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Distracting a driver - Liability of a 3rd party?

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Distracting a driver - Liability of a 3rd party?

Postby diy » Tue Sep 01, 2015 9:12 am

This video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0q-NFoEkeag is doing the rounds on the cycling forums, with many cyclists condemning the cyclist more than the van driver. I personally don't think the van driver deserved the response he got given that the cylist discourteously moves in front of him, just as the traffic pulls away and then holds a very central position in the road slowing the driver up. All the driver did was overtake making the cyclist brake in order to filter traffic again. In summary the cyclist is held up by the van in the same way the van was held up by the cyclist. Courtesy from the cyclist would have totally avoided the situation.

But my post is the legal aspects:

Can a person bring a claim for damages if they cause property damage as a result of being recklessly distracted? Did this cyclist owe the driver a duty of care here? It would be reasonably foreseeable that shouting at someone driving a car might cause an accident.

thoughts?
My suggestions are not legal advice
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Re: Distracting a driver - Liability of a 3rd party?

Postby Russell » Tue Sep 01, 2015 9:25 am

Interesting. But no clue as to the answer from me...

When I first passed my driving test I got a speeding ticket from a camera due (partly) to some kids distracting drivers just before the speed camera. I thought little shits but hey they got me, my fault take it on the chin.
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Re: Distracting a driver - Liability of a 3rd party?

Postby atticus » Tue Sep 01, 2015 1:58 pm

This may be a case of "there but for the grace of God"...

Both posts above are reminders that every driver should be in full control of his vehicle. He/she has primary responsibility. He/She needs to take that responsibility, and drive with all due care and attention, to the extent of being aware that some other guy can be a total idiot and cause a situation to become dangerous.

The same applies to pedestrians, cyclists, people riding horses.

It is what I have taught my kids.
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Re: Distracting a driver - Liability of a 3rd party?

Postby atticus » Tue Sep 01, 2015 2:02 pm

To answer the legal question, I have read case reports where a third party whose actions have led to a crash, injury etc has been held at least partly liability. There was a case not so long ago where reckless overtaking caused another driver to take evasive action, which caused the "accident". The overtaker was found liable.

Edit - I found the case. Davies -v- Forrett [2015] EWHC 1761 QB http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/QB/2015/1761.html The first couple of paragraphs set out the facts.
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Re: Distracting a driver - Liability of a 3rd party?

Postby 3.14 » Tue Sep 01, 2015 2:17 pm

I agree the cyclist is an idiot but the driver of the van bears fulls responsibility for his crash with the car in front.
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Re: Distracting a driver - Liability of a 3rd party?

Postby dls » Tue Sep 01, 2015 5:14 pm

I am not sure that the Davies case helps much. It was really about costs given the behaviour of one defendant.
Liability in such cases can be very particular to the facts.

That said, the driving described is not uncommon in Wales.
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Re: Distracting a driver - Liability of a 3rd party?

Postby Slartibartfast » Tue Sep 01, 2015 5:43 pm

3.14 wrote:I agree the cyclist is an idiot but the driver of the van bears fulls responsibility for his crash with the car in front.


Agreed
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Re: Distracting a driver - Liability of a 3rd party?

Postby atticus » Tue Sep 01, 2015 5:54 pm

dls - yes, but it showed the principle of such liability.
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Re: Distracting a driver - Liability of a 3rd party?

Postby shootist » Tue Sep 01, 2015 6:23 pm

If anyone cares to read up a bit of the Cyclist Touring Club forum they will immediately realise that no cyclist is ever to blame for anything and motor vehicle drivers are to blame for everything bad that happens on the road.
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Re: Distracting a driver - Liability of a 3rd party?

Postby atticus » Wed Sep 02, 2015 8:05 am

It is true that special interest groups can have something of a blind spot regarding their own special interest.
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