Judges decide what is reasonable behaviour for competent drivers and Mark’s overtake is lawful and not an invitation to race. In a legal precedent, the driver must maintain a proper and safe course, and if he’d done so yet Mark still got into trouble, the driver wouldn’t be expected to react, as he can’t predict Mark’s actions. But the driver deliberately speeds up and though Mark responds unreasonably it’s a foreseeable reaction. So while a harsh judge might split the blame, I think 25 to 33% would fall on Mark. Of £1000 of crash damage, Mark should receive £750 – £666. On similar facts, the Court of Appeal upheld a decision to find the motorcyclist 20% to blame, but made it clear he’d got off lightly.

Andrew Dalton

Bike Magazine

October 2010