Another Left Turn

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Q: My car was traveling eastbound on a highway and attempted to make a left turn across the westbound lanes in order to enter a shopping center.  Instead, my car collided with a truck, which was traveling westbound.  I later pleaded guilty to a violation of Vehicle and Traffic law § 1141, for failing to yield the right-of-way.

I was stopped for approximately two minutes in the turning lane while waiting for cars to exit the shopping center and saw no oncoming traffic – before I initiated the left turn, with my signal light activated.  The truck was traveling about 60 mph.  Roughly five seconds elapsed between the time I observed the truck and the impact.

The truck driver says that he was traveling at the posted speed limit of 55 mph, but that he slowed down to 50 mph and took his foot off the accelerator when, approximately 500 feet away, he observed a line of vehicles exiting from the shopping center.  He claims to have observed my vehicle stopped in the left-turn-only lane facing him and then roll forward at approximately 2 to 3 mph without a turn signal on.  According to the truck driver, when he was about 100 feet from me, I abruptly entered his lane, giving him only 1.5 seconds in which to brake and steer to the right.

A: Although your plea of guilty to failure to yield is evidence of your negligence, it does not preclude a finding that the truck driver, perhaps even more, was at fault.  Your attorney will hope to show that the truck was traveling at an excessive speed.  Possibly, the skid mark left by the truck driver’s vehicle indicates that, in fact, he did not slow down when he saw or approached the traffic at the intersection.  With the right evidence, you may well be able to convince a jury that the truck driver should have been able to stop within the amount of time it took you to cross his lane of travel.

By: Scott Baron,
Attorney at Law Advertorial

The law responds to changed conditions; exceptions and variations abound. Here, the information is general; always seek out competent counsel. This article shall not be construed as legal advice.

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