IT’S GOOD TO BE NICE, BUT SOMETIMES BEING NICE CAN GET YOU IN TROUBLE…
You’ve been there before…you’re sitting in traffic, waiting for the light to turn and then you see a driver in the turn lane trying to turn left into a destination on your right. The problem is, he can’t see if there is anyone coming in the lane on the other side of you.
So you’re stuck…do you pretend you don’t see his desperate pleading eyes, or do you check your rear view mirror to see if there is anyone coming and guide him through the turn?
From a liability standpoint, even if you are just trying to help the guy out, if you advise him that it is safe to turn and it is in fact not, you could be found partially at fault for an accident that may result.
Here is another example.
Say again you are sitting in a line of cars waiting to the light to turn green. A person is wanting to pull out from a destination on your right and turn left. Again, the driver can’t see around the cars ahead of you to see if the coast is clear.
If you were to wave this driver through indicating that there were no cars coming and the driver were to be hit by a car you did not see, again you could be held partially at fault for the accident, even though you were just trying to be a good person.
So what should you do:
- AS A DRIVER, YOU SHOULD NOT RELY ON ANYONE TO WAVE YOU THROUGH TRAFFIC.
You do not know if they have full sight of oncoming traffic. You also don’t know if they are actually waving at you or if they are on the phone and tend to talk with their hands a lot.
- NEVER WAVE ANOTHER DRIVER THROUGH.
Again, there may be a vehicle approaching that you can’t see, yet by waving you are telling the other driver that it is safe. Not only would you feel terrible for telling him it was safe when it was in fact not, but you could also end up liable for some of the damage.
- IF YOU ARE DRIVER TRYING TO TURN LEFT BUT CANNOT SEE, CONSIDER TURNING RIGHT AND MAKING THE BLOCK.
Whether or not someone motions to you that the coast is clear, turning left when you don’t have full site of oncoming traffic is very dangerous. It’s worth the few extra minutes that making the block might cost you.
So the bottom line is this…even if you are just trying to be nice, waving other people through traffic is dangerous for you and for the other person too.