Who's at fault? Debate heats up over 'very unlucky' crash

·News Editor
·3-min read

Dashcam footage of a seemingly minor car accident in a Melbourne suburb has sparked debate on social media about who is at fault.

The vision, uploaded to the Dash Cam Owners Australia Facebook page, was filmed in Wantirna, east of Melbourne’s CBD.

The dashcam owner is seen driving in the left lane of a three-lane road that merges ahead into two lanes.

As the lanes begin to merge, a red car overtakes from the next lane - which would have been perfectly fine if it weren’t for the car’s next move.

A still frame from a dashcam showing a red car pulling in front with its indicator on.
The red car overtakes before quickly indicating left and braking. Source: Facebook/Dash Cam Owners Australia

Just after overtaking, the red car indicates left to turn into a set of shops and hits the brakes. The dash cam owner collides with the back of the car and comes to a stop on the side of the road before the video ends.

The footage resulted in more than 1500 comments online in a matter of hours, with many viewers unsure of who to blame.

Some claimed the red car braked too quickly and should’ve pulled in behind the dashcam owner to take a slower turn.

“Red car needs to renew licence test,” one person wrote. “No matter what the circumstances, never hard brake in front of any car. Just asking to be hit.”

Another viewer said the red car was “definitely in the wrong”.

“Should’ve been in the far left lane to turn. But instead speeds up to get front of the vehicle already in the left lane,” they said.

Others, however, argued the dashcam driver was at fault.

“It can be argued that the DC (dashcam) driver didn't allow sufficient braking distance after merging, which is technically their responsibility,” one person said.

“Clear as day the dashcam driver,” another wrote. “DC needs to maintain a safe distance to the car in front.”

“Technically DC is at fault. Very unlucky,” a third viewer said.

A still from a dashcam shows the moment two cars collide in a minor accident in Melbourne's east.
The dashcam owner collided with the red car, sparking debate online about who was at fault. Source: Facebook/Dash Cam Owners Australia

One person had it right when they said deciding an outcome would be tricky: “Definitely one for a judge to decide. Definitely an interesting one,” they wrote.

In Victoria, a driver is required to give way to a car “which has any part of its vehicle ahead of yours” when zip merging.

“Zip merging is when two rows of vehicles merge into one, and there are no lines marked on the road,” VicRoads states.

The rules also state that a following distance of at least two seconds should be maintained between you and the car in front - unless it is raining or foggy, where the gap should be extended to four seconds.

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