Motorbike overtakes column: who is liable in the event of an accident?

Who is liable in the event of an accident?

.01.2022 – 16: 14 WatchReading time: 2 min.

Kolonne voraus: Beim Überholen von mehreren Fahrzeugen muss stets mit besonderer Vorsicht agiert werden. Auch Vorausfahrende müssen mit Überholenden rechnen.

Convoy ahead: When overtaking several vehicles, you must always act with particular caution. Those in front must also expect overtaking. (Source: Judith Michaelis/dpa-tmn-bilder)

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Long and slow columns ahead can be challenging. However, if you are about to overtake, you must be sure not to endanger anyone.

Anyone who is about to turn must be sure that no other road users are intruding danger. If an accident occurs with an overtaking vehicle as a result of neglecting the obligation to look back, the person making the turn must be primarily liable. This is illustrated by a judgment by the Higher Regional Court of Celle (Az.: 08 U 126/14), on the the ADAC points out.

A motorcyclist was traveling on a straight and clearly visible main road. In front of him was a column formed behind a slow-moving vehicle. The biker decided to overtake about nine to ten vehicles.

Turning left without looking over the shoulder

During overtaking a driver ahead started to turn left without looking over his shoulder, failed to see the motorcycle approaching from behind and collided with it. Afterwards, both demanded compensation from the other party.

The person turning left was of the opinion that the motorcyclist should not have overtaken in such a long column and saw therein an unclear traffic situation. The biker, in turn, rated turning without looking over his shoulder as the decisive cause of the accident. The matter went to court.

One party must be predominantly liable

The court saw the main culprit as turning. The motorcyclist could have been easily recognized on the straight, clearly visible stretch of road when overtaking. The traffic situation would only have been unclear if it had not been possible to reliably assess what those in front would do. Especially since the motorcyclist was already overtaking when the driver decided to turn and turned on the turn signal.

Not having complied with the obligation to look back weighed in the eyes of the court so severe that the motorist to 75 had to stick percent. He had therefore had to reckon with someone approaching from behind in such a long column. The 25 Percent for the biker resulted from the operational danger of the motorcycle.

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