Have you ever tried to do something nice only to see the results backfire? If so, you were probably reminded of the old saying, “No good deed goes unpunished.”
In fact, it is very likely that you have witnessed or engaged in one of the following acts of perceived kindness and unknowingly put yourself and others at risk.
Waving someone across multiple lanes of traffic
Without explaining the title any further, we guess that many of you are already familiar with this one.
Giving someone “the wave” has led to numerous Indiana car accidents and injuries, some of which proved to be fatal.
In most instances, waving someone across traffic will often occur on busy roads that run parallel to retail and office centers, malls, big-box stores, or grocery chains. During certain hours of the day (or on weekends) traffic can easily become congested in these areas, typically causing backups and stop-and-go travel.
The danger occurs when a driver stops well short of the vehicle in front of them to leave an opening for other vehicles who are attempting to turn into or leave a store or retail center parking lot.
The driver who is allowing traffic to pass through and across multiple lanes of traffic will sometimes wave to another driver telling them it is safe to proceed. In reality, the driver crossing multiple lanes of traffic is doing so blindly because they cannot see oncoming traffic due to the line of cars in their vision.
Additionally, the “waver” and the driver attempting to cross multiple lanes are often the only two people in on this gesture/plan. Other drivers who are traveling in the same or opposite directions of a multi-lane road are unaware and not expecting a car to peek or zoom out directly in front of them without warning.
Waving someone across multiple lanes of traffic can easily result in a T-bone car accident that results in serious or fatal injuries to the drivers and/or occupants of either vehicle.
While the driver that crosses through multiple lanes will most likely be placed at fault for failure to yield, we have also witnessed several instances in which the person who waves them through has had a claim made against their insurance for liability as well.
Ultimately, you should NEVER wave another vehicle across multiple lanes or through any type of traffic.
Allowing people or bicyclists to cross streets without crosswalks/signals
Boulton Law Group has witnessed a couple of disastrous scenarios play out when someone comes to a sudden stop to wave a pedestrian or bicyclist across a section of road that does not have an official crossing signal.
You are traveling north on Meridian street near downtown Indianapolis when the car in front of you slows down or makes a sudden stop. You are able to see that the driver in the vehicle ahead of you is attempting to let a person cross at a place on Meridian that is not controlled by a traffic light and pedestrian crossing signal.
Fortunately, you have time to stop, however, the person behind you is following too closely and rear-ends your vehicle. Now you’re left with a sore neck, property damage, and medical bills. The driver behind you is left with a totaled vehicle. And the driver in front of you?
While the driver in front of you stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross illegally in front of them, it is quite possible that he/she will not share any official liability in your accident. Instead, the driver behind you will likely be placed at fault for failing to keep a safe distance between your vehicle and their own.
Ultimately, the driver in the front has made a serious mistake that not only put drivers of other vehicles at risk, but it also puts the pedestrian or bicyclist in a position that can easily prove life-threatening.
Striking a pedestrian or bicyclist
Boulton Law Group has also witnessed cases in which a driver encouraged a pedestrian to cross the street at an unmarked area only to result in a much more tragic ending.
Instead of vehicles stopping behind the lead vehicle, they maneuver to the right or left to maintain their speed, unaware that a person or bicyclist is crossing in front of the vehicle that has slowed down or came to an unexpected stop.
Unfortunately, the person crossing in front of the lead vehicle now believes that they have a safe path to the other side of the street, yet their vision is obstructed by the vehicle that has stopped or slowed to let them cross. As a result, they walk directly into the path of an oncoming vehicle.
As expected, a bicyclist or pedestrian that is struck by an automobile will most likely sustain traumatic and/or life-threatening injuries.
Of course, you should always stop for a pedestrian or bicyclist who unexpectedly walks into traffic, however, it is never advisable to stop and encourage someone to cross in front of you if there are no official street lights or pedestrian signals.
A top-rated Indianapolis personal injury lawyer
For more than 20 years, attorney Matt Boulton has helped injured Hoosiers throughout Indiana. His many successes and devotion to his clients have led him to become one of the state’s most sought after personal injury lawyers.
Having dedicated his life to helping victims and their families, Matt has witnessed a wide variety of car accidents, including serious collisions caused by people trying to wave cars through traffic, or stopping to let pedestrians cross in front of them at locations where there are no street signals.
If you have been involved in a similar accident and have questions about what to do next, we strongly encourage you to call attorney Boulton for a free and friendly consultation.
To ensure there is no risk to you, Boulton Law Group offers injured people and their families a Zero Fee Guarantee. In short, you pay nothing until we win your case.
To speak with attorney Boulton now, please call us at 317-350-2680. If you prefer to write to us with your story, you can send the details of your accident via our free and confidential contact form. Matt personally reviews every contact received through our website.
We look forward to hearing your story and going to work for you!
Attorney Matt Boulton is an award-winning personal injury attorney with more than 20 years of experience helping seriously injured people throughout Indiana reclaim what was taken from them. His firm was created for for the client who expects exceptional service and passionate, successful legal representation.