Duty of Care on the road – The Digger Disaster

Duty of Care on the road – The Digger Disaster

Meet Mark Stone, Britain’s unluckiest motorcyclist. Each month we tackle the legal aftermath of Mark’s riding mishaps. Today, while pondering a jumper-based crisis, he’s faced by a snap decisionNo1 - The Digger Disaster


This driver chose to join the highway with a dangerously overhanging load. Generally, the larger and less vulnerable a vehicle the higher the duty of care owed by its driver.

The motorcyclist, riding within braking distances, faces a closing gap. With advanced training, our man would have acted differently, but he only has to react like an ordinarily competent motorcyclist in the face of imminent harm, a situation known as `agony of the moment’, that is, the rapid processing of unpleasant choices created by the negligence of another.

The Court will not blame him for making the wrong decision, unless it was so bizarre as to be foreseeable. The driver’s lawyers must show that the motorcyclist did something wrong and I see no evidence of that, without which the Judge cannot find against the motorcyclist.

Andrew Dalton

Bike Magazine
July 2010

Disclaimer: The legal advice and statements contained within this/these articles is correct at the time of printing. If you are seeking legal advice after a motorbike accident please contact us to speak directly with one of our lawyers.

Posted by Andrew Prendergast. Last modified: July 26, 2010 at 12:00 am

Andrew has been riding motorcycles since he was 10 years old and currently rides a ZZR1400 as his daily commuter whether it is sunny or snowing. In addition, he is currently restoring an old Honda CB750 K1. Andrew practices across all areas of motorcycle law, with his practice involving both civil claims and motoring defence work.


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