View Full Version : Accidents Happen

04-22-2012, 10:18 PM
I just got back from Bonaire. Had a great trip except for getting rear ended while driving on the road back from Rincon. I was driving uphill on a long straight section just after you pass the land sailing place and had just begun slowing down to make a left hand turn onto a dirt road. I was slowing more than I usually would to make the turn, first because I was turning on to dirt road and second, because a rain shower had just passed through making the road very slick. While I was braking, I heard someone way behind me lay on the horn (a common sound when driving around Bonaire). Then Just as I began to make the turn I heard screeching tires approaching from behind me. I looked over my shoulder out the side window of the truck (I was already turning) and saw a small car with one wheel locked up sliding straight in my direction. I knew that the only way for me to avoid the imminent collision was to try and clear the lane before the car reached me so I accelerated, hoping to get clear. Unfortunately, just an inch away from being clear, BANG! The front left fender of the young local ladies car caught the trailing edge of my trucks rear bumper. It was a low speed collision. No one was hurt. My bumper basically peeled her fender off. But there was no visible damage to the truck. Road Service was called out and a report was made. As soon as I was released from the scene, I went to the rental company and reported the accident. There was no damage to the truck I was driving so the owner seemed unconcerned. He told me not to worry and that "it would be just another story to tell when I got back home." But, when I went to return the truck, the owner pulled me into his office and informed me that the other driver was arguing that it was my fault. She had tried to claim that I was turning around in the middle of the road and had given no signal. I told him that this was completely false and explained to him, in detail, what happened. He stated that I still may be considered "at fault" because on Bonaire, (according to him at least) "if you are turning left onto an unmarked dirt road, it is considered that you are leaving the roadway to go "off-road." If in leaving the roadway, you will interrupt the flow of traffic on the paved roadway, you must first pull off to the right and wait for the paved road to clear before turning left onto the unpaved road." That is not a direct quote but its pretty close. :confused:That sounds crazy to me. Is anyone familiar with this? Any way, he assured me that it would be taken care of by the insurance and that he would be in contact if anything else was required of me. I hope I am not about to get screwed on this one.

04-22-2012, 11:08 PM
Does what the lady claim jibe with the report that Road Service made on the scene?

04-23-2012, 05:08 AM
I don't know. When we spoke to Road Service, they spoke to eachother in dutch and papiamentu so I don't know what she had to say. I wasn't given a copy of the report from road service because they said they were going to deliver it to my rental company later.

So, All I know is what the guy from the rental place told me. And that's really the only reason why I am concerned, I don't have a clue what's going on or even how the process is supposed to work. I just wish I had a better understanding of who determines fault, how they do it, and what traffic laws would be applicable in this scenario.

04-23-2012, 06:21 AM
So somewhere there is a drivings rules booklet?

04-24-2012, 02:50 PM
Hi ChrisR,

When you slowed down, did you give a signal before turning left on the dirt road.
When involved in a car incident/accident always call the police/roadservice, it is written in your car rental contract.
Next relax, inhale and exhale and make a mental recap of what happened, so you are orginized when papers need to be filled in.
Most probably the car behind you was sticked to your bumper ( too close behind you ) and didn't pay attention to your speed and didn't drive in an anticipate way. That is why this incident happened.
If you make a(n) (emergency) stop on any road, before turning left/right and the car behind you hit yours, you are not to blame. The one who is behind you should have taken distance and is responsible for all damage involved.
We all learn by experience.
Hope this helps you.

04-25-2012, 05:27 PM
Thanks for the response. I used my turn signal, the car behind was not close but must have been driving too fast for the road conditions and paying attention. It looked like when she finally saw me turning, she slammed on the brakes and locked up one of her wheels. She slid for a long distance as was shown by the tire marks on the road that the Road Service agent photographed. I had no problem staying calm, I have been in law enforcement for 8 years so responding to car accidents is nothing new to me, and this accident was a minor one. Thanks again for taking time to respond, I guess I will just wait and see what happens from here.