The High Court considered a case where a pedestrian, who was struck by a car, had his personal injuries claim against the driver dismissed for failure to prove negligence.
Had the pedestrian followed the Rules of the Road the accident would never have occurred.
The pedestrian was crossing a national primary road when he was struck by a car. The accident happened at around 8 pm on a September evening on a road with a speed limit of 100km/h.
The pedestrian suffered injuries and from panic attacks and insomnia. He sued for personal injuries, stating the collision was caused by the negligence and breach of duty in the care, management or driving of the defendant’s car. The defendant denied any negligence stating the pedestrian failed to keep proper lookout, failed to allow the car to pass before attempting to cross the road; walking into oncoming traffic; placing himself in danger; causing the accident by walking on the public highway; failing to wear appropriate reflective clothing; and failing to carry a torch “during hours of darkness”.
The judge referred to the appropriate application of The Rules of the Road and found on the balance of probabilities, that the accident occurred after sunset and shortly before dusk which was a period of notoriously difficult visibility for motorists. The pedestrian was not wearing suitable visibility clothing, the part of the road he was on had no street lighting and he crossed the road on a diagonal, with his face slightly averted from traffic approaching on the eastbound lane, despite there being a bend in the road to the east nor did he have the right of way in attempting to cross the road. Therefore, the court ruled that the actions of the pedestrian caused the accident and not any negligence of the driver.
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