On August 31st, a Sager Transport tractor trailer driver made an unsafe right turn on North Queen Street in Toronto and rammed into my rental car. The damage was considerable and the vehicle was no longer driveable. (See the full set of pictures in larger detail.)
That’s not what I’m livid about however…
What I’m livid about is that the driver lied to his insurance company (Markel Insurance) about his responsibility for causing the accident; a fact which is impeding my ability to process the claim rapidly, is wasting my time (for more than the 4 hours that he ripped me off for the day of the accident) and is giving me completely unecessary headaches.
First of all, I’ve been driving for 31 years – have never caused an accident and have probably seen a thousand wide right turns made by tractor trailer drivers.
This guy got it ALL wrong!!!!!
Here’s a point-by-point account what happened (if it’s not perfectly obvious from the photos).
- I was travelling behind him in the right lane.
- He signalled left, moved completelyÂ into the left lane and slowed down. (He appeared to be planning a left turn into the mall on the south side of North Queen Street).
- I continued driving in the right lane and pulled alonside the tractor trailer.
- As my vehicle was just approaching the cab of the tractor trailer, the driver of the tractor trailer signalled right and started turning into my lane.
- Although I swerved right and braked heavily, the accident was unavoidable.
As mentioned, I’ve probably seen a thousand tractor trailer drivers make wide right turns in the time I’ve been driving. Most slow down while still in the right lane and block the right lane with their trailers as they widen out the turn to the left.
This guy did NOT do that at all.
More importantly, he obviously did NOT check to see what traffic was behind him in the right lane as he changed into the left lane.
The Toronto police attended the scene and filed an accident report.
I clearly overhead the constable telling the tractor trailer driver that the accident was in no uncertain terms his fault – i.e. it was his responsibility to make sure that the right lane was clear prior to commencing the turn – and am quite sure that he was ticketed.
If he was not charged with an unsafe turn, he certainly should have been – because despite the officer’s admonitions, in lying to his insurance company, this arrogant little man obviously still believes that he has no liability for the accident.
Sadly, if he continues to hold this erroneous belief, he will continue on as before and may kill someone the next time he makes a wide right turn without properly assessing the traffic situation.
In this case, he got ‘lucky’ by hitting the front left quarter panel of my car and causing no serious injuries. He was also very ‘lucky’ that there were no pedestrians on the sidewalk, or cyclists in the right lane when this guy pulled this extremely stupid manoeuver.
Let’s hope he either LEARNS something of value from this accident, and appreciates that driving requires more than just luck – it also requires SKILL.