I had a car accident about 6 PM tonight. I hadn’t even made it all the way out of my parking spot at work.
The University of Utah police officer did not ticket either of us, but he did tell me that a car on the roadway has right of way over a car coming out of a parking spot, so the insurance company would probably blame me.
Here’s a rundown of what happened. I was parked nose out, because visibility is greater than when you park nose in. When I first started pulling out and to the left, I did not see anyone coming. When I got about halfway out of the parking spot, I saw the other car coming to my right. I quickly realized that she was coming pretty fast, so I decided to stop. By the time I got my intent translated into action and got stopped, I was sticking most of the way out of the parking spot. It was a good 2-3 seconds between the time I stopped and the time she hit her brakes, and she was only a little more than a car length away. The impact was between the front left corner of her car and my front passenger door.
If I had gunned it instead of stopping, there wouldn’t have been a problem, except for me driving too fast in a parking lot. I think one of two things happened. Either she was caught off guard when I didn’t gun it, or her mind was wandering and she wasn’t paying full attention. She realized too late that the car in front of her had stopped instead of getting out of the way, and boom.
The form we were given to fill out did not have the usual “draw a picture and describe what happened” section, so I didn’t write anything about what happened on the police report. The other driver wrote (in the “officer’s comments” section) that I pulled out in front of her and she couldn’t stop in time.
With luck, the insurance company will rule it no-fault, but I fear that the officer may be right and I’ll get the blame. At least nobody was hurt.