What do they teach learners these days? - thunderbird

Just got home and on the way watched a pretty nasty accident happen in front of me.

I will try and describe what happened but it may get lost in translation.

Strait piece of road, 30 limit, and I was following one car (doing the speed limit according to the speedo).

We were approaching what I will describe as a staggered x-roads i.e. the junction on the right is about 100m before the junction on the left (relative to the direction I am driving).

There is a car approaching and a car sat waiting to turn left left out of the junction on my right.

Hope you are still with me.

Car approaching starts to indicate right and the car sat waiting at the junction begins to pull out (I guess presuming the car is turning right).

Wrong.

Car drives strait on, hits car in the side and then bounces off and hits the car I am following. I stop with no issue. Road totally blocked.

Driver of the car I am following seems fine as does the driver who created all the carnage but the driver of the car pulling out of the junction is trapped by the feet.

I dialled 999 who send Police and Ambulance but despite me saying a driver is trapped they will not send the Fire Service until the Police/Ambulance confirmed they were required (will be making a complaint about that later - what if the delay caused other issues or worse still the car caught fire whilst they were waiting for the delayed crew to attend).

In the meantime the young girl who caused all the carnage came up to me and started crying saying that her mum would be furious that her new car was damaged, I probably made it worse when I said that it would probably be a write off since all the air bags had gone off (and the radiator/A/C condenser were on the pavement together with the bumper).

And now the best bit.

I asked why she had indicated right when she was going strait on, claims her instructor had taught her to do that at x-roads to confirm to other traffic she was not turning left. I walked away thinking it was a dream.

Police and Ambulance soon arrived and the driver was not actually trapped, just panicking. I gave the Police my contact details and quickly told them what had happened and what the girl had said to me, they said they would be in touch later for a statement if necessary. I handed the 2 non guilty drivers my mobile number.

But I personally think she does not have a hope in hell of getting off with some form of driving conviction. The other 2 cars both had dash cams and whilst the one coming out of the junction will probably show nothing hopefully the one in the car I was following will confirm she indicated right when intending to going strait on (if it was recording of course) proving that driver at least is in the clear (even if it is deemed knock for knock between the other 2). My evidence if needed should convict her anyway.

Is it possible instructors teach this or was the young driver just a bit stupid? Watching instructors in town when I am walking about does make me wonder if they should be doing the job (texting whilst teaching etc) but surely they must have passed some form of qualification. The number of driving schools has increased hugely since I learned to drive in the early 70's and whilst in my youth they all had nice new cars (Mini's, Imps, Escorts mainly) which were changed annually these days any old wreck seems to be the norm. They do not seem as professional as they used to, even the local Taxi's are in better condition.

What do they teach learners these days? - Bromptonaut

Hmm..

There's fault with guy who pulled out as well as anything to do with misleading indications.

The only certain conclusion to draw from an indicator flashing is that relevant mechanism is in order. Person pulling out should ensure other signs such as slowing, steering and perhaps drivers head etc movements corroborate indication and confirm a right turn is indeed taking place.

Can OP provide a street view or similar? This may provide a clue as to why somebody, ADI or not, thinks 'indicate right if going straight on' might be a rational action.

Edited by Bromptonaut on 12/11/2019 at 15:21

What do they teach learners these days? - nellyjak

As above...I never 100% trust indications alone...I prefer to see some corroboration of intent in addition....as suggested by Bromptonaut.

I've noticed too that some drivers appear to have been taught to indicate right at traffic islands yet drive straight on.?..I've witnessed this quite a few times...strange.

What do they teach learners these days? - badbusdriver

I asked why she had indicated right when she was going strait on, claims her instructor had taught her to do that at x-roads to confirm to other traffic she was not turning left.

This would be truly bizarre if it is true. However i am inclined to think the girl either misheard or misunderstood what the instructor was saying.

'Telling' other traffic you are about to do something you aren't, in order to avoid other traffic thinking you are going to do something else that you aren't makes absolutely no sense at all!.

But as Bromtonaut says, you can't assume a car with its indicator on is turning, it may have been flicked on accidentally, it's self cancelling may be faulty, the driver of the car may actually be intending to make a turn after the junction you are waiting at (i see this a surprising amount in my day to day travels!).

What do they teach learners these days? - Lee Power

Who knows what the instructor taught her but teaching standards have been slipping for a good while.

It's bad enough there teaching people to sit at junctions / traffic lights footbrake on, with the car in 1st gear, clutch pedal in slowly destroying the clutch release bearing.

I had a moan at an instructor about a year ago, parked on a main road just in front of a bus stop bay with a student behind the wheel but opposite a T junction - meaning anyone wishing to exit the junction on to the main road had a driving school car parked right in front of them.

As for trusting other road users, I wouldn't exit a junction on the basis of someone else's indicator or flash of lights.

What do they teach learners these days? - mss1tw

Maybe BMW drivers are/were onto something. If indicators have no legal standing and the official verdict is that indication is no excuse, why bother using them? I think I won't bother either from now on

What do they teach learners these days? - edlithgow

I was coasting up to a red light in my Lada when a guy pulled out on me from the right in an old Fiesta. Couldn't quite believe my eyes and reacted rather slowly.

Lot of damage to his car. (Lada's are pretty solid) He said I was slowing down to turn and (apparently as a bit of an afterthought) that I was indicating to turn off.

I wasn't, and pointed out that by the Highway Code it'd be his fault even if I was.

(I didn't quote the Highway Code on coasting. No point in looking for trouble)

We exchanged insurance details but there was no claim made, so I guess he looked it up.

Edited by edlithgow on 14/11/2019 at 05:37

What do they teach learners these days? - Manatee

The fault of the puller-outer I would say.

Clearly a dumb thing for the young driver to have done, but she was on the major road and the other one should have given way.

If I were in the habit of pulling out when oncoming traffic indicates left in those circumstances, I would have been rammed amidships a dozen times by now.

What do they teach learners these days? - thunderbird

I've noticed too that some drivers appear to have been taught to indicate right at traffic islands yet drive straight on.?..I've witnessed this quite a few times...strange.

You may have hit the nail on the head and the driver does not know the difference between a traffic island and a junction. If so it proves how stupid the youth of today are.

The fault of the puller-outer I would say.

How you can say that is beyond belief. There is possibly some blame that can be attached to the driver that believed that a car indicating right will actually turn right but IMHO most of the blame belongs to the driver who indicated incorrectly. If I get the opportunity to make a statement I will make it clear where I believe the blame lies.

What do they teach learners these days? - badbusdriver

How you can say that is beyond belief. There is possibly some blame that can be attached to the driver that believed that a car indicating right will actually turn right but IMHO most of the blame belongs to the driver who indicated incorrectly. If I get the opportunity to make a statement I will make it clear where I believe the blame lies.

The police probably wouldn't see it that way and the highway code clearly states;

Take extra care at junctions. You should:

not assume, when waiting at a junction, that a vehicle coming from the right and signalling left will actually turn. - Wait and make sure

What do they teach learners these days? - Bromptonaut

How you can say that is beyond belief.

No. Blind belief in indicators is contrary to any form of drive awareness training.

If I get the opportunity to make a statement I will make it clear where I believe the blame lies.

Your prerogative to say what you think but I suspect the prosecutor or, if you get to court the bench, will be less prescriptive; see Badbus above re Highway Code.

Edited by Bromptonaut on 12/11/2019 at 18:18

What do they teach learners these days? - Vitesse6

I don't agree that the driver indicating incorrectly is at fault. I am sure that we have all driven along at some time with an indicator flashing when it shouldn't be, and we will all the indicated and then realised that it is the next turn we want and cancel them. Onus is on the driver joining the main road to ensure it is safe to do so.

What do they teach learners these days? - badbusdriver

I don't agree that the driver indicating incorrectly is at fault. I am sure that we have all driven along at some time with an indicator flashing when it shouldn't be, and we will all the indicated and then realised that it is the next turn we want and cancel them. Onus is on the driver joining the main road to ensure it is safe to do so.

Exactly what i alluded to in my post on this thread. In fact, it has brought back a memory of an incident when i was still driving buses. I turned right at a junction, about 20 meters along the road there was a left turn. A car waitng there pulled out right in front of me. I stopped and got out the bus to have a go at the driver, but he said i had my left hand indicator on. Next time round the same corner, i was looking at what happened and when the right hand indicator cancelled, it actually went too far and put on the left hand indicator!. This only happened on 90 degree right turns, but is a good example of exactly why (like the Highway Code says) you should not assume, because an indicator is on, the vehicle is turning.

What do they teach learners these days? - Manatee

.

The fault of the puller-outer I would say.

How you can say that is beyond belief.

I don't dispute that it almost certainly wouldn't have happened if the young driver hadn't given a misleading signal. But it happened because the puller-outer then came out in front of her.

The police/insurer won't ultimately be interested in who a witness thinks is to blame, they just need the facts which in my opinion speak for themselves.

What do they teach learners these days? - CHarkin

In many ways it does not matter what the instructor told the girl its whats in the highway code that matters and that clearly lays the blame at the puller outers door.

A right indicator could mean the car planned to turn right at the next junction.

Edited by CHarkin on 12/11/2019 at 19:25

What do they teach learners these days? - focussed

"I asked why she had indicated right when she was going strait on, claims her instructor had taught her to do that at x-roads to confirm to other traffic she was not turning left.

I was an instructor in the UK and I have never heard of that one, nor would I have ever taught it to a pupil.

As a qualified instructor you don't make your own driving rules and techniques up, you teach to the system you qualified with.

Do that on a driving test and it would be an instant fail.

If an instructor were to get two or three pupil test fails on that fault they would be called in to their driving test centre to explain, or booked in for a compulsory check test.

It's possible she had a bogus unqualified instructor - there are some about.

What do they teach learners these days? - Andrew-T

Two points - I'm not sure I would call a pair of T-junctions 100 metres apart a cross-roads (even a staggered one).

And regarding the question of interpreting indications, it is more definite if the indication is seen to start - i.e. the driver's action should allow observers to make more positive assumptions. Equally, how does one interpret the absence of a signal followed by an unexpected manoeuvre?

Seems to me that if the false indication here was seen to start before the distant right-turn, it was reasonable for the puller-out to assume a right turn would follow, at 30mph. It seems he/she waited too long before chancing it.

What do they teach learners these days? - oldroverboy.

What I have learned from this forum in recent years.

Never trust the driver in front of you.

Never trust the driver behind you.

Or to the left or right. or coming towards you.

I was driving from Sunny Colchester to Stansted today and was extra careful at roundabouts and junctions as it just didn't feel right with the behaviour of some of the road users around me. I was definitely a bit twitchy, but made the round trip safely.

The other bonus was my sister in law got through Immigration (non EU) and out and we left the free mid term car park from where we got the free bus in 35 minutes after she had landed.

Less than 50 minutes in and out!

Now there is an early Xmas present!

What do they teach learners these days? - barney100

Many years ago after passing the test my instructor on the way home told me that now I've got the licence teach myself to drive. I used to be a passenger quite often with a qualified instructor and examiner, he was a pig headed driver. Stuck to the rules to the letter when common sense should have prevailed. ex, 1am on a motorway cruising along at 70 in the inside lane when a car wants to join from the slip road with us converging, he wouldn't pull out into the middle lane to let the guy come on, he said there was no rule obliging him to do so.

What do they teach learners these days? - thunderbird

Two points - I'm not sure I would call a pair of T-junctions 100 metres apart a cross-roads (even a staggered one).

My mistake there. The distance is about 3 houses and drives which I know average about 30 feet each, trebled it, added a bit and called it 100, then put meters. So it should be 100 feet (or 30 meters), sorry about that.

And regarding the question of interpreting indications, it is more definite if the indication is seen to start - i.e. the driver's action should allow observers to make more positive assumptions. Equally, how does one interpret the absence of a signal followed by an unexpected manoeuvre?

Seems to me that if the false indication here was seen to start before the distant right-turn, it was reasonable for the puller-out to assume a right turn would follow, at 30mph.

Thanks for that, you have read correctly what I originally wrote. I saw the car start to indicate as did the driver in front and the car pulling out. Even the girl that caused the accident admitted she had indicated.

This accident had nothing to do with someone inadvertently leaving their indicator on (which we have all done) but was caused by an inexperienced driver who had no idea about the correct sue of indicators and admitted such at the scene. If the indicator had been showing in the distance i would agree it was 100% wrong for the car to pull out.

It seems he/she waited too long before chancing it.

At 100 meters I would agree, but at 100 feet that is for the Police to decide I guess and nothing to do with the stupidity of the girl driver.

We will have to wait and see. How long would I expect before I am contacted for a statement? Last accident I witnessed I never heard another thing about. Nastier than this one, 60 mph impact, 2 people trapped, another collapsed after getting out of their car (the driver that caused it admitted to me at the scene "I nearly made it"). Luckily the car following me was driven by an off duty paramedic who was able to provide support until police/fire and ambulance arrived.

What do they teach learners these days? - Brit_in_Germany

I wonder if she confused junctions and roundabouts. I could possibly imagine an instructor saying you should put your indicator on to show you are not leaving the roaundabout.

What do they teach learners these days? - focussed

Many years ago after passing the test my instructor on the way home told me that now I've got the licence teach myself to drive.

Aha - another MyWay code enthusiast!

What do they teach learners these days? - Bilboman

Regarding the use of indicators, there is a particular problem with "new technology", by which I refer to the fact that with new cars, a gentle flick of the indicator sets off (usually) 3 consecutive flashes of the indicators. On the one hand this saves a teensy bit of energy, with not having to hold the indicator against spring pressure, or not having to switch on and then switch off afterwards. And one is less likely to forget to cancel afterwards.
However, it can lead to situations where a driver indicates and then changes his mind. Oops. It is quite difficult to stop the three flashes once they've started without engaging the other indicator, so an absent minded, lost or indecisive driver might be going straight and indicating 1, 2 or 3 flashes left, then right, but still be going straight - which leads to scenarios like the one described here.
Maybe it's time to bring back hand signals !

What do they teach learners these days? - Lee Power

Was following a learner driver earlier today at a safe distance down a 30mph main road, i watched the right indicator come on & then the driver turned left in to a t junction.

I knew something was amiss as there wasnt any turning on the right.

What do they teach learners these days? - bathtub tom

SWMBO wrote off a car in similar circumstances.

She signaled left to exit a roundabout. The road continued to bend to the left enough to not cancel the indicator - she wasn't aware of the lack of cancellation. A couple of hundred metres up the road was a junction on her left, with a car waiting to turn right out of it. Seeing her left indication, it pulled out right in front of her!

She was held not to blame, but I fitted a loud, indicator sounder under the dash of the replacement car.

What do they teach learners these days? - Avant

"She was held not to blame...."

I think that's crucial. However much one might sympathise with the puller-outer, deceived by an indicator in both these cases, the law will say that they shouldn't have pulled out until absolutely certain that the road was clear.

What do they teach learners these days? - nellyjak


Maybe it's time to bring back hand signals !

Lol...trouble is most peeps seem to know only two...one requires one finger...the other requires two fingers.

What do they teach learners these days? - thunderbird

Can OP provide a street view or similar?

Try this. Its viewing in the direction I was travelling.

www.google.co.uk/maps/@53.1209496,-1.2470034,3a,75...6

What do they teach learners these days? - Sofa Spud

Quite a common problem is drivers signalling left when there's another left turn shortly before the one they intend to turn into. So someone waiting at the first junction might pull out in the path of the a car that's signalling left but intending to turn left at the NEXT junction a few yards further on.

What do they teach learners these days? - Bromptonaut

So you're headed towards Sutton Town Centre/traffic lit cross roads with A38 and passing Post Office, Turnstlyes Unisex hairdresser and Undertaker's place to your left?

I wonder if she'd been taught to move out to centre of road because of parked cars/congestion around those shops and to improve her visibility to cars waiting in end of Mabel Avenue and indicated before doing so?

Ironic if car waiting in Mabel Avenue pulled out in front of her.......

EDIT. Now I can see it's a suburban street setting and not, as I originally surmised, rural lanes I'm inclined to push more blame on car pulling out and less on woman to whom Thuderbird's ire is aimed.

Edited by Bromptonaut on 13/11/2019 at 22:05

What do they teach learners these days? - focussed

If you want to stick your arm out of the driver's window in today's traffic feel free to lose it!

What do they teach learners these days? - thunderbird

So you're headed towards Sutton Town Centre/traffic lit cross roads with A38 and passing Post Office, Turnstlyes Unisex hairdresser and Undertaker's place to your left?

I wonder if she'd been taught to move out to centre of road because of parked cars/congestion around those shops and to improve her visibility to cars waiting in end of Mabel Avenue and indicated before doing so?

Ironic if car waiting in Mabel Avenue pulled out in front of her.......

Think you have misinterpreted my post. I was driving with the shops to my left with Mabel Avenue the next turn to my left. The girl who caused the accident was driving towards us with Mabel Avenue to her right and it was that street she indicated to turn into. The car who pulled out was in Pepper Street to my right. In the girls direction of travel there wer no parked cars and luckily there were none outside the shops either.

EDIT. Now I can see it's a suburban street setting and not, as I originally surmised, rural lanes I'm inclined to push more blame on car pulling out and less on woman to whom Thuderbird's ire is aimed.

Never said it was a rural road, only siad it was a 30 mph limit.

Had a call from the driver I was following this morning asking for my details to use me as a witness for his insurance claim so I expect them to be contacting me soon. There is no argument in his case, he was on the correct side of the road and was hit by the girls car after it had hit the other car.

What do they teach learners these days? - badbusdriver

Having had a chance to look at the street view while reading your account, another thing i am puzzled at, ignoring both the girl indicating when she wasn't turning and whether or not the car pulling out of Pepper St should have, is why the collision took place at all?. Looking at the distance between where the girl started indicating (presumably at least 20m before Mabel Ave), and the far end of the Pepper St junction (which appears to be pretty wide even accounting for the wide angle view on Google Street view), surely if she was doing 30mph she would have had ample time to see the car pulling out in front of her and react to it?. According to the hopelessly pessimistic braking distances given by the Highway Code (apparently based on the braking performance of 1960's cars!), the braking distance from 30mph is 23 meters. Given this is less than distance between the two junctions, it must be way less than where the girl started to indicate.

So why did she hit the car pulling out of Pepper St?. Was she going too fast, looking at her phone, or a combination of both?.

What do they teach learners these days? - thunderbird

So why did she hit the car pulling out of Pepper St?. Was she going too fast, looking at her phone, or a combination of both?.

That I cannot say, I was behind (far enough behind fortunately) the car she hit 2nd and at the time was not concentrating on judging another cars speed, there was no need to.

But its a good question and one that will probably never be answered. Very few people get the blame they deserve these days, far too much trouble.

What do they teach learners these days? - Vitesse6

So what you are saying is that a driver who pulls out onto a major road, crossing a give way line and hits a car on the major road is not at fault, but the driver of the car on the major road is at fault due to their indicator being on, despite the fact that highway code section 170 states:

  • not assume, when waiting at a junction, that a vehicle coming from the right and signalling left will actually turn. Wait and make sure
  • look all around before emerging. Do not cross or join a road until there is a gap large enough for you to do so safely.
What do they teach learners these days? - focussed

I doesn't matter about the signals or lack of them.

It's quite simple.

The driver who did not obey the standard road sign and road markings as " Give Way" and who failed to give way is at fault..

What do they teach learners these days? - daveyjp

I entered a roundabout yesterday and a car waiting at the next exit simply pulled put.

I appreciate the driver was a learner, but surely they didn't need telling that it is quite dangerous to drive a car with a driver's window is so steamed up other drivers can't even see you!

What do they teach learners these days? - Andrew-T

So what you are saying is that a driver who pulls out onto a major road, crossing a give way line and hits a car on the major road is not at fault, but the driver of the car on the major road is at fault due to their indicator being on, despite the fact that highway code section 170 states:

  • not assume, when waiting at a junction, that a vehicle coming from the right and signalling left will actually turn. Wait and make sure
  • look all around before emerging. Do not cross or join a road until there is a gap large enough for you to do so safely.

OK, fine. But that was not what happened. The approaching driver signalled right (not left) and if that manoeuvre had followed there would have been no collision.

What do they teach learners these days? - Bromptonaut

OK, fine. But that was not what happened. The approaching driver signalled right (not left) and if that manoeuvre had followed there would have been no collision.

The left turning example in HC is chosen as obvious/common for vehicles emerging from a side road. The same message, don't rely on indicator is in play here; the principle of mutatis mutandis applies.

What do they teach learners these days? - thunderbird

So what you are saying is that a driver who pulls out onto a major road, crossing a give way line and hits a car on the major road is not at fault, but the driver of the car on the major road is at fault due to their indicator being on, despite the fact that highway code section 170 states:

  • not assume, when waiting at a junction, that a vehicle coming from the right and signalling leftwill actually turn. Wait and make sure
  • look all around before emerging. Do not cross or join a road until there is a gap large enough for you to do so safely.

OK, fine. But that was not what happened. The approaching driver signalled right (not left) and if that manoeuvre had followed there would have been no collision.

Whilst I agree with "if that manoeuvre had followed there would have been no collision" 100% in reality there is no way it could be used in any legal case.
What do they teach learners these days? - Andrew-T

<< I agree with "if that manoeuvre had followed there would have been no collision" 100% in reality there is no way it could be used in any legal case. >>

I accept your point re legality, but the fact remains that the approaching driver was giving out misleading signals, so to that extent has to accept some blame.

What do they teach learners these days? - thunderbird

<< I agree with "if that manoeuvre had followed there would have been no collision" 100% in reality there is no way it could be used in any legal case. >>

I accept your point re legality, but the fact remains that the approaching driver was giving out misleading signals, so to that extent has to accept some blame.

That I agree with, its what I have been saying throughout this post.

But using your point the girl could counter argue that if the car that pulled out had been in a different county the accident would not have happened.

I get the feeling its going to be a 50-50 for the girl and the car that pulled out but the 2nd car she hit is still 100% blameless, no doubt about that.

What do they teach learners these days? - thunderbird

Should have updated this before but had a call from the driver of the car I was following (the 100% without a doubt blameless one) to thank me and tell me I would not need to provide any further witness statements. His car is currently being repaired by his insurers under their "uninsured driver promise" since it appears the young girl was not insured to drive her mothers new motor. He is happy with the outcome but still furious about what happened.

No idea what will happen about the other drivers car/claim now but it must surely make it difficult to apportion any blame to him. I think that the uninsured person has to take 100% of the blame since she should not have been on the road.

So what will happen to the young girl. Guess her mothers car will not be repaired by her insurers unless she can prove her daughter drove it without her consent and if that is the case a whole load of grief will follow.

Think she will loose her licence regardless since I believe as a new driver any more than 6 points means an auto ban and a re-test. Hopefully she will take some more lessons and learn about indicating correctly.

Probably will read about it in the local rag eventually, will keep a watch.

Edited by thunderbird on 05/12/2019 at 17:53

 

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