A traffic accident lawyer must prove that a driver whom he sues was responsible for the accident in question. Occasionally, that driver may claim that he wasn’t at fault, because something blocked his vision.
Is that a good excuse? Not usually. Here’s why. New Jersey law generally mandates that a driver whose view is not clear exercise caution. Take the case of an approaching intersection with an obstructed view.
Tough Intersections Mandate Caution
True, if a driver can’t see if any vehicles are coming towards the intersection until he is actually in it, he need not get out of the car and look up and down the intersecting street. Nor must a driver try to look beyond a point where vehicles traveling at a lawful speed would normally threaten his safety.
However, New Jersey law requires such a driver to approach the obscured intersection with reasonable care and caution. The motorist must keep his vehicle under proper control, and operate it at an appropriate speed. The driver must also make such observations as a reasonably prudent person would, proportionate to the risk of danger involved.
Even a driver proceeding through a green light must exercise some caution. Of course, if a driver has a stop sign or a red light, he must actually stop before entering the intersection, regardless of whether his view is obscured.
Temporary Blindness No Excuse
Forget about intersections. Now take the case of a driver whose view of the road ahead is impaired by darkness, fog, rain, ice on glass or the sun. Such a driver must exercise care commensurate with the risk of the hazard presented. Indeed, if the vision obstruction reaches a level that the driver can’t see, he must stop the car and pull over.
Simply put, no person should drive a car on a public street while blind, even temporarily. Where street lights, headlights or other lights or reflections of light have the effect of causing temporary blindness, it is a driver’s duty to stop his car. The driver must not drive until and unless the temporary blindness passes.
Accordingly, if a driver hits you and tries to claim a vision obstruction, or temporary blindness, as an excuse, don’t buy it. Call an experienced traffic accident lawyer immediately for a free consult.