Automotive

Does texting and driving create fault? (video)

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  • Aug 23rd, 2021 2:46 pm
[OP]
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Feb 1, 2009
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Toronto

Does texting and driving create fault? (video)

Hi all, let me know your thoughts on this topic.

Looking at the video below, the car driver illegally changes lanes (over a solid line) and the truck keeps going straight and swipes the front bumper. In the zoomed in replay, you can see the driver was not paying attention and instead looking at this phone (first you see through his window, then in the reflection in his mirror).

Does texting and driving change the at-fault in this situation? (perhaps to 50-50?)

What if he the truck driver was drunk instead?

26 replies
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I'm guessing it's your car. The car not only crossed a solid line but also made an unsafe lane change.
Last edited by tew on Aug 22nd, 2021 11:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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The driver of the car jumps 2 lanes the last one unsafely of that there is no question. The truck driver could meet the definition of being distracted, but it is inconclusive because the video does not show him with a phone in his hand BEFORE driving into the car illegally in his lane. Therefore he could claim he picked up his phone after he stopped to take a picture. Unless the car driver was also using their phone and that is why they jumped 2 lanes of traffic like a total idiot?

Seems like both should be charged for their infractions and be at least 50% responsible for insurance. Unless insurance decides 100% is more applicable....
[OP]
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Feb 1, 2009
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tew wrote: I'm guessing it's your car. The car not only crossed a solid line but also made an unsafe lane change.
No debate about the lane change being illegal. The car driver assumed the pause of the truck was to let him go in front and proceeded to lane change. In reality, the pause was because the driver was on his phone and did not see the light go green right away.

Anyway, the car driver is clearly at fault. Just wondering if the fault is shared.
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May 21, 2015
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There is no fault sharing that I can see. Looks like you made an lane change "not in safety" as I believe they call it .
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Asriel wrote: No debate about the lane change being illegal. The car driver assumed the pause of the truck was to let him go in front and proceeded to lane change. In reality, the pause was because the driver was on his phone and did not see the light go green right away.

Anyway, the car driver is clearly at fault. Just wondering if the fault is shared.
A few things here to clear up:

- assuming this is Ontario then there is no illegal lane change. A solid white line is only a suggestion to not change lanes as it is unsafe. Only a sign that expressly states either not to change lanes or a no passing sign would make crossing the solid lane line illegal

- that said, the vehicle was in fact changing lanes therefore the following rule appears to be applicable:

(4) If the incident occurs when automobile “B” is changing lanes, the driver of automobile “A” is not at fault and the driver of automobile “B” is 100 per cent at fault for the incident.

- sadly, the handheld device distraction isn’t going to be a factor in determining fault in this instance. The only exceptions are listed in Rule (20) where fault can be changed is where the other driver is charged with an offence. It wasn’t mentioned if the other driver was charged or not for the handheld, but even if they were the only charges than can alter fault are indictable offences like impaired, or going over 16 km/h above the limit.

This post made me go back and double-check that I have the most current Fault Determination Rules to link to as this got me wondering if the recent distracted driving rules also applied to updated Fault Rules. Alas, the FDRs have not been updated to include changing fault due to the other driver being charged with handheld device distraction. That said, I’d imagine that it would be hard for an officer to make a charge if the attended the scene some time a after the collision given that they didn’t witness the distraction.

https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/900668

http://www.minkinsurance.com/Mink/media ... -CHART.PDF

If you look through you’ll see that the rules are all clearly laid out in a black & white manner with almost no wiggle room for a claims adjuster to apply any judgement or discretion. So while the adjuster may be sympathetic they are bound by the rules as written. The rules are required to be followed by all insurance companies in Ontario.
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Bottom line, you made an unsafe lane change as well as crossing over a solid line. There are no excuses. You shouldn't show that video as a defense as it won't be to your benefit. The pickup wasn't even supposed to let you merge to be courteous as the line was solid.

Please be fair with your fault and own it and not look for a sliver of an excuse when you caused it. Lets be fair.
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Asriel wrote: What if he the truck driver was drunk instead?
Just to address this part as others have covered the rest - what matters is whether the driver was charged (e.g., with impaired driving). It doesn't matter what your video shows if the police don't show up or aren't interested or just decide not to charge the other driver. The insurance company is not going to decide whether or not the driver was impaired or broke any other law.
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Aug 21, 2020
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fordmaple wrote: Bottom line, you made an unsafe lane change as well as crossing over a solid line. There are no excuses. You shouldn't show that video as a defense as it won't be to your benefit. The pickup wasn't even supposed to let you merge to be courteous as the line was solid.

Please be fair with your fault and own it and not look for a sliver of an excuse when you caused it. Lets be fair.
Read the post before yours. Solid line means nothing in Ontario as far as lane change or passing unless it’s signed.
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To be fair to OP, you will see such lane changes made by people all the time.

But OP forgot one common sense rule: if you are attempting to do something out of the ordinary on the road, you need to make an eye contact with the other driver to make sure it is safe to go through your action.

At one point, the OP was right besides the other driver and it would have been simple enough to get their attention and let them know about merging into their lane.

But I can’t comment on how insurance will treat this fault.
”If you buy things you don’t need, soon you will have to sell things you need.”
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OP trying to blame the other guy. Classic not me syndrome.
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suprf1y wrote: Read the post before yours. Solid line means nothing in Ontario as far as lane change or passing unless it’s signed.
Continue believing that or educate yourself. People can do whatever they want in their car and read and interpret laws however they wish to believe. I can't imagine someone even suggesting that crossing a solid line is legal to a police officer or judge. I've always suggested better safe than sorry but then again some people expect red carpets in front of them when they drive and rules are left up to their interpretation.

I don't think anyone would have sympathy over the way the driver tried to change over two lanes at once. No sound likely shows no turn signal activated and their doesn't appear to be a reflection of his turn signal off the pickup or the Porsche. That wouldn't even be considered courteous driving.

Lets start cutting people off on the road causing accidents to suggest they "could" have been drunk or texting. Dangerous! SMH

Had that been a dump truck he wouldn't have seen the mercedes driver.....who's fault? Dump truck? Nope.
[OP]
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Feb 1, 2009
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Toronto
Thanks for the feedback everyone so far, there are some perspectives I had not thought of yet.

I would give more details (and sound) but would rather wait until it gets all sorted out through insurance. Also, if it was me driving, I would not be embarrassed to admit it as I truly don’t think this would have happened were it not for distracted driving. For example, if someone jaywalks, that doesn’t give you the right to hit them with your car.

Two things to clarify is that signal was on during the very slow lane change (sound evidence) and that had truck driver not been distracted, this accident could’ve been replaced with lots of honking and justified swearing.

To be clear, for the tenth time, car driver messed up. That is the obvious part. I just wish people stopped scrolling on their phones so much constantly everywhere.
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Asriel wrote: Thanks for the feedback everyone so far, there are some perspectives I had not thought of yet.

I would give more details (and sound) but would rather wait until it gets all sorted out through insurance. Also, if it was me driving, I would not be embarrassed to admit it as I truly don’t think this would have happened were it not for distracted driving. For example, if someone jaywalks, that doesn’t give you the right to hit them with your car.

Two things to clarify is that signal was on during the very slow lane change (sound evidence) and that had truck driver not been distracted, this accident could’ve been replaced with lots of honking and justified swearing.

To be clear, for the tenth time, car driver messed up. That is the obvious part. I just wish people stopped scrolling on their phones so much constantly everywhere.
Please read the links I posted earlier. Insurance adjusters don’t make situational judgements to come to fault decisions. They specifically are not allowed to consider any potential mitigation of fault based on things like was the turn signal on, was the lane change slow or aggressive, was the other driver distracted by their phone or eating or adjusting their radio or arguing with a passenger, etc, etc, etc.

Almost all of the determination rules conclude that one party is 100% at fault, while only a few assign 50/50 in very specific scenarios. And a couple of things at the end list specific circumstances where an otherwise not at fault driver can be assigned 100% fault (charged with one of the listed offences and none of these applies here).

But even if you get it down somehow from 100% at fault to 50/50 it won’t make any difference to your future insurance rates as insurance companies treat both finds as the same outcome for future rating purposes.

Again - read the rules yourself and you’ll see there’s no references made to turn signals, etc.
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Asriel wrote: Hi all, let me know your thoughts on this topic.

Looking at the video below, the car driver illegally changes lanes (over a solid line) and the truck keeps going straight and swipes the front bumper. In the zoomed in replay, you can see the driver was not paying attention and instead looking at this phone (first you see through his window, then in the reflection in his mirror).

Does texting and driving change the at-fault in this situation? (perhaps to 50-50?)

What if he the truck driver was drunk instead?

Oh gawd i hate it when people do that.
Just keep going and make a left+left+right…

Is that Adelaide and university/bay area? Always dummies who don’t know how to drive downtown pulling this off.
[OP]
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Feb 1, 2009
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Thanks to those with helpful comments. I think CanadianLurker had the best answer in his first post.

I’m taking the video down for now until it gets sorted out but might repost it afterwards for the record.
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Aug 21, 2020
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fordmaple wrote: Continue believing that or educate yourself. People can do whatever they want in their car and read and interpret laws however they wish to believe. I can't imagine someone even suggesting that crossing a solid line is legal to a police officer or judge. I've always suggested better safe than sorry but then again some people expect red carpets in front of them when they drive and rules are left up to their interpretation.
You're not alone in thinking that. Most people would side with you, and they would all be wrong.

Learn the HTA my friend. The lines are a suggestion only
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suprf1y wrote: You're not alone in thinking that. Most people would side with you, and they would all be wrong.

Learn the HTA my friend. The lines are a suggestion only
It is always good when someone KNOWS the rules. I do not understand what is so hard to fathom here in Ontario, that because lines on the road can be totally covered by LEAVES or SNOW, unless they are backed up by a sign they are not legally binding.

So here is an interesting question. A road has 3 lanes 2 going north one is a passing lane for a hill the other one is just a driving lane The one lane going south is just a driving lane. The road is completely covered by 30cm of snow. The only signage showing what the 3 lanes are for was taken out the night before by a snow plow on both sides. In total whiteout conditions at 5:30 am two cars hit head on exactly in the middle of the highway with a 25% overlap type accident and stop basically where they were. A OPP cruiser was less than a minute behind the driver going south. When the police officer arrives she quickly determines they were EXACTLY the same distance from their respective shoulder's of the road to where they hit. If there is any difference it is less than 3mm. So who is to blame 100%? Or is 50/50. Or nobodies fault it was the weather?
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fordmaple wrote: Continue believing that or educate yourself. People can do whatever they want in their car and read and interpret laws however they wish to believe. I can't imagine someone even suggesting that crossing a solid line is legal to a police officer or judge. I've always suggested better safe than sorry but then again some people expect red carpets in front of them when they drive and rules are left up to their interpretation.

I don't think anyone would have sympathy over the way the driver tried to change over two lanes at once. No sound likely shows no turn signal activated and their doesn't appear to be a reflection of his turn signal off the pickup or the Porsche. That wouldn't even be considered courteous driving.

Lets start cutting people off on the road causing accidents to suggest they "could" have been drunk or texting. Dangerous! SMH

Had that been a dump truck he wouldn't have seen the mercedes driver.....who's fault? Dump truck? Nope.
There are jurisdictions where crossing a solid line is prohibited. Ontario is NOT one of them. Under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act there is no prohibition on crossing a solid line unless there is a sign that says you cannot do that (ie a sign such as do not pass). In Ontario you must obey signs while painted lines are for guidance on lane separations or to mark areas where passing or lane changes may be unsafe (but are still permitted).

Please refer to the act here: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/90h08 and scroll down to Part X - Rules of the Road where you'll see references to obeying signs and no references to obeying painted lines!

If you believe otherwise please point out which specific section of the HTA supports your opinion. Police/Judges can only go by what is written in the act when dealing with charges/trials. I'd be happy to be proven wrong, but I'd be happier if you took the time to review and better understand the rules yourself so that we are all driving under one set of rules (and not driving by the opinions of some).
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Canuck2fan wrote: It is always good when someone KNOWS the rules. I do not understand what is so hard to fathom here in Ontario, that because lines on the road can be totally covered by LEAVES or SNOW, unless they are backed up by a sign they are not legally binding.

So here is an interesting question. A road has 3 lanes 2 going north one is a passing lane for a hill the other one is just a driving lane The one lane going south is just a driving lane. The road is completely covered by 30cm of snow. The only signage showing what the 3 lanes are for was taken out the night before by a snow plow on both sides. In total whiteout conditions at 5:30 am two cars hit head on exactly in the middle of the highway with a 25% overlap type accident and stop basically where they were. A OPP cruiser was less than a minute behind the driver going south. When the police officer arrives she quickly determines they were EXACTLY the same distance from their respective shoulder's of the road to where they hit. If there is any difference it is less than 3mm. So who is to blame 100%? Or is 50/50. Or nobodies fault it was the weather?
That is an interesting question, indeed. My thought is that the Southbound driver is 100% at fault since they were out of their lane. The middle of the roadway should fall somewhere within the northbound passing lane. Therefore, the southbound driver was outside their lane and the northbound driver was within the northbound lanes (albeit they are probably straddling the passing and driving lanes).

That said, it may come down to the insurance companies agreeing that Rule 12 applies:

12. (1) This section applies when automobile “A” collides with automobile “B”, and the automobiles are travelling in opposite directions and in adjacent lanes.
(2) If neither automobile “A” nor automobile “B” changes lanes and both automobiles are on or over the centre lane when the incident (a “sideswipe”) occurs, the driver of each automobile is 50 per cent at fault for the incident

However, they shouldn't because of of Rule 3:

3. The degree of fault of an insured is determined without reference to, (a) the circumstances in which the incident occurs, including weather conditions, road conditions, visibility or the actions of pedestrians;

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