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Grace v Tanner, Court of Appeal, 27 February 2003

4 March 2003
The issues

RTA – road traffic – roundabout – motorcycle.

The facts

The claimant and defendant were travelling on dual carriageway in the same direction. The defendant, driving her car was in the inside lane. The claimant, on a motorcycle was in the outside lane. They approached a roundabout. The defendant mis-judged her exit and continuing to travel in the nearside lane, went around the roundabout again, intending to take her correct exit on the second approach. As she was going around she was struck by the claimant’s motorcycle in the outer lane as he tried to turn off the roundabout. The claimant said that he assumed the driver was going to take the same turning that he was turning into. The judge dismissed the claim, finding that the claimant had failed to keep a proper look out and had made a dangerous assumption. The claimant appealed.

The decision
  1. If a driver in the nearside lane of a dual carriageway passes the first exist and approaches another that was not the intended exit, the driver had to be aware of the possibility of another driver in the outside carriageway wanting to take that exit.
  2. The defendant had not taken account of that possibility and was negligent. She failed to appreciate the potential danger to traffic using the exit she was passing where the traffic had been lulled into the false belief that she was going to use that exit.
  3. The defendant was 50% liable.

Appeal allowed to that extent.

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