Left Turn

Q: I had been driving my minivan westbound on the turnpike and was turning left to exit, at an intersection without a traffic light.  When I was 10 feet into my turn, a red convertible on the eastbound side struck me.  My daughter says that the convertible had proceeded through a red light at an intersection ahead of me.  The other driver says that, no, she had passed while the light was green.

A: Pursuant to Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1141, you were required to yield the right-of-way to any oncoming vehicle which is within your intersection or so close to it as to constitute an immediate hazard.  A violation of this statute constitutes ‘negligence per se’.

Nevertheless, a driver traveling with the right-of-way may be found to have contributed to the happening of a collision if he did not use reasonable care to avoid the accident.  The convertible’s driver is negligent if she failed to see that which, through proper use of her senses, she should have seen.

Your attorney will seek to ascertain the visibility and road conditions, and look for evidence to supplement the testimony of your daughter, e.g. as to the speed of the convertible and its driver’s possible intoxication or violation of Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1225-c.  With some very important exceptions, that statute prohibits the operation of “a motor vehicle upon a public highway while using a mobile telephone to engage in a call while such vehicle is in motion”.

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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