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  1. #1
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    Sep 2013
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    Question Collision While Trying to Pass a Vehicle that Made a Left Turn

    My question involves a traffic accident in the State of: WA

    I was on a motorcycle following a minivan for at least 5 minutes. The weather was sunny, the road was dry. Since there was no center line or no signs prohibiting passing, I decided to pass the minivan that I was following. I think the speed limit was 15mph, and we were driving at 10mph.
    I checked the left rear view mirror, I shoulder checked to the left, I activated the turn signal to the left, I turned the high beam on, I checked the left rear view mirror again, I shoulder checked to the left again, I honked, then I started passing the minivan. The minivan made a left turn into a driveway while I was passing, we collided. I was riding at around 20mph as I was trying to pass her. I did not see the minivan signaling to the left nor its brake lights lit. After I came back to the scene, I learned that there's a bush on left side of the road, that's why I never knew there was a drive way coming up.
    The minivan driver and passenger(s) came out to check on me, and she called 911. An ambulance and police officer came to the accident site. I was taken to a clinic, and was discharged about an hour later after seeing a doctor.
    My motorcycle received damage mainly on its right side, from front end to rear end. The minivan received damaged on its left front fender.

    I did not receive any tickets, I do not believe minivan driver received any, either.

    The police officer in the report states that I'm at fault, because there were speed bumps right before the accident scene, and there were 'slow-children at play' signs. Initially, insurance companies determined that was 100% my fault. However, after they interviewed both parties, it's currently sitting at 75% my fault.

    I'm going to send a dispute to other driver's insurance company on police report. The report says that the minivan driver said she was never aware that I was following her at all. That indicates she never paid any attention to mirrors at least for 5 minutes prior to the accident. I also disputed officer's determination of who's at fault, because passing is still permitted at accident site: no center line, no 'no passing' signs. Speed bumps and 'slow-children at play' don't prohibit passing.

    The Washington RCW 46.61.110 Overtaking on the left, it states '(3) Except when overtaking and passing on the right is permitted, OVERTAKEN traffic shall GIVE WAY to the right IN FAVOR OF AN OVERTAKING VEHICLE on audible signal and shall not increase speed until completely passed by the overtaking vehicle'.
    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=46.61.110

    It seems like I had a right-of-way.

    The repair estimate for my bike is around $9,500 and for the minivan is over $3,000. Do you think I can further reduce my fault from current 75%?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    OH10
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    Default Re: I Got Hit While Trying to Pass a Minivan, It Made a Left Turn

    I think you have a blessing to get it where it is. You have only established she did not see the motorcycle behind her. That is not saying much. You have not proven you passed safely. Had you done so, you would not have hit a minivan. There apparently was a good reason she had slowed. You were in such a hurry you overlooked it.
    With enough thrust, pigs fly just fine.
    You may believe that you understood what you think I said. I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: Collision While Trying to Pass a Vehicle that Made a Left Turn

    What part of your motorcycle collided with what part of the minivan?
    Quote Quoting Maverik
    View Post
    ...I turned the high beam on...
    Although in the daytime it wouldn't make much difference, and it doesn't appear to be a factor in this case, for future reference that use of high beams is prohibited. RCW 46.37.230.
    Quote Quoting Maverik
    ... I did not see the minivan signaling to the left nor its brake lights lit.
    Yet I expect her account is that she activated her turn signal and applied the brakes. Was it?
    Quote Quoting Maverik
    The report says that the minivan driver said she was never aware that I was following her at all. That indicates she never paid any attention to mirrors at least for 5 minutes prior to the accident.
    Or it means that she was watching the road without paying particular heed to the number of vehicles behind her. That is, the fact that she could see headlights (or a headlight) in her rear view mirror would not mean that she's going to consciously process the information and remember what she saw and when. Whatever happened, I suspect that's the source of the 25% of fault attributed to her.

    By the same token, you didn't infer the reason why she was slowing, you didn't notice her turn signal (which I expect she says she used) and you didn't notice the upcoming driveway, so I think that argument has its limits.
    Quote Quoting Maverik
    The Washington RCW 46.61.110 Overtaking on the left, it states '(3) Except when overtaking and passing on the right is permitted, OVERTAKEN traffic shall GIVE WAY to the right IN FAVOR OF AN OVERTAKING VEHICLE on audible signal and shall not increase speed until completely passed by the overtaking vehicle'.
    And then....
    Quote Quoting RCW 46.61.120 Limitations on overtaking on the left.
    No vehicle shall be driven to the left side of the center of the roadway in overtaking and passing other traffic proceeding in the same direction unless authorized by the provisions of RCW 46.61.100 through 46.61.160 and 46.61.212 and unless such left side is clearly visible and is free of oncoming traffic for a sufficient distance ahead to permit such overtaking and passing to be completely made without interfering with the operation of any traffic approaching from the opposite direction or any traffic overtaken. In every event the overtaking vehicle must return to an authorized lane of travel as soon as practicable and in the event the passing movement involves the use of a lane authorized for vehicles approaching from the opposite direction, before coming within two hundred feet of any approaching traffic.
    What the left statute giveth, the right statute taketh away....

  4. #4
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    Sep 2013
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    Vancouver, BC
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    5

    Default Re: Collision While Trying to Pass a Vehicle that Made a Left Turn

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
    View Post
    What part of your motorcycle collided with what part of the minivan?

    Although in the daytime it wouldn't make much difference, and it doesn't appear to be a factor in this case, for future reference that use of high beams is prohibited. RCW 46.37.230.

    Yet I expect her account is that she activated her turn signal and applied the brakes. Was it?

    Or it means that she was watching the road without paying particular heed to the number of vehicles behind her. That is, the fact that she could see headlights (or a headlight) in her rear view mirror would not mean that she's going to consciously process the information and remember what she saw and when. Whatever happened, I suspect that's the source of the 25% of fault attributed to her.

    By the same token, you didn't infer the reason why she was slowing, you didn't notice her turn signal (which I expect she says she used) and you didn't notice the upcoming driveway, so I think that argument has its limits.

    And then....

    What the left statute giveth, the right statute taketh away....
    I got hit right center of my bike, then I got ejected, the bike landed on its right. It has a damage mainly on right side, all the way from head to tail. Minivan hit my bike with left front fender , it got a damage there (between front bumper and left front tire), and I was told she also needed to replace its driver's door as well because of some technical reasons.

    I always thought turning high beam on when passing during day and give a few flashes before passing during night would give extra warning besides honking. I'm not going to argue about it here, but I think I learned it somewhere in text book, and Suzuki motorcycles have switches to flash high beams, and labeled as 'passing'.

    Actually, she didn't slow down, we were constant at around 10mph on 15mph zone for a couple of minutes prior to the accident. Because I don't have any witnesses or onboard camera, I cannot prove she didn't signal to the left nor brake. But if she did any of them, I would've canceled my attempt to pass her. In the police report, it didn't say anything about her braking or using turn signal, but she may have said something to her and my insurance companies.

    I thought it was obligation to keep paying attention to the mirrors, but it doesn't sound like it. How about cell phone use? Even if she was using her hands free device, if I can prove she was indeed talking on cell phone at the time of the accident, can I use it to my advantage? If so, do I have to go through the court to request call and text message record of the accident day or it's something my or her insurance companies can take care of?

    I wish I finished passing her 10 seconds earlier, or 20 seconds later than I did.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    LA LA Land
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    Default Re: Collision While Trying to Pass a Vehicle that Made a Left Turn

    Quote Quoting Maverik
    View Post
    I got hit right center of my bike, then I got ejected, the bike landed on its right. It has a damage mainly on right side, all the way from head to tail. Minivan hit my bike with left front fender , it got a damage there (between front bumper and left front tire)
    Bike fell on its right side would imply that some of the damage was caused by the fall. While that does not negate the main reason for the damage, that being the collision, it fails to provide a specific answer as to where the van collided with the bike... And to say you "got hit right center" of your bike, then your leg was saved by some freak miracle as that would be the approximate location of where your leg would typically be under normal circumstances. Would it not?

    What is even more confusing, is that you got hit on the right side, got ejected as you describe, and the bike still fell on its right side as well, as opposed to succumbing to the force of the impact and falling to the left. If you were "ejected" away from the van, then it would be easy to assume that the bike was pushed away from the van in the same direction that you were ejected in, i.e. away from the van... And yet the bike fell to the right and with you attempting to pass to the left of the van, the bike falling to its right would be in the direction of the van....

    Quote Quoting Maverik
    View Post
    and I was told she also needed to replace its driver's door as well because of some technical reasons.
    If cost is not an issue then you would not be working so hard to get your portion to get reduced, and yet you're willing to accept having her door replaced and repainted because of some "technical reasons" as a warranted inclusion it in this claim? Without any further explanation as to what those "technical reasons" might include? Or might those "technical reasons" be somehow directly related to the collision and the point(s) of impact?

    Quote Quoting Maverik
    View Post
    I'm going to send a dispute to other driver's insurance company on police report. The report says that the minivan driver said she was never aware that I was following her at all. That indicates she never paid any attention to mirrors at least for 5 minutes prior to the accident. I also disputed officer's determination of who's at fault, because passing is still permitted at accident site: no center line, no 'no passing' signs. Speed bumps and 'slow-children at play' don't prohibit passing
    The insurance company is not bound by any means by what the police report says. They typically conduct their own investigation(s), arrive at their own conclusion(s) and apportion fault accordingly.

    Quote Quoting Maverik
    View Post
    Even if she was using her hands free device, if I can prove she was indeed talking on cell phone at the time of the accident, can I use it to my advantage?
    Why would that work to your advantage?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Collision While Trying to Pass a Vehicle that Made a Left Turn

    Quote Quoting That Guy
    View Post
    Bike fell on its right side would imply that some of the damage was caused by the fall. While that does not negate the main reason for the damage, that being the collision, it fails to provide a specific answer as to where the van collided with the bike... And to say you "got hit right center" of your bike, then your leg was saved by some freak miracle as that would be the approximate location of where your leg would typically be under normal circumstances. Would it not?

    What is even more confusing, is that you got hit on the right side, got ejected as you describe, and the bike still fell on its right side as well, as opposed to succumbing to the force of the impact and falling to the left. If you were "ejected" away from the van, then it would be easy to assume that the bike was pushed away from the van in the same direction that you were ejected in, i.e. away from the van... And yet the bike fell to the right and with you attempting to pass to the left of the van, the bike falling to its right would be in the direction of the van....



    If cost is not an issue then you would not be working so hard to get your portion to get reduced, and yet you're willing to accept having her door replaced and repainted because of some "technical reasons" as a warranted inclusion it in this claim? Without any further explanation as to what those "technical reasons" might include? Or might those "technical reasons" be somehow directly related to the collision and the point(s) of impact?



    The insurance company is not bound by any means by what the police report says. They typically conduct their own investigation(s), arrive at their own conclusion(s) and apportion fault accordingly.



    Why would that work to your advantage?
    I can't recreate the scene and let the bike and the minivan stand side-by-side, but I think it's mostly the left tip of the bumper of the minivan struck center right side of my bike. I think it hit the bottom right side of the engine of my bike.

    To explain why my bike landed on right side: after the impact, my bike and I still went straight ahead by the force, not completely to the left side. I landed on grass left side of the road, so the impact from the minivan bent the force towards left a little. The heaviest part of my bike is probably the engine or myself, center of the weight of both is at least 2 feet above the ground. I think the left tip of the bumper mainly hit the bottom part of the engine, which is way lower than the center of the weight, and the bike still wanted to go straight right after the impact. When this happens, the bike leans to the right suddenly.

    The technical reason as to why the minivan needed a new driver's door was that I think I was explained by my insurance company that there was a link or something attached to the left front fender, and when the fender is replaced, the door needed to be replaced as well. It's my insurance company not hers going to pay for the damage of the minivan. Whether it's 1% or 100% of me at fault, once I have my insurance company to pay for her damage, I'll be hit with a premium increase, which I was told $900 over 3 years. I didn't really question so much why the door needed to be replaced, that's the reason. Correct me if I'm wrong, because this is my first traffic accident with a damage that I had to have my insurance company pay for the other driver.

    I don't live in WA, so I'm unfamiliar with their laws or even how insurance companies determine faults, but I think, any lawful but distracting actions such as eating, arguing with her passengers, talking on the phone, etc while driving causing accidents should be held responsible somehow, and I thought insurance companies take it into account if we can ever prove it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    27,021

    Default Re: Collision While Trying to Pass a Vehicle that Made a Left Turn

    I got hit right center of my bike, then I got ejected, the bike landed on its right. It has a damage mainly on right side, all the way from head to tail. Minivan hit my bike with left front fender , it got a damage there (between front bumper and left front tire), and I was told she also needed to replace its driver's door as well because of some technical reasons.
    You got hit right center of the bike yet she is replacing the door? It takes a lot before a door has to be replaced. A lot of repair work, including a new outer skin, will be done before a door is financially justified in being replaced.


    I don't live in WA, so I'm unfamiliar with their laws or even how insurance companies determine faults, but I think, any lawful but distracting actions such as eating, arguing with her passengers, talking on the phone, etc while driving causing accidents should be held responsible somehow, and I thought insurance companies take it into account if we can ever prove it.
    Nope. Your obligation was for you to not pass a vehicle that was signaling a turn. Her obligation was to not turn in front of a vehicle without properly signaling as somebody might attempt to pass them not knowing they were turning left and get hit.




    so, either her turn signal was on or it wasn't. If it was, you have no defense. If it wasn't, she has no defense.

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