ROW with parked car and oncoming / turning car

  • GossopsGreen's Avatar
    Hi all,
    Luckily, not involved in an incident or heated debate, but just curious if there is a Highway code stance on this situation.
    There is a car parked on my side of the road, which I have to drive on the other side of the road to get road. About 20 metres after said parked car, there would be a left hand turn for me, although my intention is to carry straight on.
    There is an oncoming car wishing to turn into said road (my left/their right).
    I know it all depends on timings, but would say I needed to wait before the parked car as it is their right of way for that manoeuvre, or should they before they turn right as it is my right of way once I have overtaken the parked? At what point would you say right of way changes? Indication or commitment?
    TIA
    Richard
  • 8 Replies

  • Santa's Avatar
    "It's my right of way" are thoughts that frequently come before a collision.

    In normal driving, there are many situations a driver has to deal with for which there is no rule - either in the Highway Code or anywhere else. When you are driving, forward planning and observation are paramount. You should be looking as far down the road as you can, as well as directly in front, while always being aware of what's happening on either side and behind.

    Described like that it sounds very difficult, but with experience, it becomes second nature. If in doubt, you slow down enough so that you can stop if necessary.
  • Beelzebub's Avatar
    @GossopsGreenI'm always puzzled when people ask something like "just curious if there is a Highway code stance on this situation", when you could read the HC for yourself online at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-highway-code

    The relevant section is headed General Rules Techniques and Advice ...' and says "The rules in The Highway Code do not give you the right of way in any circumstance, but they advise you when you should give way to others. Always give way if it can help to avoid an incident."
    'Right of way' is a myth.
  • Drivingforfun's Avatar
    Not detracting from the fact that “right of way” doesn’t exist, I can assume/guess what you are trying to ask, and will attempt to answer without going into the semantics

    I’d say that passing a parked car counts as overtaking

    The HC says you have to give way to all traffic on a main road if turning out of a road with a “give way” sign

    It also says you have to make sure both directions are clear before turning right

    Being in the process of executing an overtake doesn’t change anything about the fact that you are still traffic on the main road, so the person pulling out of the junction should give way to you



    Just to add, it’s only an anecdote, but I do know of a possibly relatable scenario where someone who only checked right before turning left out of a side road, only to have a head on with someone on the “wrong” side of the road who was mid-overtake (overtaking a moving vehicle rather than a stationary one, but don’t think that changes anything). The person who pulled out of the junction was found at fault
  • GossopsGreen's Avatar
    Thank you all for your replies so far.

    I understand the quote "The rules in The Highway Code do not give you the right of way in any circumstance, but they advise you when you should give way to others.", however, I'm not sure how insurance companies would assign blame. Do they assign it literally based on the Highway Code advice? Luckily, I have not had to make any claims in the neigh-on 20 years of driving so far (touch wood), so I'm not sure how they assign blame.

    I have skimmed the highway code but cannot find advice relating to my example, hence my question on here.

    To avoid any confusion, attached is a diagram, if anybody is able to provide a helpful opinion. Green and blue cars are in motion according to lines shown and both are indicating. Red car is parked.

    With what seems to be a lack of highway code advice, how does everybody's experience suggest which car is most obliged to wait?

    Thanks,
    RIchard
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by GossopsGreen; 16-04-24 at 12:30. Reason: Cropping the attachment
  • Beelzebub's Avatar
    @GossopsGreen
    HC Rule 180 applies to the driver turning right.

    "Wait until there is a safe gap between you and any oncoming vehicle." which clearly indicates that the oncoming vehicle has priority.

    The red car is only relevant in that it is signalling right. Signals should only be used when another road user can benefit, and not when they might cause confusion. Drivers these days are told NOT normally to signal when passing parked cars. This is because generally no-one benefits - they don't expect you to drive through the obstruction - and it can easily confuse, e.g. you may be intending to turn into a driveway etc. In your example, the blue car's driver might be misled.

    :If you were not signalling, the driver of the blue car should assume that you will be returning to the LH lane before the junction, and either continuing straight or turning left. Either way you'd have priority.
  • NMNeil's Avatar
    Taken from the Highway Code
    " DO NOT stop or park:


    • near a school entrance
    • anywhere you would prevent access for Emergency Services
    • at or near a bus or tram stop or taxi rank
    • on the approach to a level crossing/tramway crossing
    • opposite or within 10 metres (32 feet) of a junction, except in an authorised parking space


    So at 20 meters, from your original post, it's legally parked and it's up to you to pass safely.
    As for driving on the wrong side of the road to overtake parked cars?
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  • Beelzebub's Avatar
    Taken from the Highway Code
    " DO NOT stop or park:


    • near a school entrance
    • anywhere you would prevent access for Emergency Services
    • at or near a bus or tram stop or taxi rank
    • on the approach to a level crossing/tramway crossing
    • opposite or within 10 metres (32 feet) of a junction, except in an authorised parking space


    So at 20 meters, from your original post, it's legally parked and it's up to you to pass safely.
    As for driving on the wrong side of the road to overtake parked cars?
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    Let's suppose the red car was parked just 5 metres from the junction. What difference would it have made to the OP's question?
  • NMNeil's Avatar
    @Beelzebub The OP asked about how close the parked car was to the intersection and how he had to drive on the wrong side of the road to pass it, so my answer was valid, unless I missed something.