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Ruler 15.09.2020 09:02

advise - infos please on car accident
 
Hello my name is Alex , I live in Luzern canton .
about 2 weeks ago I had to travel to St Gallen , on my way back home I had an auto accident :
I drive a bmw120i , I was coming out of a tunnel with my wife in the car so at about 4-500 m from the tunnel exit I looked in the mirrors ( to inform myself of the traffic around me I do this from time to time ) so I was on the highway and I was on less faster lane (right side of this 2 lines ) and when I checked the 2 mirror I could see a blue car coming towards me , like I could tell she will hit me on the L side / back of my car , immediately after I looked throw my L window , she was with the car on like 20 degree angle from the back of my shoulder as I was sitting in my driver seat when I saw the driver in the other car with the head down checking for something in her car like where the changing gear its located . I panicked and I thought if I do a R/L with my car she might have enough room to go behind me . Unfortunately my car start balancing L-R at that point , we hit and then I ended up on the fast line and she drove another 6-700 m and stopped on the R side of the road .
Her car has nothing major on R front side , mine had some damage on the L back but its drivable as she did not hit my back wheel but only the metal protection... so thank God we are all ok and its just the metal damaged .
Now the problems start for real as I was told ....
when I stopped behind her I asked her if she called the police she said not jet and then her husband did . We got at a police station where I stayed from like 15:00 until 18:00 and was asked all sorts of questions : how many cars passed you on the L side in the past 10 min , how often do you check mirrors , what colour were the cars that passed you ....
anyway apparently the police officer saw the video outside the tunnel in the tunnel I dont know and was clear that the car was about to hit me but he also stated that I overtook this car on the slow line prior to the accident , I was driving within the limits as far as I remember she did not had any lighting signal showing that she wants to exchange lines but the police officer said that the accident would not have happened if I did not overtook her before , I explained to him that I drove all the time within the limits and I had no purpose in overtaking her on this line but if she slowed down and the road ahead of me was clear and she had no intention changing lines that might have happened .In the end they gave me no copy of the actual report they made just a paper with names of the persons involved and said I should send this to my insurance company , also at some point he said he will charge me on this accident because here you never ever overtake someone on the R side even if I tried to make clear to him the facts .... I came out of the tunnel with 100 km/h and I did not do 140km/h or more just to go past her car ....
any lawyer here or similar situations to share experience please !
I should expect a period of banned for driving 1-3 months , a fine which I believe will be over 5k ... to fix my car and her car with my insurance company and a criminal record that will stay for some years on my back and every other driving offence will be more severe prosecuted - this criminal records its what bothers me . also if any of you can recommend me an lawyer insurance for the future for this kind of situations I will very much appreciate .
Safe roads to everyone and all the best !!!
thank you !
Alex

Sean Connery 15.09.2020 12:31

Re: advise - infos please on car accident
 
I've tried to process what you say here.

- You were driving through a tunnel and saw a car in your mirror that was going faster than you and appeared to be heading towards you
- The driver seemed to be looking down
- You went from side to side to try to avoid her hitting you and, in doing so, hit her?

From what you've posted, that's the best I can make out.

Do you have a diagram to hand? There used to be a brilliant one on the forum showing how it's done but it seems inaccessible.

TonyClifton 15.09.2020 12:58

Re: advise - infos please on car accident
 
They have video evidence so you've got a very slim chance really. Also agree it's hard to understand from the description what actually happened.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ruler (Post 3217334)
what colour were the cars that passed you ....

This seems quite an odd thing to ask, I doubt many people would remember the colour of the cars that have passed them on a motorway unless it would be a Lamborghini!

CodPeace 15.09.2020 13:04

Re: advise - infos please on car accident
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ruler (Post 3217334)
......the police officer saw the video outside the tunnel in the tunnel..........I panicked and I thought if I do a R/L with my car she might have enough room to go behind me.......... he also stated that I overtook this car on the slow line prior to the accident.......that might have happened

Well it did happen, no might about it, it's there on the video.
It sounds to me like you overtook in the right hand lane, then moved into the outside lane, and you collided with the front nearside of her car.
Did she speed up when she noticed you undertaking thus causing the accident? Not according to the police as they have a video.


The police are saying that if you were not undertaking, the accident would not have happened. Sounds reasonable, and they have the evidence to prove it.

Otherwise they woud see you undertake and pass the car, then the car speed up and veer into you, which sounds unlikely, and is not supported by the evidence, obviously.

NotAllThere 15.09.2020 13:15

Re: advise - infos please on car accident
 
I think this is what happened:

In the inside lane in a tunnel 400-500m from the exit. Check mirrors, blue car moving faster came up behind, looking like it will the back left of his car. Looked through driver's window, and saw the other driver coming toward me at an angle, seemingly not watching the road, but looking down.

The OP panicked, and thought if he swerved right then left, it might avoid a collision. Unfortunately, his car started to fishtail, and a collision ensued, ending up with him on the outside land, and she another 6-700m further up (presumably out of the tunnel at this stage) on the right hand side of the road.

The woman driving the other car's husband called the police. The OP was interrogate about what he remembered about the drive. There was CCTV somewhere in or out of the tunnel, and the police officer said that the OP had overtaken the woman on the inside. The OP does not dispute this, but says she didn't signal. The officer stated it was his fault for overtaking on the inside.

The OP said he wasn't intentionally overtaking her, but she slowed down, and gave no indication she wanted to change lane. The road was clear ahead.

He has been told he faces a driving ban, 1-3 months, a 5K+ fine, that his insurance will pay for the car repairs, he will be treated more harshly for any future driving offences and he will have a criminal record.
@OP - overtaking on the inside is forbidden in Switzerland. You are only allowed to pass on the inside in slow moving traffic. It's a far more serious offence than blocking a lane. The fact it happened in a tunnel makes it worse. The accident was your fault, from what you've described.

Your best bet, if called or have to give a mitigation is to apologise profusely and accept that what you did was dangerous and wrong, and you'll NEVER do it again.

You were unlucky in that most of the time, you'd get away with it.

NotAllThere 15.09.2020 13:16

Re: advise - infos please on car accident
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TonyClifton (Post 3217391)
This seems quite an odd thing to ask, I doubt many people would remember the colour of the cars that have passed them on a motorway unless it would be a Lamborghini!

Checking if the OP was driving with due care and attention, not just breaking the law by undertaking?

aSwissInTheUS 15.09.2020 13:20

Re: advise - infos please on car accident
 
First, the lane to the far right is not the "slow lane" but the normal, standard lane. If you are not overtaking an other car you should drive in that lane. Regardless if you are going just 80 km/h or 150 km/h. Accordingly, the left hand lane(s) are known as passing lanes.

Second, if I understand it correctly you are accused of passing on the right, a very big no go on the autobahn when there is no dense traffic or you are on a lane with a distinct other destination then the one to your right. Very, very big no go. In addition do that you are accused of cutting in the front of the other car and causing an accident. In addition you admitted that you were not aware of your surroundings and you might have done what they accuse you of: "but if she slowed down and the road ahead of me was clear and she had no intention changing lines that might have happened."

Third, it looks like video evidence shows that you might have indeed passed the car to the right.

Now, as said, passing on the right is a no go. This alone, w/o any accident is allaready a serious traffic infraction according Art. 90 Abs. 2 SVG leading to a (supspended) monetary penalty and a at least three month ban according Art. 16c SVG. This is standard federal court ruling and can be considered as case law BGE 126 IV 192 .

TonyClifton 15.09.2020 13:27

Re: advise - infos please on car accident
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by NotAllThere (Post 3217398)
Checking if the OP was driving with due care and attention, not just breaking the law by undertaking?

Quote:

Originally Posted by aSwissInTheUS (Post 3217402)
First, the lane to the far right is not the "slow lane" but the normal, standard lane. If you are not overtaking an other car you should drive in that lane. Regardless if you are going just 80 km/h or 150 km/h. Accordingly, the left hand lane(s) are known as passing lanes.

Second, if I understand it correctly you are accused of passing on the right, a very big no go on the autobahn when there is no dense traffic or you are on a lane with a distinct other destination then the one to your right. Very, very big no go. In addition do that you are accused of cutting in the front of the other car and causing an accident. In addition you admitted that you were not aware of your surroundings and you might have done what they accuse you of: "but if she slowed down and the road ahead of me was clear and she had no intention changing lines that might have happened."

Third, it looks like video evidence shows that you might have indeed passed the car to the right.

Now, as said, passing on the right is a no go. This alone, w/o any accident is allaready a serious traffic infraction according Art. 90 Abs. 2 SVG leading to a (supspended) monetary penalty and a at least three month ban according Art. 16c SVG. This is standard federal court ruling and can be considered as case law BGE 126 IV 192 .

I remember a long time ago being at a police talk where the officer said that undertaking on the right is allowed as long as you stay in the lane (i.e. don't go back into the passing lane). Given the number of slow middle lane drivers I encounter here it's almost necessary sometimes to pass on the right hand side!

Sean Connery 15.09.2020 13:37

Re: advise - infos please on car accident
 
Don't forget there is the age-old Swiss charge of failing to properly control the vehicle you're driving. It's usually thrown towards those who crash for no apparent reason.

I don't know if that's in play here. It might be worth checking if your motor insurance covers you for some legal cover (or if you have separate legal cover, call them).

FWIW, to cause a modern car to fishtail like this requires some ham-fisted input from the driver.

CodPeace 15.09.2020 13:42

Re: advise - infos please on car accident
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by NotAllThere (Post 3217396)
You were unlucky in that most of the time, you'd get away with it.

I've done it before, and having read his sorry tale, I won't be doing it again.
So, every cloud.....

Sean Connery 15.09.2020 13:46

Re: advise - infos please on car accident
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TonyClifton (Post 3217403)
I remember a long time ago being at a police talk where the officer said that undertaking on the right is allowed as long as you stay in the lane (i.e. don't go back into the passing lane). Given the number of slow middle lane drivers I encounter here it's almost necessary sometimes to pass on the right hand side!

you can overtake on the right if you remain in lane and do not accelerate. Beware that this can be interpreted by offices of the law (both police and Swiss citizens) as illegal and you will be punished.

it seems the OP lost control of his car, exited the tunnel weaving from lane to lane and crashed into another car. It strikes me that he may have overreacted based on the sentence he typed.

Landers 15.09.2020 13:47

Re: advise - infos please on car accident
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by NotAllThere (Post 3217396)
I think this is what happened:


It's difficult to tell from the English.

The other car came up from behind, overtook or came level with the OPs car while drifting right as if wishing to change lanes and then at this time slowing down. The OP thought that the best course of action was to neither brake nor speed up but to swerve to the right to avoid the car and pass it so the car goes in the lane behind him rather than in front. Somehow or other this caused him to lose control (not sure how that's possible) and the cars collided. Is that right?


Sounds like a case of someone cutting up the OP to change lanes but the OP not wanting to allow it, perhaps with the thought "well they're not indicating so I'm not going to make space for them"?


Or the other car cut up the OP so fast and was slowing down so much that the OP had no choice but to swerve and had no choice but to undertake the car (or at least come level) and the other car caused the OP to lose control. This version is more likely to be on the OP's insurance report.



While on the roads there is the principle of right of way, there is also the principle that one should drive in a way to avoid an accident, something which seems to very often be forgotten in Switzerland. "You're in the wrong so I'll drive into you and I'll get a new car from the insurance".



I'm not sure what relevance the make and model of the OPs car is ;)

aSwissInTheUS 15.09.2020 14:00

Re: advise - infos please on car accident
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TonyClifton (Post 3217403)
I remember a long time ago being at a police talk where the officer said that undertaking on the right is allowed as long as you stay in the lane

Art. 35 SVG state that you must pass/overtake on the left side. Legally you overtake also when you stay in your lane (see federal court ruling above).

Passing on two lanes ragardless of traffic is only permitted on urban two lane roads. On other roads, but specially on the autobahn it is only permitted in case of "dense traffic" (Kollonenverkehr) Art. 8 Abs 4. VRV and federal court rulling BGE 142 IV 93.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sean Connery (Post 3217416)
you can overtake on the right if you remain in lane and do not accelerate. Beware that this can be interpreted by offices of the law (both police and Swiss citizens) as illegal and you will be punished.
.

In non dense traffic, and on the regular autobahn it is a big no no, Not only interpreted by police but also by judges all the way up to the federal court.

Axa 15.09.2020 14:08

Re: advise - infos please on car accident
 
Hi,

Here's a reference to passing other cars using the right lane (slow one in your words). Art 35 of the Swiss road traffic law. Basically, you cannot pass anyone using the right lane. The only exception seems to be stop&go traffic when the highway becomes a parking lot.https://lenews.ch/2017/11/09/passing...n-switzerland/

Also, it seems you were on her blind spot. Careful when being in that relative position to the other car, they don't see you unless they're good drivers and the most probable outcome is they'll do an stupid thing that may scare you.

The worst place for a traffic offense is a tunnel, they're entirely covered by cameras. The most charitable interpretation from your text is that passing on the right lane had no effect on the accident, that the cause was another one. But, if the police officer already concluded something, that conclusion needs to be overturned........even if you're right, not sure how much it will cost to dispute the accident investigation.

Sorry to say this but you're in a very risky position. Any lawyer with low ethics will happily invoice you working hours only to explain you the traffic law. So, read the law and if you see a possibility of changing the decision then contact a lawyer.

Medea Fleecestealer 15.09.2020 16:06

Re: advise - infos please on car accident
 
All this analysing when all he wants to know is a good legal insurance to cover such things in the future.

k_and_e 15.09.2020 16:18

Re: advise - infos please on car accident
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ruler (Post 3217334)
I drive a bmw120i


I propose a demotion to Mercedes.

3Wishes 15.09.2020 16:26

Re: advise - infos please on car accident
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Medea Fleecestealer (Post 3217461)
All this analysing when all he wants to know is a good legal insurance to cover such things in the future.

That bit was kind of lost in the wall of text though :D, and what Axa said still applies.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Axa (Post 3217428)
Any lawyer with low ethics will happily invoice you working hours only to explain you the traffic law. So, read the law and if you see a possibility of changing the decision then contact a lawyer.

I'm not even sure how a legal insurance would be able to help in OP's situation. If the police have everything on video there isn't much to fight, is there?

yarpen 15.09.2020 16:42

Re: advise - infos please on car accident
 
Following-up on the discussion: since undertaking is such a serious driving offence, what are you legally allowed to do when there's a slow car on the left lane on a two lane motorway? Is there anything you can do except slowing down to their speed, seeing that even undertaking and staying on the lane afterwards is forbidden?

There was a mention of lanes with distinct destinations, according to road signs: is it allowed to undertake there or is it a common sense, not really enforced but prohibited by law? There are many places on motorways, where this could be dangerous - you undertake and the car on your left discovers in the last second that they're on the wrong lane. This might lead to an accident very quickly, since many drivers make intuitive right turn without properly observing their blind spots.

Sean Connery 15.09.2020 16:59

Re: advise - infos please on car accident
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by 3Wishes (Post 3217465)
I'm not even sure how a legal insurance would be able to help in OP's situation. If the police have everything on video there isn't much to fight, is there?

Legal help could lead to a reduced sentence, if it comes to that. Which it probably will knowing how such situations are likely to play out.

basel 15.09.2020 17:04

Re: advise - infos please on car accident
 
Slightly off topic:

If you are driving in right lane , speed limit is 80, you are going 80.
Left lane is slow, cars are going at 70 .
Does this consider as overtaking from right?

Though it does not happen often but have seen it few times, specially at interchanges where Left/Overtaking lane is slower than the right lane.


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