My first accident

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by V8Cobrakid, Mar 7, 2006.

  1. V8Cobrakid

    V8Cobrakid Green Handyman

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    Well.. it happened. I was pulling up to a red light. I was in lane 3. A suburban was in lane 2. there were actually 5 lanes including both turn... in that case i was in lane 5, and the suburban was lane 4.

    anyways... a girl trying to make a left hand turn on a yellow pulled out in front of me and the suburban. I was not able to see her past the suburban or my C pillar. When i saw her in front of me it was too late. Damage was mostly just the bumper piece. The frame of my car hit her rear wheel. Her wheel is now turned inwards. My bumper piece is pushed in and torn a bit on the right hand side. My light is scratched and pushed back a tiny bit.

    When we got out of the car, she said her light was still kinda yellow... i repeat.. kinda yellow... on a left hand turn, you don't change a late yellow light. that's just stupid... no if and or buts about it. it's just dumb. It takes about 4 seconds to clear that intersection. If that light turns red (when she entered), you have about 1 second till opposite traffic gets their green and starts going. never enough time.. *sigh*..
     
  2. Thomas Brock

    Thomas Brock New Member

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    Sorry about your Prius and the stupid lady...There's good news, though...

    You were able to log in and complain to us! ;)
     
  3. TonyPSchaefer

    TonyPSchaefer Your Friendly Moderator
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    Sorry to hear, V8.
    "Left turn only with a window of opportunity."

    Keep us posted as police, insurance and perhaps lawyers get involved.
     
  4. Danny

    Danny Admin/Founder
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    That sucks - bad timing for you, I know. I hope liability is placed accordingly and this doesn't hurt you financially.

    Please keep us updated!
     
  5. V8Cobrakid

    V8Cobrakid Green Handyman

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    Thanks guys. I contacted my current insurance agency. The lady laughed when i told her the girl i hit said " i thought it was still yellow"i chuckled too.... My thing is... in california if you're not through the light by when it turns red, it's illegal.

    If that damn huge SUV wasn't beside me i would have seen her.

    As for insuranc, police, laywers, etc... a police officer did stop by us. She said we are ok and all we need to do is swap information.

    The girl mentions that her shoulder hurts a little.. and i guess head. Too much hot air might be what's making her head hurt.

    I'll take pics before the repair. If i can i would rather install the new bumper myself (cheaper)... but i'm hoping the light isn't damaged.. there is a huge paint stripe going across the light. I won't clean it, just so i can claim it as damaged. In my opinion, it is. I haven't tested to see if the auto balancing on the light still works or not. .. hmm..
     
  6. jbarnhart

    jbarnhart New Member

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    Sorry to hear about your ride, cobra. Such a pretty car, too! Hope it's feeling all better soon.
     
  7. cooljw

    cooljw Member

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    Sorry to hear about your accident.

    FYI: Your statement is not true. If any part of your car does not enter the intersection by the time the light turns red, it's illegal and considered running a red light. Having gotten a ticket for running a red light in CA, I should know. Refer to 21453(a) CVC and 21453© CVC for the exact wording of the law.

    I have also been in an accident in CA, and as long as there are no injuries, the cops will just have you swap info - like yours did. Unfortunately, that leaves it up to the insurance companies, lawyers, and courts to fight it out and assign liability - what a pain!

    In your case, the other gal's insurance company will probably have her say that the light was still yellow, in which case the accident would be your fault. Unless there are witnesses, this will likely either get settled by you and the insurance companies, or settled in court.

    Let us know what happens!
     
  8. jeneric

    jeneric New Member

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    You don't mean 'exit' the intersection instead of 'enter'? So I can go hang out in the middle of the intersection?
     
  9. V8Cobrakid

    V8Cobrakid Green Handyman

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    yeah.. i question that statement too. a few years ago, they passed it (eg: photo poles to make sure youa re clear of the intersection when it changes to read) and it was written that if you are not comlpetely clear of the intersection, it is running a red light. I also recieved a warning notice of this about 6 month ago... it sounded like " if you are not aware, you were seen by photo running a red light. You failed to completely exit the intersection by the time your light turned red".... you might want to check your data again.
     
  10. hobbit

    hobbit Senior Member

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    Is sitting in the *middle* of the intersection waiting to turn
    left illegal or not in CA? It's done all the time here in MA, and
    of course you have to wait for the 2 or 3 extras that run the
    just-turned-red from the other direction before you can finally
    turn and clear it... massholes, they call 'em...
    .
    _H*
     
  11. V8Cobrakid

    V8Cobrakid Green Handyman

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    she was traveling at "full speed" approaching the intersection... she saw the light turning and i guess hurried up to make it into the section before it was red.. when she stopped looking up to see if the light turned red, i don't know.. it was already green when myself and the suburban next to me started going. The intersection was clear when we started to go.. the suburban pulled up ahead of me.. i started to accelerate, next thing i know she's in front of me, the suburban hit his brakes, and i hit her... my right side (exactly above fog light) hit her rear wheel... causing her wheel to now tilt in a good inch or more.
     
  12. larryenok

    larryenok New Member

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  13. cooljw

    cooljw Member

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    Wow, there is a lot of confusion as to what running a red light is exactly.

    There is an anti-gridlock law, and a red light running law. The definition of running a red light has not changed and is the same as California's in most states - red light cameras, officers, everyone is trained to see if you entered the intersection before the light turned red or not. There are a ton of websites online that tell you how to fight red light cameras, see http://www.redlightcameraticket.com/, it tells you again what the definition of running a red light is. Any red light cam that only shoots you because you haven't cleared the intersection before the light turns red, is clearly malfunctioning - and that's an easy ticket to fight.

    The newer anti-gridlock law only applies if you decide to enter an intersection and you get stuck in the middle because of traffic congestion ahead - ergo you shouldn't have entered the intersection. They have this same law in NYC and other places. It is for preventing gridlock - it has nothing to do with running a red light. You could break this law even if you entered an intersection on a green, and get stuck in the middle. So to answer hobbit's question, no you can't sit in the middle of an intersection because you'd be breaking the anti-gridlock law. In California, this is 22400a CVC. It has nothing to do with running a red light: No person shall stop in the roadway unless necessary for safety, in compliance with the law, so as to impede traffic and its regular flow. (This means no double parking or off loading children. This is not only illegal, but it is unsafe. Think what would happen if you were rear-ended while unloading your children in the street. This also means no blocking the intersection when the signal changes. Remember if you can’t proceed through the intersection because traffic is backed up, wait on the far side of the intersection until traffic moves and you can go through the intersection.)


    Based on what V8 has said, I don't think the anti-gridlock law would apply in this accident. I bet the other gal's insurance company will claim their client did not know what color the light was - or even worse, will claim it was still yellow - thus squarely placing the blame for the accident on V8.
     
  14. V8Cobrakid

    V8Cobrakid Green Handyman

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    yeah.. they probably will try to claim it like that... of course i wonder if my 3 witnesses who were in the car with me would count saying it was green and i wasn't the first car off the line but the second.
     
  15. Sufferin' Prius Envy

    Sufferin' Prius Envy Platinum Member

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    It doesn't look good for the home team. :(

    21451. (a) A driver facing a circular green signal shall proceed straight through or turn right or left or make a U-turn unless a sign prohibits a U-turn. Any driver, including one turning, shall yield the right-of-way to other traffic and to pedestrians lawfully within the intersection or an adjacent crosswalk.
    http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d11/vc21451.htm
    Unfortunately for you V8, she may have had the lawful right-of-way and you failed to yield.

    21452. (a) A driver facing a steady circular yellow or yellow arrow signal is, by that signal, warned that the related green movement is ending or that a red indication will be shown immediately thereafter.
    http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d11/vc21452.htm
    Does not prohibit a driver from entering an intersection.

    21453. (a) A driver facing a steady circular red signal alone shall stop at a marked limit line, but if none, before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if none, then before entering the intersection, and shall remain stopped until an indication to proceed is shown, except as provided in subdivision ( b ).
    http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d11/vc21453.htm
    This law does not say you can not be in the process of passing through the intersection, only “shall stop . . . before entering the intersection.â€

    22526. (a) Notwithstanding any official traffic control signal indication to proceed, a driver of a vehicle shall not enter an intersection or marked crosswalk unless there is sufficient space on the other side of the intersection or marked crosswalk to accommodate the vehicle driven without obstructing the through passage of vehicles from either side.
    ( b ) A driver of a vehicle which is making a turn at an intersection who is facing a steady circular yellow or yellow arrow signal shall not enter the intersection or marked crosswalk unless there is sufficient space on the other side of the intersection or marked crosswalk to accommodate the vehicle driven without obstructing the through passage of vehicles from either side.

    (f) This section shall be known and may be cited as the Anti-Gridlock Act of 1987.
    http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d11/vc22526.htm
    If there wasn't space for her to keep the traffic lanes open, you could have relied on that fact, and the movement of the suburban as your good faith effort to "clear" the intersection. She COULD then be found at fault. :)

    Unfortunately, also incriminating against you is your statement of, “If that damn huge SUV wasn't beside me i would have seen her.†That says you don't know if she made it into the intersection prior to her light turning red, because you didn't see her. Again, your failure to “clear†the intersection.

    The best evidence you could have is if the intersection has red light cameras which show her running a red light! :eek: Next best would be a statement from a witness – even the suburban driver. Your three passengers had worse lines of sight as you did – they too could not say they saw her enter the intersection after her light had turned red . . . same damn huge SUV. :huh:

    The conspiracy theorist in me wonders if the suburban driver may have seen the approaching car and purposefully “lead†you into the intersection . . . because they hate Prii and red light runners. :huh: :angry:
     
  16. Sufferin' Prius Envy

    Sufferin' Prius Envy Platinum Member

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    Yes, In California, you may enter an intersection and wait till opposing traffic is clear prior to making a left turn.

    22500. No person shall stop, park, or leave standing any vehicle whether attended or unattended, except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic or in compliance with the directions of a peace officer or official traffic control device, in any of the following places: (a) Within an intersection, except adjacent to curbs as may be permitted by local ordinance.
    http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d11/vc22500.htm
     
  17. ELdriftwood

    ELdriftwood New Member

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    :( I feel for you! I have only had my Pirus for a month and Sat night some idot decided to change lanes with out looking and gee whiz I was in the way! I was lucky another driver pulled over and said he saw the whole thing and would be a witness for me. Body shop is taking the car for a week to fix. Car scraped and dented. Sure wish I had a force field around my car.
     
  18. bruceha_2000

    bruceha_2000 Senior Member

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    I disagree.
    1. If she was going full tilt when CobraKid hit her, the light was NOT green when she entered, the first rule is not applicaple.
    2. Given the width of the road (by number of lanes described), only an idiot would expect to clear it even on a long yellow unless it changed just before they entered the intersection. See yellow, STOP.
    3. Unless the length of the yellow is exceedingly short, she had plenty of time to stop. She would have to prove that the yellow is very, VERY short.
    4. Some proof of her speed is given by the fact he hit her rear quarter. With no other vehicles around, the rear quarter hit would usually put onus on the person hitting, not the light runner, as there is presumed to be enough time to stop. I bet her lawyer or Ins Co pulls this one out.
    5. He clearly had a green since the SUV had also started moving. I'll bet it was red before she entered.
    CobraKid:
    • It might be to your advantage to go out and time the lights - same time of day as the accident since they may change - How long is the yellow in her direction? How long is the delay between the red in her direction and green in your direction?
    • If you "didn't see her through your 'C' pillar", YOU are at fault since the 'A' pillar is the one in front, the 'C' pillar (if it can be so called) would be the rear window support. You shouldn't be looking behind you for oncoming traffic at an intersection. ;)
    WAY back when I lived in CA (like 27 years ago) the 'enforced' rule was "if you enter on a yellow and are not accelerating when it turns red, no ticket" (barring an accident)
    I personally use the "let the bigger thing I can't see through go first" theory. That way if some idiot runs the light, I don't get hit. :)

    Please add my sincere condolences to the list. I am glad no one got hurt and you aren't even close to a "total it or fix it" situation!
     
  19. cooljw

    cooljw Member

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    I believe this all boils down to just one feasible argument for the home team. V8's only possible contention is that the other driver ran a red light, period. That is the only scenario that would place fault on the other driver. Otherwise, the other driver did nothing wrong.

    So what did V8 do wrong? If the other driver didn't run a red light, V8 has a responsibility not to hit them as they clear the intersection. Since V8 was stopped and waiting at the light, green does not mean go and have an accident. And no gridlock laws apply because there was no congestion.

    I wonder how saavy the insurance claims adjusters will be in arguing this one. V8: make sure you get your story straight soon, you'll get a recorded phone call where you'll have to make your statements.
     
  20. 200Volts

    200Volts Member

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    V8 sorry to hear about the bad news.
    Here's a long shot. Measure how far out you were when you got hit. Measure how far she had to travel to hit you. If she was at the speed limit(or lower) and you know the light timings you may be able to prove she was speeding or ran a red light. Hypothetical, but it may help.

    This type of accident is not that unusual. My boss got hit in a similiar scenario by someone going 70 mph from the cross traffic. It spun his Crown Victoria 3 times and into a phone pole. He has permanent spinal damage.
    After hearing this I am VERY careful when my left side is blocked when the first car at an intersection.
     
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