making a left hand turn onto his road. Doesn't matter that hes on a side street and shes on a main road, It seems to me that she would have had to make a pretty fast U-turn to actually bump this guy because going right on red is a pretty quick ordeal, which is why its allowed.
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Old 07-10-2007, 06:59 PM
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My thought (assuming it was a 1-lane road)

The car making the U-turn was making the turn on a green light so that car has the right-of-way. The car making the right on red is required to stop (not just yield, but stop), look and turn when the lane is clear.

But it wouldn't surprise me, and it may be in your benefit to save from any kind of legal battle if the insurance companies just put it down at 50/50, or maybe 60/40 in favor of the green light car. since the accident was easily avoidable (from what you've said so far) for either vehicle.
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Old 07-10-2007, 07:15 PM
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I think it's the truck's fault because when you make a right on red it's your responsibility to make sure the road is clear.
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Old 07-10-2007, 07:25 PM
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If that would be the case/situation here in Los Angeles, your gf is definitely on the "right of way" since she was on the main road regardless if she's making a u-wie or not.. The truck driver should've yielded to her.Glad to know everybody's ok.
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Old 07-10-2007, 07:29 PM
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She has the green light, she has the "right of way" since she was on the main road, There was no "No U-Turn" sign..SHE'S NOT AT FAULT.
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Old 07-10-2007, 07:32 PM
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just to give you a picture of the accident



the truck's drivers side front tire actually hit my gf's front bumper and ripped it clean off.

We'll hear back in a couple of days on the verdict.
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Old 07-10-2007, 07:45 PM
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Thats a real tough one.

From my knowledge in my state (CA) if you're making a right turn you must "end" in the right lane. If you make a left turn you must "end" in the left lane.

I don't know the rules for a u-turn but maybe that might be significant?
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Old 07-10-2007, 07:49 PM
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I am a legal assistant for an attorney that specializes in personal injury--especially car accidents and from that I can tell, the truck is at fault.

"Right on Red" is technically legal but you must stop first and then yield.

Your gf automatically had the right of way since her light was green and there were no "No U-Turn" signs.
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Old 07-11-2007, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by SW_PinkSylk
I am a legal assistant for an attorney that specializes in personal injury--especially car accidents and from that I can tell, the truck is at fault.

"Right on Red" is technically legal but you must stop first and then yield.

Your gf automatically had the right of way since her light was green and there were no "No U-Turn" signs.
and the law has spoken. haha

thanks for the input. I'll update everyone when I find out.
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Old 07-11-2007, 05:06 PM
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definitely. let us know bro.
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Old 07-11-2007, 05:14 PM
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yeah, the truck is at fault because of the reasons stated before, she was on the main road, green light, making a u-turn was a legal manueuver, and the truck was at a red light making a right turn on red, but road wasn't cleared to make his turn. he should have waited until your gf finished her turn.
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Old 07-11-2007, 05:15 PM
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it looks like 50/50
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Old 07-11-2007, 05:21 PM
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All other things being equal (as they seem to be in this case) the "right turn on red" is required to yield.

Hope it works out OK for you.

Tom
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Old 07-11-2007, 05:26 PM
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^^ Yeah no and ifs or buts they have to first stop and then yield to everybody (on red, green is a little different). This shouldn't be a 50/50 or anything like that it was the trucks fault.
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Old 07-12-2007, 12:17 AM
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Truck is at fault. He had the red light. Turning right on red means being responsible for both the traffic in the lane you are turning to as well as the traffic already there.. i.e. U-Turns and traffic that is NOT in the nearest lane since he was a truck and they make wide right turns.
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Old 07-12-2007, 12:26 AM
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the trucks fault becuase it wasnt a scion! :D stupid non scion cars....pfffff



but seriously - the trucks fault. You have a red light, you have to stop, and if you want to turn right, you have to stop and then YEILD to oncoming cars as well. Your gf had a green light so she automatically has the right of way. no u turn sign, no case. you should win this one easily.

My father is a drivers' ed teacher and i just asked him to clarify. if you have a red, you have to stop THEN yield also if you want to turn!

good luck!
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