The road rager was cited accordingly where, without dashcam footage, it would’ve been the other way around.
Before dashcams were a thing the phrase, “You are almost always responsible for rear-ending someone, regardless of the circumstances” was, as the phrase says, almost always true.
But now, with so many dashcam owners on the road, it’s not so cut and dry anymore.
Case in point Redditor /u/RockyCore who submitted footage earlier yesterday (Feb 11, 2023) to the /r/IdiotsInCars subreddit from his first accident showing a road raging driver in a Toyota RAV-4 cutting OP off and brake-checking him causing an accident after he exited this Shoreline, WA Trader Joe’s parking lot.
The accident happened on N 175 St. (Link to location on Google Maps found here.)
As the video shows, OP made a left, slowing down to presumably check for cross traffic before making his turn.
It’s worth noting the stop sign seen in the video is on private property which, according to WA state law, is unenforceable and does not contribute to OP’s liability in regard to this situation.
The rule of thumb is to find a 3-4 second gap before attempting to merge into traffic.
You can do like I did and, from the rear camera shot, time how big of a gap OP actually left after merging in front of the RAV-4, but I counted a conservative 3.5 seconds.
OP was spot on.
I even measured on Google Maps how big the gap was, and it was roughly 160 feet, or about half a football field’s worth of space between the OP and the road rager.
The RAV4 driver had no good reason to cut off OP and slam on his brakes like he did.
Both drivers obviously had their own version of events to tell police but, when police saw OP’s submitted dashcam footage, it was clear as day, the officer issuing a citation for an unsafe lane change to the road raging RAV-4 driver.
In addition, OP’s insurance found the other driver 100 percent liable.
Here’s his update below.
Without the dashcam footage it would’ve been OP’s word against the other driver and, in all likelihood, OP’s insurance would’ve found him partially, if not totally responsible, likely raising his insurance rates as a result.
If you need another reason to get a dashcam, here’s yet another data point.
And if you’re wondering what kind of dashcam he has, it’s a Vantrue S1.