road safety snafus
December 7, 2012 7:17 AM Subscribe
I have been driving a lot more these days and have come across rather curious situations on the road, involving pedestrians and abandoned / malfunctioning vehicles. Wondering who would be at fault if something were to happen.
posted by ditto75 to law & government (22 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
All of these situations occurred at night / before dawn, so darkness factors into each scenario. Also, I am in the USA and hence curious as to who American law would claim is responsible.
1) Car with no back lights, ie no brake lights nor no regular lights, on a normal 2-lane road (ie, 2 lanes going in either direction). Speed limit 35 mph, although people often go as fast as 50 mph. If someone were to rear-end such a car, who would be at fault? Rear-ender could claim not to see car before it was too late; rear-endee could claim reckless driving.
2) Pedestrian walking on the side of the road. IIRC said pedestrian is not wearing reflective clothing. There's no sidewalk to be seen, no open lot to the side, not even a shoulder. This is not your normal public road -- it's the spur leading from downtown to the interstate, and this particular section of it is a bridge crossing a busy city road. Speed limit 55 mph, people usually drive upwards of 60 mph. Do pedestrians even belong on such a road? Do they have the right of way, no matter the road? If they are hit, whose fault is it?
3) City 2-lane road with median. Speed limit 35 mph, most drive 50 mph. Vehicle parked -- not stalled -- in the median. Apparently abandoned for the time being, as no person is in sight. Also, no lights are on. Granted, perhaps the vehicle or the driver had a problem / emergency and needed to stop the car in an instant and look for help, but without the lights on nobody would know it is there until too late. So if the car is hit, whose fault is it?
4) Open country road, 2 lanes, semi-rural. Posted speed limit 35 mph, most drive 40-45 mph. No city pole lights in immediate area. Pedestrian crossing the street, not wearing reflective clothing. My impression was that he took a glance at oncoming traffic and thought, "If I hurry up I can make it across." If he is hit, who is at fault?