What is a Waving Accident?
A waving accident occurs when one driver proceeds after another driver waves them on, only to collide with another driver. Most drivers may have experienced a situation where the right of way is unclear and another driver waves at you to go ahead. The same can happen if you are trying to turn left onto a two-lane road with blocked traffic. The wavers are always well-intentioned, but accidents can happen as a result and liability for the accident becomes complicated.
Fault in a Waving Accident
Perhaps you indicated the right of way to another driver by waving at them. If that person causes an accident afterwards, can you be held liable? The answer varies by state and is dependent on the unique circumstances of each case. Some states interpret the gesture as simple politeness with no consequences. In Pennsylvania, the law states that the waving driver may be held accountable for accidents that occur after waving another car on. The reasoning is that if you indicate that it is safe to proceed, then you are essentially assuming responsibility for that action and the other person’s safety. If you are not comfortable with that level of accountability, then it is best to refrain from directing traffic for others.
How to Avoid Waving Accidents
Ultimately, every driver is responsible for making sure their own pathway is safe before proceeding and you are under no obligation to assist them. While it is tempting to be helpful, especially in congested situations, there are factors that include blind spots, pedestrians, and bicyclists that make it dangerous to do so. It is possible to be a courteous and helpful driver without resulting to the waving gesture. Leaving space for other drivers to enter your lane or slowing down to accommodate them are both ways to share the road without having to wave someone into traffic.
If someone waves at you out of courtesy, it is important to wait and assess the situation rather than assume the gesture means it is safe to enter traffic. The other driver could have been gesturing while talking to a passenger, dancing to music, or a few other explanations that they may provide should you get in an accident. Be wary of waving gestures and wait until you are confident it is safe to proceed.
Bucks County Accident Lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. Represent Those Injured in Waving Accidents
If you were injured as the direct result of another party’s misjudgment or inattention, you may be eligible for compensation. The skilled Bucks County car accident lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. can help you receive the maximum amount of compensation available to you. Let us handle your legal needs so that you can focus on recovering. Call 888-999-1962 today to schedule a free consultation or contact us online. With offices located in Philadelphia, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and Pinehurst, North Carolina, we proudly represent clients throughout Pennsylvania.