AM I AT FAULT IF I HIT A DISABLED CAR?
A common sight on the freeway is a disabled car. However, a broken-down car can be a particularly dangerous hazard at night. This article addresses the responsibilities of the approaching driver.
CALIFORNIA LAWThe Vehicle Code states that no person can drive faster than is reasonable under the circumstances. Circumstances include such factors as the weather, time of day, and traffic conditions. The law further provides that a driver must always be alert and attentive to the surroundings. In other words, a driver must see those things that should be seen if the driver is paying attention.
HOW THE LAW WORKSA standard warning does not necessarily mean signs. A warning includes brake lights or slowing by other motorists. A typical situation involves a driver rapidly coming up on a slower-moving car. The car quickly changes lanes because of a disabled vehicle. The approaching vehicle is unable to stop because the driver is going too fast.
Speed is an essential factor. For example, a vehicle going 65 mph travels about 95 a second. In contrast, a car going 75 mph travels 110 feet per second. Higher speed means less time to brake. That extra 15 feet can make a big difference.
A driver should afford himself more time to stop. Many different factors affect perception and reaction time at night, such as fatigue or distraction. Thus, it is always prudent to drive at or near the speed limit. Driving at an excessive speed reduces a driver's time to avoid an object such as a disabled vehicle.
CONCLUSIONHitting a disabled vehicle can be terrifying and result in severe injuries. Call MCIS for a free consultation. No pressure, only answers.