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Another rear-end shunt...




What more could possibly be said about non-fraudulent rear end shunts? After just over a century of the motorcar the answer is almost certainly very little. You will therefore be relieved to hear that the case of Steadman does not break new ground but there are some helpful judicial comments. The case involved the number 49 bus on the one hand and a Ferrari on the other; a bus driver who the judge found to be aggressive and untruthful and a consultant orthopaedic surgeon who she described as an impressive and compelling witness (he was probably polite and charming too – although she didn’t say that). The facts of the accident were classic but the injuries were horrendous: the number 49 bus was driving behind the Ferrari, the number 49 braked hard causing Mrs Steadman to fall to the floor and to suffer such damage to her spine as to leave her tetraplegic. The judge found that the bus driver had become impatient and irritated by the Ferrari driver. The bus driver had moved up unnecessarily close to the rear of the Ferrari and left inadequate space. He either didn’t notice the brake lights coming on or the fact that the Ferrari was slowing and as a result he had to make an emergency stop. The judge said that the Ferrari driver was entitled to assume that the bus driver’s attention would be focussed on what was happening in front and that he would be driving with ordinary care. He could not be considered negligent because he did not realise the bus was too close and because he failed to maintain a constant speed. Had the Ferrari driver braked hard for no good reason then the outcome might well have been rather different.

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    10/12/2011 6:38:32 PM |

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