The fault of a left turning vehicle for a car accident depends on whether there is any vehicle approaching that constitutes an immediate hazard. If there is, the left turn should not be made. This case review reinforces this point as it applies to ICBC injury claims.
This motor vehicle accident occurred at the intersection of 152nd Street and 64th Avenue in Surrey, British Columbia. The claimant was attempting to turn left from 152nd Street and before he completed his turn he collided with a vehicle heading southbound on 152nd Street. The evidence of several witnesses supported the conclusion that the vehicle going straight was there to be seen.
Section 174 of the Motor Vehicle Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 318 states:
Yielding right of way on left turn
174 When a vehicle is in an intersection and its driver intends to turn left, the driver must yield the right of way to traffic approaching from the opposite direction that is in the intersection or so close as to constitute an immediate hazard, but having yielded and given a signal as required by sections 171 and 172, the driver may turn the vehicle to the left, and traffic approaching the intersection from the opposition direction must yield the right of way to the vehicle making the left turn.
However, care is also a matter of the ordinary duty of a reasonably careful driver and not a duty imposed specifically by s. 174 which states the situation when the turn is commenced. In dismissing this car accident claim the judge found:
… the accident was caused entirely by the [claimant], having failed to yield the right of way to the defendant’s vehicle, which I find was an “immediate hazard” that was or should have been apparent to him before he commenced his turn, particularly as I have found that the light facing the defendant was green at the material time.(Dhir v. Ali, 2017 BCSC 1383)